Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

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

 

No Prosecutions In 10 Years Of High Country Complaints

A lack of enforcement over burning, wetland clearance, and spraying on crown pastoral lease land shows how poorly some high country stations have been managed and highlights the need for more clarity over what is environmentally acceptable, says Forest & Bird.

“New Zealand’s high-country landscapes are iconic, help us thrive as a nation by providing clean water, and are habitat for many of our most endangered plants and animals,” says Forest & Bird’s Nicky Snoyink.

“But these areas have been pushed to breaking point by burning, clearance, and intensification, and historically poor management by LINZ.”

An Official Information Act (OIA) response received by Forest & Bird details 10 years of complaints about activities on public land held as pastoral leases. The compliance responses show that Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) has so far undertaken no prosecutions.

“We think that these complaints are the tip of the iceberg, with many instances of environmental destruction going unnoticed, unrecorded, or allowed through discretionary consents. The current law doesn't prioritise nature, and LINZ lacks the tools to adequately protect native plants and animals,” says Ms Snoyink.

The OIA response lists 125 complaints over 10 years, which include soil disturbance, cultivation, spraying, over-sowing and top dressing, exceeding stock exemptions, clearing scrub, burning vegetation, gravel extraction, constructing tracks, wetland clearance, commercial hunting and undertaking commercial tourism activities without permission from the Commissioner of Crown lands.

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.

“We’re disappointed that even repeat offenders have not been prosecuted to date. Forest & Bird has written to the Minister of Land of New Zealand, Damien O’Connor, expressing our disquiet at the past lack of accountability and transparency shown in high country management.” The letter is available here.

Forest & Bird recently submitted on the Crown Pastoral Land Reform Bill which redesigns the regulatory system for pastoral land and ends tenure review, the controversial process where leases have been split between conservation land and freehold interests.

“Tenure review has been bad for nature, with the already better-protected alpine areas becoming conservation land while the rarest ecosystems have been the most likely to be privatised, further fragmented and intensified.”

“Time is running out to stem the loss of biodiversity from land remaining as pastoral leases, which still make up five percent of New Zealand. The Government needs to pass a strong Crown Pastoral Land Reform Bill, prioritising accountability, transparency, and nature protection.”

© Scoop Media

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


Gordon Campbell: On The Flaws In Anti-gang Laws


Google “Christopher Luxon“ and “mojo” and you get nearly 60,000 matching responses. Over the past 18 months – here and here and again, here – Luxon has claimed that New Zealanders have either lost their mojo and/or are in the process of re-finding it. With mojo in hand, New Zealanders will once more become a nation of over-achievers, blessed with the feisty Kiwi can-do spirit of yore.

But here’s the thing. According to Luxon, we’re naturally bold, inventive and self-reliant. Yet according to him, we’re also “wet, whiny and inward-looking”...
More


 
 


ACT: New Zealand Dodges Dopey Experiment In Prohibition

“Labour’s attempted crackdown on smokers would have delivered criminal groups a near-monopoly over the cigarette trade,” says ACT Health spokesman Todd Stephenson... More


Government: Backs Police To Crackdown On Gangs
The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell. “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase... 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.