Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Challenge to National: tropical forests or imports

Challenge to National: tropical forests or cheap imports?

Tomorrow’s trade talks with China provide a perfect opportunity for the National Party to demonstrate their environmental concern by joining the Green Party in calling for the inclusion of a clause in the deal prohibiting trade in unsustainably logged tropical timber and furniture, as the first step in a multilateral solution.

“Currently New Zealand imports millions of dollars worth of timber and timber furniture from China, much of it made from illegally and unsustainably harvested tropical timbers. New Zealand could use the free trade talks tomorrow to negotiate a clause in the deal stopping this trade,” says Russel Norman, Green Party Co-Leader.

“As Guy Salmon pointed out in the Spring edition of Ecologic, it is entirely compatible with our WTO commitments to introduce measures for the conservation of exhaustible natural resources so long as we don’t discriminate against any particular country and apply it to New Zealand producers as well. So we just tell China we’re applying it across the board,” says Dr. Norman, also the Greens’ Trade Spokesperson.

“The logging of tropical forests for timber and furniture is causing massive loss of biodiversity in the rapidly disappearing tropical forests. This loss of carbon storage is also contributing to climate change. There are alternatives such as the Forest Stewardship Council certification scheme.

“In addition, the importation of cheap furniture is undercutting the New Zealand furniture making industry. Our furniture makers generally use more sustainably harvested timber, whereas the imported product uses cheap unsustainably harvested tropical timber that externalises the true environmental cost.

“It is a disgrace that Labour have done nothing to stop this trade after seven years in office, other than issue a discussion paper in March this year.

The National Party acknowledged the problem in their new “Bluegreen Vision” document (p.16) and stated that they wanted to do something about it.

“So, this is a simple test for National. Will they join in the call for a clause in the China trade treaty stopping the importation of illegal and unsustainable timber and furniture, or, will they support Labour’s continued inaction allowing the destruction of tropical forests for cheap imports of timber and furniture?”

Dr. Russel Norman
Green Party Co-Leader
Green Party Spokesperson on Economics, Trade and Electoral Matters

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Alastair Thompson: Are There TPLF Ethiopia Insurgency Training & Support Operations in Uganda?

Mystery Document Alleges:
Covert Operation has US/Egypt Support
Operations Coordinated between South Sudan, TPLF and Uganda
Planning began December 2021...


Gordon Campbell: On National’s Ongoing Problems With Abortion

Despite Christopher Luxon’s assurances to the contrary, there is no such thing as “settled law” in New Zealand. Apart from the six provisions that are constitutionally entrenched, legislation can always be amended or overturned by a simple majority vote within our single chamber of Parliament. Luxon’s repeated use of the term “settled law” has been particularly tone deaf, given that several of the US Supreme Court justices used that very same term during their confirmation hearings...


Government: New Zealand Secures Major Free Trade Deal With European Union
New Zealand and the European Union have concluded negotiations on a major free trade agreement (FTA), which unlocks access to one of the world’s biggest and most lucrative markets... More>>


Government: New Measures To Help Manage COVID-19 As Country Stays At Orange
The Government is taking action to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools and early childhood services, COVID-19 Response Minster Dr Ayesha Verrall and Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti announced today... More>>

Prime Minister: Remarks At NATO Summit
It is a rare thing to have New Zealand represented at a NATO Summit. While we have worked together in theatres such as Afghanistan, and have been partners for just on a decade, today represents an important moment for our Pacific nation... More>>

Government: New Era For Better Health In Aotearoa New Zealand

The Government has today delivered a nationwide health system that will ensure better outcomes for all New Zealanders with the establishment of Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand... More>>

Greens: Alcohol Harm Minimisation Bill Pulled From Biscuit Tin

After years of research and advocacy, Parliament will finally consider legislation to take meaningful action on alcohol harm, says the Greens... More>>

Government: Wellington’s Rapid Transit Option Progresses To Next Stage
The Government is progressing a preferred option for LGWM which will see Wellington’s transport links strengthened with light rail from Wellington Station to Island Bay... More>>




InfoPages News Channels