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Fuel Pipeline fiasco highlights problems in the sector

Fuel Pipeline fiasco highlights problems in the swamp kauri sector

Speculation over the cause of the aviation fuel pipeline fiasco shows how loose the rules around swamp kauri excavation are, the Green Party said today.

“The fact that no one seems sure whether or not digging for swamp kauri was the cause of the pipeline rupture highlights, once again, how loosely the Ministry for Primary Industries and Northland Regional Council control and monitor swamp kauri exploitation,” said Green Party environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

“Swamp kauri excavators can just dig up land looking for swamp kauri without having to get a resource consent to do so, as long as it’s not in what the Regional Council considers indigenous wetland. No one appears to keep good records of where and how the excavation is happening.

“Swamp kauri exploitation is the worst sort of gold rush with virtually anyone able to dig up ancient kauri and ship it offshore with little regard for the environment or major infrastructure like fuel pipelines.

“If that is what has happened here, it shows how vulnerable our environment is to plunder by swamp kauri excavators, and the failure to have proper land use controls and management of the pipeline corridor.

“Swamp kauri excavation does huge damage to wetlands by destroying vegetation, wetlands, and natural water flow and drainage patterns. This degrades habitats and ecosystems.

“New Zealand has already lost 90 percent of wetlands, which act as kidneys in the landscape; filtering and cleaning water. We can’t afford to lose any more because of loose rules that don’t protect our environment from short term exploitation," Ms Sage said.


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