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


Kevin Smith: a conservation giant passes away

KEVIN SMITH: a conservation giant passes away

A mighty kahikatea has fallen.

Pint-sized Kevin Smith was a conservation heavyweight.

He raced against time in the early 1980s, as the Government oversaw the destruction of publicly owned native forests by logging and incineration through aerial firebombing.

During the 1980s and 1990s Kevin campaigned to bring wide public and political awareness to the tragic end being met by our natural heritage. He lobbied politicians with skill and persuasion, faced angry public meetings on the West Coast and eventually worked within the Department of Conservation to ensure that the West Coast native forests - and many others besides - were protected.

Kevin controversially encouraged Forest and Bird to sign the West Coast Accord in 1986 which allowed tenders be let for a beech forest logging scheme, but also led to the creation of Paparoa National Park.

Despite the creation of Paparoa National Park and protection of South Westland forests, logging of rimu, beech, matai and kahikatea continued by SOE Timberlands. In 1997, Native Forest Action began a tree-sit forest occupation in Charleston Forest. With Kevin as Conservation Director of Forest and Bird, the organisations worked together to end all the native forest logging on public land, resulting in numerous new conservation reserves and extensions to national parks.

Nationally, we have all benefited from Kevin’s brilliant wit, determination and political acumen. All over the country, there are areas you drive past, that Kevin had a hand in protecting. He was a taonga.

His outstanding conservation work spanned marine, freshwater and high country. But the day the final rimu fell in North Okarito Forest, ending government-sanctioned native forest logging on public land, was testament to the brilliant determination of a man who loved these forests.

What greater legacy to leave: thousands of hectares of ancient rainforest protected for generations to enjoy. We just wish you could have had longer to enjoy them yourself.

Good bye and thank you Kevin, Native Forest Action lay ponga fronds at the feet of this great kahikatea.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Rationing Of PPE Gear, Masks And Everything Else

From the outset, the perceived need to ration our scarce resources seems to have driven the response to Covid-19. Rationing still appears to be limiting the ability of nurses and other frontline workers to access and routinely wear the PPE gear they need to do their job safely. Initially at least, we were also rationing the public’s access to Covid-19 testing. We also continue to pick and choose among the scientific evidence to justify advising the public against the need for them to wear masks…. If it hasn’t done so already, this trend will end up eroding public confidence in the Ministry of Heath assurances that hey don’t worry people, we have enough PPE gear, testing kits and masks to go around. Counter factual : if we’re rationing it, we haven’t got enough... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Ethics (and Some Of The Economics) Of Lifting The Lockdown

As New Zealand passes the half-way mark towards moving out of Level Four lockdown, the trade-offs involved in life-after-lockdown are starting to come into view. All very well for National’s finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith to claim that “The number one priority we have is to get out of the lockdown as soon as we can”…Yet as PM Jacinda Ardern pointed out a few days ago, any crude trade-off between public health and economic well-being would be a false choice... More>>


Police Commissioner: Christchurch Terrorist Pleads Guilty

Police acknowledge the guilty pleas in the Christchurch Mosque attacks prosecution that were entered in the Christchurch High Court today. The guilty pleas to 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and one charge of engaging in a terrorist ... More>>


Transport: $54 billion Investment In Draft GPS 2021

The Draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) 2021 on land transport confirms that the Government will invest a record $54 billion in its balanced transport policy over the next decade. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Loss Of Abortion Safe Zones

No doubt, last night’s defeat of abortion law reform provisions that would have created safe zones around abortion clinics will be portrayed, by some, as a victory for free speech. It isn’t. It was a victory for bigotry and intimidation directed ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On National's Regulation Crusade

Lets step back in time now, to simpler days and to simple-minded solutions. So…. if National gets elected, landlords will once again be able to evict tenants at will, raise rents anytime they like, and ignore the need to install a healthy standard of heating in the homes they put out to rent. This promised ‘bonfire of regulations’ is being done in the name of cutting red tape... More>>


SMC - Expert Reaction: PF2050 Strategy

DOC has released a strategy to reach Predator Free 2050, along with an action plan through to 2025. The predator-free goal focuses on three groups of mammals: possums, three species of rats, plus stoats, ferrets and weasels... More>>






InfoPages News Channels