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


Government Continue To Be Duped By Timberlands' PR

Government's approval of Timberlands' beech scheme as being economically viable and having negligible impacts shows the extent to which Ministers have been duped by Timberlands' public relations, say conservationists.

"The scheme is only viable because Treasury and Government have declined to apply to Timberlands the market disciplines which apply elsewhere," Forest and Bird field officer, Eugenie Sage said.

"State house tenants have to pay market rentals, yet Timberlands can occupy and despoil public forests virtually for free, paying a paltry royalty of $5 per cubic metre of timber."

"Timberlands' forecast beech production of 39,500 cubic metres in 2004 will provide $197,500 in royalties to the Crown. This is scant return for the heavy damage to publicly owned, old growth lowland forests which this logging of tens of thousands of beech trees will cause."

Ms Sage said this quantity of beech would swamp the domestic market where current demand for beech is less than 4,000 cubic metres annually. This is more than satisfied by logging in Southland forests.

"Timberlands' beech scheme is only viable if the current Forest Act's ban on native woodchip and sawlog exports is removed," she said.

"Instead of recognising New Zealand's international responsibilities to protect a host of unique species threatened with extinction, Government is allowing their habitat to be logged and, if the Forests Amendment Bill proceeds, exported as wood chips, sawlogs and sawn timber," Ms Sage said.

"These species include great spotted kiwi, kaka, kereru, weka, native bats and rare native fish."

"Mr Ryall dutifully repeats Timberlands' claims that the logging will have "negligible impacts". He ignores the conclusions of detailed computer modelling (using Timberlands' own figures) by independent scientists in the Crown Research Institute, Landcare Research."

"This modelling clearly shows that beech logging will have major effects on the forest structure by reducing the number of large old trees and the average age of the forests. Big old trees are disproportionately important for perching plants and hole nesting species such as kaka and parakeets."

"Beech forests targeted for logging by Timberlands contain more than 26 native bird species, with more than half a dozen of these threatened with extinction."

"The Department of Conservation has identified 92% (or 120,829 ha) of the 132,000 ha mismanaged by Timberlands as having "high" or "medium" conservation values deserving protection under DoC's national criteria for forests protection," Ms Sage said.

"Government has ignored the scientific evidence that the beech logging is not sustainable and has major ecological impacts on the forests," Ms Sage said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Malaysia Exposing Our Dodgy Policies On China

Last week, we all owed a vote of thanks to Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad for breaking with protocol during his bilateral meeting in Singapore with New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern. Reportedly, Mahathir used the photo opportunity phase of the meeting – which usually involves just an exchange of smiles and pleasantries before the media is sent out of the room – to launch into matters of genuine substance.

By doing so, Mahathir usefully exposed how New Zealand is trying to make a virtue out of sitting on the fence over the South China Sea dispute. More>>


Climate Change: Top Academics Call On Government To Take Action

One hundred and fifty academics and researchers from around Aotearoa, including Dame Anne Salmond, Emeriti Professors and several Fellows of the Royal Society, have signed a strongly-worded open letter to the Government demanding bold and urgent action to tackle climate change. More>>


Teacher Qualifications, Class Sizes: Ten Year Plan For Early Learning

“Moving towards 100 percent qualified teachers in early childhood education centres and improving adult:child ratios are among some of the key proposals for change put forward by the sector and experts in the new draft ten year strategic plan for early learning,” Chris Hipkins said. More>>


Teacher Strikes: Meeting, March And Rally In Wellington

Throughout the Wellington region the NZEI rolling strikes entered their final day Friday. Thousands of teachers met in Wellington, Kapiti, Porirua and the Wairarapa. More>>


14/11: Two Years’ Progress Since The Kaikoura Earthquake

Mayor John Leggett said it was a day for reflection, but also a time to recognise the work by many people to support progress towards recovery made across Marlborough since November 2016. More>>


Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little. More>>


Appointments: New High Commissioner To Australia Announced

“Dame Annette King needs no introduction given her long running career as a parliamentarian where she has previously held a number senior Cabinet portfolios, including Justice, Police and Health. She also was Parliament’s longest serving female MP with 30 years’ service,” said Mr Peters. More>>


Two Years Since Kaikoura: Silvia Cartwright To Lead Inquiry Into EQC

“The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General. More>>





InfoPages News Channels