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Outdoors Lobby Seeks Party Election Policie

Outdoors Lobby Seeks Party Election Policies

A national organisation is seeking the views of political parties and current MPs on outdoor recreation and environmental issues. The Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations (CORANZ) has prepared an election charter and sent it to political parties and MPs said Andi Cockroft, CORANZ co-chairman of Wellington.

"Responses will be later collated and made public," he said.

Andi Cockroft said CORANZ was strictly apolitical and "politically impartial" but had increasingly viewed with alarm the style and policies of recent governments that were bypassing democracy and eroding the public's heritage of the outdoors and environmental quality.

"At times, obsessive pursuit of growth inevitably results in exploitation that lacks foresight and a caring for future generations," he said.

CORANZ's other co-chairman Bill Benfield of Wairarapa said CORANZ had a diverse range of outdoor organisations as members, affiliates or kindred liaisons.

"Within CORANZ's ranks are individuals with professional qualifications and blended with life times of practical outdoors experience and a deep appreciation of the environment and ecosystems."

New Zealand had a century and a half of egalitarian public ownership of the outdoors which was embodied in laws around sea fishing, fish and game, access and public lands such as those with national park and forest park status. However much of that was under threat with a current example being oil exploration on public lands he added.

The CORANZ election charter lists sixteen top priority areas to be put under scrutiny leading up to the election. Among them are:-

• Government must value outdoor recreation as a legitimate right of all New Zealanders

• A "meaningful, mandatory and scientifically valid" National environmental and recreational standard for water and

reversing the current degradation of fresh water.

• Full legal recognition of trout, salmon and perch and deer, wapiti, chamois and other big game animals as valued recreational assets

• Recognition of freshwater and saltwater fish, game and game animal resources as publicly owned with full, equal and proper public access to them.

• Damming or diversions through private canals of river systems for hydro or storage be avoided in all situations and where necessary alternative storage/energy options be established.

• Fully recognise the public’s right to catch saltwater fish and gather shellfish for sport and/or sustenance.

• Aerial poisoning with 1080 and brodifacoum be immediately stopped.

• Establish an Independent Environmental Protection Council independent of government

• Reorder priorities of the Department of Conservation

• Impose stricter controls on foreign ownership of New Zealand land,

• Recognise the Treaty of Waitangi was about bringing two cultures together into one integrated society.

• Governments should not use a free market trading ethos to solve environmental threats. e.g.carbon trading.

• Establish a population policy for New Zealand

• Gross Domestic Product (GDP) be replaced by a Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) based on three values - social, environmental and economic to thus fully measure the quality of life.


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