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


Save Fiordland Welcomes Decision From Minister

Save Fiordland Welcomes Decision From Minister

Today the Minister of Conservation Dr Nick Smith has issued a media statement saying he will take responsibility for determining whether the proposals for a tunnel through Fiordland and Mt Aspiring National Parks and for a monorail through the Snowdon Forest area will go ahead.

Both private developments would cut through public conservation land. These wilderness areas, and the endemic species within them, have such outstanding natural values and are of such international significance that they have World Heritage status.

Save Fiordland, which is campaigning against these proposals, has welcomed the announcement that such an important decision will be made at the top. Chair of Save Fiordland, Daphne Taylor said today: "We hope that the decision reflects his understanding of how significant that World Heritage status is on every level - including the pride and sense of guardianship we New Zealanders have in our environmental heritage, the unique kiwi lifestyle that goes with working and playing within these wilderness areas, our obligations to future generations and the international community and also the economic benefits the World Heritage status bestows on our 100% pure branding, the tourism industry in particular."

Save Fiordland calls on the Minister to ensure his decisions are made within the law and intent of numerous conservation management documents that guard carefully against developments of these kinds in New Zealand's specially protected areas including:

Conservation Act 1987
National Parks Act 1980
Fiordland National Park Management Plan 2007
Mt Aspiring National Park Management Plan 2011
Conservation Management Strategy for Mainland Southland and West Otago
Ngai Tahu Deed of Settlement.

This is in addition to the obligations the New Zealand government has as host nation to “take appropriate legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary for the identification, protection, conservation, presentation and rehabilitation of this heritage” (World Heritage Convention, 1972), this heritage being that of Te Wahipounamu - the South West New Zealand World Heritage Area.

Chair of Save Fiordland, Daphne Taylor, said today: "Now the consultation process is over we are glad the new MInister is standing up to his responsibilities as the elected politician in charge of the Department of Conservation, and we urge him firstly to take heed of the laws and management documents protecting our conservation land and forbidding such projects, and secondly to ensure he has a full understanding of these documents and the outpouring of dismay by people throughout New Zealand and the world, expressed in responses to the consultation and throughout the public campaigning."

When appointed Minister of Conservation in January this year, Dr Nick Smith said that he felt very strongly about 'the conservation estate', 'the very special responsibility for New Zealand around those species that only exist in NZ' and about 'that great kiwi lifestyle that New Zealand is famous for' and 'ensuring all of that is available for future generations'.

While welcoming that public commitment and the MInister's decision to take responsibility for the decisions, Save Fiordland is concerned that the Minister has failed to mention in his media statement any intention to meet with Save Fiordland or other campaigners against these proposals despite Save Fiordland having proffered him an invitation, upon his appointment last month.

"We feel it is highly appropriate that he does meet with us. His stated intention is to take advice from the Department of Conservation, the New Zealand Conservation Authority, and also to meet with the applicants for each project. If the Minister does not meet with us he will not have felt, first hand, the strength and breadth of opposition against these totally inappropriate proposals on our, the New Zealand public's, conservation land," said Taylor. "We want to be proud of, not fearful for, our world heritage."

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Gordon Campbell: On John Key’s Trip To Iraq

In the embedded press coverage on this trip, the absence so far of any evaluation of the wider context of what New Zealand thinks it is doing at Camp Taji has been striking. More>>


Labour: Parata Puts Brakes On Charter School Appraisal

“When the Ministry of Education recommended they compare the achievements of children at charter schools to those of their counterparts at state schools, the documents show Hekia Parata specifically prohibited them from doing so." More>>


Bad Day For Universities: Gun, Bomb Threats On Three Campuses

Dunedin Police are continuing their investigation into the threat made against the University of Otago. Staff are following a number of lines of inquiry, and police are working to verify the authenticity and source of the post. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Deal Reached In Atlanta

Yes, the TPP has helped to knock a few points off the tariffs facing our exporters. Yet some of those alleged dollar gains may well have been made regardless over time – and without the negative baggage of the concessions in the non-trade areas (intellectual property, copyright extensions, investor-state dispute mechanisms etc) that the TPP deal also brings in its wake. More>> (Cartoon by Dave Wolland)

Public Summaries:


Wellington.Scoop: Serco – First The Prisons, And Now It Wants To Run The Trains

As the government continues its inquiry into Serco’s discredited administration of Mt Eden prison in Auckland, here in Wellington there’s further scrutiny of the British outsourcing company – because it’s competing to take over the running of our commuter trains. More>>


Pre-Signing: Gordon Campbell On The TPP Countdown

To date, the Key government has been unwilling to share any information about this TPP deal until it is too late for outraged public opinion to affect the outcome... the disclosure process is likely to consist of a similarly skewed and careful exercise in spin. More>>


Australia Deportations: English Relaxed On Immigration Centre Conditions

Labour's Annette King: “There have been numerous reports from inside these detention centres on just how bad conditions are... If they were being held in any other foreign jail, I imagine Mr English would be somewhat concerned. More>>


Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news