Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


West Coast State Exotic Forests sold.

Release Brian Swale (Sustainable Logging Campaigner)

The Minister of Forests, Mr Pete Hodgson, said in an article in “The Press” on Wednesday 1st March, “a community-owned economic development trust for the Coast ... will have charge of Timberlands’ exotic forests, valued at almost $70 million.” This echoes what the Ministry has said earlier, said Brian Swale, forester and campaigner for sustainable beech forestry.

However, on 25th February, Ian Gill, writing in the West Coast Times, reported “ The West Coast's civic leaders were caught by surprise yesterday with the announcement that Timberlands entire exotic forest had been transferred to Ngai Tahu.

In a deal taking only six weeks to complete Ngai Tahu purchased 46,000 hectares of Timberlands' exotic forest as part of their treaty settlement package. “

“If these $70 million forests now belong to Ngai Tahu, it is something of a mystery how the Government can arrange to give charge of them to any Community Trust” commented Mr Swale, “unless they indulge in creative accounting and buy them back”.

“If they can not arrange this, then it looks as though the Coast will receive yet another broken promise, all in four months.” he added.

Consultant Chris Perley noted that Ngai Tahu had seldom retained former State exotic forests it had bought, but usually on-sold them to forestry corporates.

Mr Swale noted further, that the mediocre site quality of significant parts of the exotic forests degraded their value. “Compared with the potential under the TWC beech forest management plans of $30 million yield per annum in perpetuity on a sustainable basis, even if ownership of the exotics were to be regained, the trade- off is a miserable deal, and no bargain.”

Tourism in forests could still go ahead with either option, but given the high fossil fuel component of tourism costs and the certainty of high, significant and continuing cost increases for fuel, tourism has to be regarded as a risky bet, he added. It would be foolish to rely too much on tourism against the certainty of reliable returns from sustainable indigenous forestry.

Minister Hodgson said in his Wednesday article “The Government is doing its best to show the way. We propose an economic package ... a community-owned economic development trust for the Coast ... will have charge of Timberlands’ exotic forests, and extra revenue. from resource taxes levied on the Coast.”

“Now that the exotic forests have been sold, and it looks as though the extra revenue will come from the Coast to help the Coast, there should be a great market for bootstraps for Coasters to pull themselves up by.” “ The Minister’s April package should be interesting.” concluded Mr Swale.

Recipients of this mail message are those 28 or so newpapers. The message is being sent using the BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) feature of Pegasus e-mail program, to save file space.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Bridges’ ‘Meth Crooks’ Leadership Failure

Back in June, Bridges publicly accepted that Housing NZ had got it wrong, and that the National government had acted upon bad advice.

Now, you’d think this admission would create a broad bi-partisan basis for compensation to those families who had been unfairly evicted, at considerable cost and emotional distress. Some people had lost their possessions in trying to meet the expense of the upheaval.

Not everyone felt so compassionate. More>>


Multimedia & Transcript: Acting PM's Press Conference

Winston Peters, Acting Prime Minister while Jacinda Ardern is in New York for the UN Leaders' Week, held a short press conference Monday after chairing this week's cabinet meeting. More>>

General Assembly: Ardern Rejects Trump Call For War On Drugs

New Zealand will not be signing the United States' document calling for global action on the war on drugs, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Ms Ardern is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly this week, along with about 140 other world leaders. More>>


Pay Equity: Cabinet Funds Deal For Oranga Tamariki Social Workers

The Minister said that an agreement in principle has been reached between Oranga Tamariki and the PSA on a settlement worth $114.6m over five years. More>>


Hunting v Pest Control: Tahr Control Needed To Protect Alpine Habitats

A cull of introduced Himalayan tahr browsing conservation land in Kā Tiritiri o Te Moana/ the Southern Alps is needed to protect special alpine plants and their habitats, Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage said. More>>


Protest At Sea: Judge Discharges Greenpeace Activists

The judge today discharged Norman and Howell without conviction, saying the cumulative consequences of a conviction would be out of proportion to what was “low level” offending off the Wairarapa coast in April 2017. More>>


No Reshuffle: Meka Whaitiri Removed As A Minister

Meka Whaitiri will be removed as a Minister with immediate effect... The decision was made after receiving a report into an incident that occurred on 27 August in Gisborne, involving Meka Whaitiri and one of her staff. More>>





InfoPages News Channels