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

 

Forests’ Announcement – A Momentous Decision

May 31, 2001 - Wellington

MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE USE

West Coast Forests’ Announcement – A Momentous Decision

The Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society is delighted with the Government’s decision to transfer all of the indigenous forests currently managed by Timberlands West Coast Ltd (130,000 ha) to the Department of Conservation.

“New Zealanders can be very proud that there is no longer to be any Government sponsored logging of indigenous forests and that the biological, landscape, and recreational values of these lowland rainforests are getting the recognition and protection they so richly deserve,” Forest and Bird’s Deputy President, Bill Gilbertson said.

“These West Coast rainforests are a biological treasure house because of the number and diversity of native species that they support. They provide habitat for many species threatened with extinction such as Okarito brown kiwi, giant land snail, kaka, kakariki (parakeet) the native long tailed bat and plants such as mistletoe.”

“Government’s decision to silence the chainsaws and protect these forests is an historic and momentous conservation initiative. It is the culmination of the efforts of thousands of New Zealanders and several generations of environmentalists over more than 25 years,” Mr Gilbertson said.

The West Coast forests’ campaign began in the 1970s with the Forest Service’s ongoing clear-felling of podocarp forest and its conversion to plantation pine and its 1973 proposals for a beech chip scheme affecting thousands of hectares of beech forest on the West Coast, in Nelson and Southland.



“The Government’s commitment to investigate the independent panel’s proposals for new Mawhera and Kawatiri Conservation Parks and a new Maruia/Waiau National Park is welcome news. This would provide Greymouth, Westport, and Reefton with parks on their doorsteps.”

Mr Gilbertson said the creation of these parks could enable these towns to enjoy the same growth in nature tourism which Punakaiki and Haast have experienced since the establishment of Paparoa National Park in 1987 and the South West World Heritage Area in 1990.

“Conservation status for all of the current Timberlands managed forests will unlock them for a whole range of recreational uses from mountain biking and tramping to nature photography and guided walks.”

Mr Gilbertson said that the establishment of consultative committees could help promote recreation and nature tourism development in the new protected areas.

“The community consultative committee established when the South West World Heritage Area was created in 1990 helped the Department of Conservation to plan the development of a series of roadside walks and recreation facilities now enjoyed by thousands of New Zealanders and tourists.”

“The $1 million in additional funding for the Department of Conservation should help provide for more extensive pest control than that undertaken by Timberlands on its predator control budget of $100,000 annually,” Mr Gilbertson said. “Ongoing pest control is required to maintain the ecological character of these areas.”

“The proposed new Maruia-Waiau National Park would provide long overdue protection of the outstanding wildlife, ecological and landscape values of Maruia’s red and silver beech forests and the landscapes of the Lewis Pass,” he said.

“The proposed addition of South Okarito forest to Westland/Tai Poutini National Park will enable a valuable expansion of range for the Okarito brown kiwi and will protect an outstanding area of lowland rainforest.”

Ends

Eric Pyle
Conservation Manager
email: e.pyle@wng.forest-bird.org.nz

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Sir Michael Cullen’s Tax Reform

To ordinary wage and salary earners who (a) watch a slice of their gross income being taxed every week via PAYE and who also (b) pay GST on every single thing they buy, there has been something quite surreal about the centre-right’s angry and anguished reactions to the Tax Working Group’s final report... More>>

 
 

89 Cents An Hour: Govt Plans Fix For Minimum Wage For People With Disabilities

IHC is delighted that the Government is looking into replacing the Minimum Wage Exemption (MWE) with a wage supplement to ensure people with disabilities are paid at least the minimum wage. More>>

ALSO:

Te Waihanga: New Independent Commission To Tackle Infrastructure Issues

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission – Te Waihanga – will be established as an Autonomous Crown Entity to carry out two broad functions – strategy and planning and procurement and delivery support. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Action Against Poverty: Motels Profit From Housing Crisis

A single motel which charges up to $1,500 per week per room has received over $3 million worth of Government funds to provide emergency assistance, despite never having a Code Compliance Certificate – an offence under the Building Act – and receiving a series of longstanding complaints from occupants... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Alleged China Relations Crisis

If New Zealand’s relations with China are ‘deteriorating’ then you still need a microscope to detect the signs... More>>

ALSO:

Environment: Government To End Tenure Review

“Tenure review has resulted in parcels of land being added to the conservation estate, but it has also resulted in more intensive farming and subdivision on the 353,000 ha of land which has been freeholded. This contributed to major landscape change and loss of habitat for native plants and animals,” said Eugenie Sage. More>>

ALSO:

Bell Tolls: Big Changes, Grand Mergers Planned For Vocational Training

“At a time when we’re facing critical skill shortages, too many of our polytechnics and institutes of technology are going broke... More>>

ALSO:

Sallies' State Of The Nation: Progress Stalled In Reducing Inequality

The report shows a lack of tangible progress in key areas including record levels of household debt and a growing gap in educational achievement between poorer and more well off communities. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels