Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Labour asleep on Blue Lake logging

Hon Nick Smith MP
National Party Environment & Conservation Spokesman

8 May 2008

Labour asleep on Blue Lake logging

The Labour Government has been asleep at the wheel in regards to the logging of 90-year-old forests on Crown land surrounding the Blue Lake, Tikitapu, in Rotorua, says National’s Environment & Conservation spokesman, Nick Smith.

“These magnificent trees offer far more to New Zealand and Rotorua for their scenic and recreational value than as timber and pulp. They are part of the popular Blue Lake walkway and the stunning scenery that is the backdrop to the busy tourism highway to Lake Tarawera and the Buried Village.

“There is deep and widespread concern in the Rotorua community about the impacts of this logging on tourism and recreation. However, the Rotorua District Council can’t fix it without Government support.”

Dr Smith says the 90-year-old douglas fir trees are on Crown land, but the cutting rights are owned by Kangaroa Timberlands, a company jointly owned by Harvard University and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. The company is planning to selectively log the trees over the next two months in a process that will require the closure of the Blue Lake track.

“Private property rights must be respected. However, the Nature Heritage Fund could be used to purchase the rights at reasonable market rates in an agreement with the local council and the forest owner.

“In my view, retaining a forest like this with conservation value in one of New Zealand’s major tourism destinations should be a higher priority than some of the other projects this so-called conservation-minded Government gets itself involved in. And frankly, it also makes commercial sense in terms of our tourism industry.

“Just because these trees are not native trees, does not mean there is no conservation value in this instance. The plantation forests of the Whakarewarewa area, including the majestic redwoods and these massive douglas firs, are part of Rotorua’s rich heritage of forestry experimentation.

“Labour must get to work now and try to save these stunning trees and this iconic landscape.”


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Another Leader Exiting: Statement From Peter Dunne

I have concluded, based on recent polling, and other soundings I have been taking over the last few weeks, that, the volatility and uncertainty notwithstanding, there is now a mood amongst Ōhāriu voters for a change of MP, which is unlikely to alter...

“I have therefore decided that it is time for me to stand aside, so the people of Ōhāriu can elect a new electorate MP. More>>

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>

ALSO:

Shiny And Chrome: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election