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Learn the difference between gorse and kahikatea!

Date sent: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 15:10:07 +1200 From: Geoff Keey Subject: Forest and Bird Media Release - United urged to learn difference between gorse and kahikatea To: Geoff Keey
10 June 2004 - Wellington

United urged to learn difference between gorse and kahikatea

"Most school children in this country would be able to tell the difference between a kahikatea tree and a gorse bush, even if United MP Gordon Copeland cannot," Forest and Bird's Conservation Manager Kevin Hackwell said today.

Mr Copeland today repeated claims made in Parliament last year describing the location of the proposed Dobson hydro dam as being 'a few scrawny stands of gorse'.

"The proposed 500 ha hydro lake would inundate three valleys covering 250 ha within the Card Creek Ecological Area on the West Coast as well as reducing the Arnold River's flow to one third of current levels," Mr Hackwell said.

"The Card Creek ecological area is one of the few remaining areas in the Grey ecological district with valley floor podocarp forest. It includes rimu, and an unusually high proportion of kahikatea and matai. Much other valley floor forest in the district has been cleared for farming, forestry and other development and little kahikatea forest remains anywhere in New Zealand," he said.

Advocates for the Dobson hydro dam are again understating its impacts and will need to weaken the Conservation Act if they want the proposal to proceed.

"We are particularly worried that National, which protected the area in the 1980s, is now advocating its destruction. Nick Smith is making a mockery of the decision of his former colleague Jonathon Elworthy," he said.

"National, Act and United need to make it clear to New Zealanders whether they are proposing to weaken the Conservation Act in a way that would open the door for open cast coal-mining and other destructive activities in New Zealand's most valuable conservation lands, because that is the only way this hydro dam will proceed," he said.

"New Zealand is one of the world's worst wasters of energy. It is small minded to call for the destruction of an ecological area when so much more could be done to make energy available for homes through less wastage, and money saving conservation measures such as insulation and solar water heating," he said

"The proposed dam would affect the enjoyment of canoeists and kayakers as well as river's ability to support healthy fish and invertebrate populations. Habitat for two threatened native fish species, the giant and short jawed kokopu would be destroyed by the flooding and the scheme would create barriers for species such as long finned eels and kokopu which need to migrate to sea to breed," he said


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