Labour And National Snub Outdoor Recreation And Environment Issues
The two major political parties Labour and National have shown disinterest in the outdoors and the environment judging by both parties failure to respond to an election questionnaire says the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ).
CORANZ sent a 14 question charter to all political parties almost four weeks ago, inviting responses.
CORANZ chairman Andi Cockroft said the failure by National and Labour was most disappointing. Nor did the Maori Party respond.
“The utter discourtesy is in reality a snub to well in excess of a million New Zealanders who enjoy recreation in the outdoors, whether it be tramping, fishing in fresh and/or saltwater, hunting and so on,” he said. “Labour and National’s indifference is more marked by the fact they were reminded of the need to reply. In addition, CORANZ delayed closure by three days and yet they still failed.”
Andi Cockroft said in contrast, the response from most minor parties had been good.
The Outdoor Party scored 100%, followed by Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party also on 100%, New Conservative at 89% and New Zealand First at 82%.
Surprisingly ACT scored 46% and the Green Party just 39%. TOP scored mid-range 50%. A CORANZ panel comprising “politically uncommitted” members assessed the responses.
The CORANZ panel’s assessment of the Green Party’s response being well down at 39% probably reflected its shift in policy emphasis from environmental issues to a more centrist scial philosophy plus ideology infiltrating its ranks said the panel.
“For example the Greens dismissed the need to plan New Zealand’s population future when that is so fundamental to environmental issues plus the party is heavily influenced by the anti-introduced ideology of Forest and Bird,” explained Andi Cockroft.
As a result the Green Party supported the use of the eco-poison 1080, dismissed viewing trout and deer and other ‘introduced wildlife’ as valued species and did not agree with a review of the Department of Conservation and its priorities.
“They unfortunately are still hung up on the anti-introduced phobia. Illogical because humans are introduced as are farm stock, vegetables and grasses,” commented Andi Cockroft.
CORANZ’s election charter comprised 14 questions on river quality, firearm issues, foreign ownership, the value of deer, trout and other fish and game species, sea fisheries mismanagement, restructuring the Department of Conservation, erosion of democracy, treaty issues and “macro-issues” such as the need for a population policy and measuring the nations progress by a “well-being” based Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) thus replacing GDP based solely on monetary values..
One of the panel, former CORANZ chairman Tony Orman, said the environmental strength of minor parties which were not in Parliament, should be remembered in future elections. New Conservatives and the Outdoor Party were particularly impressive.
In addition voters should consider current parties performances when recently in a position of management in parliament.
“For example, while they may have promised in 2017, did they deliver on pledges?” he added. “What was National’s performance like in its eight years before 2017?”
Population planning for the future, ignored by he Green Party, was a particularly vital issue and vital to the issue of global warming by climate change.
“Government’s approach to global warming is by way of free market ideology with tradable carbon credits and a carbon sequestering criteria that does not count any vegetation under five metres high, a bizarre rule as many New Zealand trees and shrubs are under five metres height - reportedly a UN ruling,” he said. “Governments still haven’t realised people cause emissions by way of using automobiles and jet aircraft and other practices. More people means more emissions.”
Vital to Vote
CORANZ urged all New Zealanders and particularly those who enjoyed the outdoors, to vote.
“It’s imperative and it’s urgent because each three years between elections sees a slide downhill in terms of the environment and outdoor recreation,” said Andi Cockroft.
It has been estimated a million New Zealanders enjoy the outdoors in one form or another such as sea or freshwater fishing, hunting, shooting, tramping, 4 wheel driving, mountain biking, canoeing and others sports. A Horizon survey a few years back revealed fishing had five times more participants than rugby.
“Outdoor recreation is not a small self-interested sector but the major sporting activity for most people,” said Andi Cockroft.