Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Licence needed for work use Learn More

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

 

Government Outdoor Recreation Track Record Disappointing


9 August 2011

Media Release

Government Outdoor Recreation Track Record Disappointing

A national outdoor recreational advocacy forum, the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ) has rated government performance on outdoor recreation and conservation as poor.

The "disappointing" assessment is contained in an election charter which CORANZ has prepared for the past four elections.

Co-chairman Tony Orman of Marlborough said over the last three years, policies and actions showed a tendency to prefer short run profits to long run necessities.

"Economics are vital but so too is quality of life and the environment for the public."

He stressed CORANZ was "apolitical" and each year candidly assessed government performance in the outdoor recreation-conservation area. In 2008 it was a Labour-led government under critical scrutiny.

Recent successive governments have made much of the "clean and green" and "100 percent pure" for tourism and export markets.

"Sadly there's much hypocrisy by government," said Tony Orman. "CORANZ does not believe that outdoor recreation, environmental and conservation values should be at the expense of an ideologically driven and poorly managed economy."

Many New Zealanders participate in outdoor leisure whether walking, tramping, fishing, hunting, driving, surfing, canoeing. mountain biking or other activity. Estimates indicate more than one million New Zealanders have an active outdoor recreational interest.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

"New Zealanders greatly value their right to enjoy outdoor recreation, as part of the "Kiwi" quality of life. Outdoor recreation is a major component of the Kiwi psyche".

Asked as to particular areas where government rated poorly Tony Orman listed government plans to privatise the "public commons" in the foreshore and seabed legislation and allowing public rivers to be used by private corporate companies and SOEs to generate private profit above public conservation and recreational values.

Others listed included government dictatorial dismissal of Environment Canterbury Regional Council councillors and replacement with government picked appointees, poor environmental standards with resulting river pollution, restricted public access and unnecessary and increased use of poisons such as 1080 and brodifacoum.

A recent development was the Department of Conservation opting for business deals at the expense of its core function of conservation and recreation.

"The acronym DOC is now being labeled as "Department of Commercialisation," he said.

DOC in pursuing a commercialisation agenda has encouraged commercial helicopter big game hunting for valued species such as deer, tahr, chamois and others and ignored its obligations to recreational hunting. Other privatisations of public recreation included game bird shooting and exclusive capture by commercial interests of prize trout streams.

Tony Orman said the "pest syndrome" was to the fore with Canada Geese now labelled a pest by Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson.

"Canada geese should have remained a game bird with high country farmers given carte blanche powers on their own land."

Recreational sea fishing, with more than a million Kiwis enjoying it, was under threat by policies of Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley who was restricting only recreational fishing by cutting bag limits, while not reducing commercial catches.

Looming is the privatisation ideology espoused by the current National-led government.

"Typical was the proposal to mine National Parks. Selling power stations is another - and they require the use of public water. Crown-owned exotic forests have been sold off with traditional public access to outdoor recreation, eroded or curtailed."

Water had also undergone massive privatisation by private power companies for electricity generation while draw-offs for large scale irrigation and the monoculture of exotic pines, have depleted water flows.

"As a result many public rivers in Canterbury now cease flowing to sea in summer."

The former National government's "Bradford energy reforms" have put wild rivers such as the West Coast's Arnold, Mokihinui and Marlborough's Wairau are at risk from hydro-electricity exploitation. Others such as Murchison's Matiri and Matakitaki and Otago's Nevis are under threat too. Other rivers are being eyed.

"All in all, given government policies and actions, it's a bleak outlook."

Tony Orman said voters should bear in mind where the threats were coming from at election time, especially when they cast their party vote.

ends

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On National Spreading Panic About The Economy


The lure for New Zealand to join the AUKUS military alliance is that membership of only its “second pillar” will still (supposedly) give us access to state of the art military technologies. As top US official Kurt Campbell said during his visit to Wellington a year ago:
...We've been gratified by how many countries want to join with us to work with cutting-edge technologies like in the cyber arena, hypersonics, you can go down a long list and it's great to hear that New Zealand is interested...
More


 
 


Government: Retiring Chief Of Navy Thanked For His Service

Defence Minister Judith Collins has thanked the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, for his service as he retires from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 37 years. Rear Admiral Proctor will retire on 16 May to take up an employment opportunity in Australia... More


Labour: Grant Robertson To Retire From Parliament
Labour List MP and former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Grant Robertson will retire from Parliament next month, and later in the year take up the position of Vice Chancellor of the University of Otago... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More


Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels


 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.