Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Forest Activist Acquitted Of Charge

19 January 2001

Forest Activist Acquitted Of Intentional Damage Charge

Native Forest Action’s West Coast spokesperson appeared at Westport District Court today relating to a charge of intentional damage. Mr Russell had spray-painted "Welcome to the Buller - where we’re still logging kiwi habitat!" on an abandoned railway loading bank in Westport in August last year. At the time, SOE Timberlands West Coast was logging Orikaka forest which is inhabited by great spotted kiwis. After complimenting Peter Russell on the neatness of his graffiti, Judge Somerville discharged him without conviction.

"Timberlands had announced they were leaving Orikaka forest to avoid disturbing kiwis during their breeding season," Mr Russell said. "But they were still logging Mokihinui Forest while kiwis were breeding there. The only intentional damage was being done by Timberlands to the forests. I felt locals and visitors to our district should know what was really going on".

"The loading bank seemed fair game for political messages because it had been abandoned for years and pro-logging graffiti had remained on it for several months," said Mr Russell. "Graffiti is a sign of a healthy democracy and is an important form of non-violent protest. Provided it’s done tastefully in appropriate places like this I think it’s a generally appreciated part of New Zealand culture”.

Mr Russell’s main concern was that great spotted kiwis are extremely sensitive while incubating eggs. One scientific paper* states that "the birds are easily alarmed in the first few weeks of incubation… [and] usually respond to disturbance by smashing their egg and kicking it out.…" "Incubating kiwis would obviously be disturbed by chainsaws, falling trees and helicopters," said Mr Russell. "But that’s just one example of the types of impacts even so-called sustainable logging would have on the forests".

"It’s madness that SOE Timberlands is still logging the habitat of other threatened species in South Westland rimu forests," said Mr Russell. "Native Forest Action is continuing to call for an immediate end to the logging of publicly owned native forests on the West Coast. This is long overdue, especially now government has handed over $135m in compensation to the West Coast".


* McLennan, JA and McCann, AJ, 1992. Ecology of Great Spotted Kiwi, Apteryx haastii. Department of Conservation Investigation No. 509, DSIR Land Resources Contract Report No. 91/48, section 5.6.2.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Tiwai Point: Rio Tinto Announces Plans To Close Tiwai Point Smelter

Rio Tinto has just announced that it will wind down New Zealand Aluminium Smelters - the Tiwai Point smelter - saying the business is no longer viable. More>>


Freight: New Report On Auckland Port Relocation

The Government has released a major new report on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations while deferring any decision on the issue. More>>


Chartered Accountants: COVID-19 Fails To Knock Kiwi Investor Confidence, But More Disclosure Wanted

Three months of COVID-19 lockdown and investment turmoil has done little to knock confidence in New Zealand capital markets and listed companies with overall investor sentiment very similar to 2019, an investor survey held in mid June shows. However, ... More>>


Taxation: Black-Market Tobacco Sidesteps $287 Million In Excise Tax

Year-on-year increases in consumption of illicit tobacco in New Zealand have seen illegal trade swell to 11.5% of the total market. If consumed legally, illicit products would have netted the Government $287 million in excise tax during 2019. Independent ... More>>


Energy Sector: Meridian Spilled Water To Hike Electricity Prices - Authority Ruling

The Electricity Authority has found that generator Meridian Energy manipulated the power market, costing consumers about $80 million. More>>


XE Data Update: RBNZ Official Cash Rate Decision

The RBNZ will keep the Official Cash Rate (OCR) at 0.25%. T he key points in the RBNZ statement are: RBNZ keeps the OCR unchanged at 0.25% Maintain the LSAP (large scale asset purchase) at NZD$60 billion. Committee prepared to use additional monetary ... More>>


Electricity: Kiwis Ignore Promise Of Cheaper Power

Electric Kiwi and Flick Electric Co are joint winners of Canstar Blue’s award for Most Satisfied Customers | Electricity Providers From putting on an extra layer – rather than turning on a heater – to turning off lights and choosing the energy-saving ... More>>


Electricity: Transmission Pricing For A Low Carbon Future

The Electricity Authority has decided on new guidelines for transmission pricing. James Stevenson-Wallace, Chief Executive of the Electricity Authority says the new guidelines will deliver significant benefits to consumers, through lower electricity ... More>>


RNZ: Economic Activity And Business Confidence Bouncing Back

Two surveys from ANZ show business confidence and economic activity have rebounded, but uncertainty about the future remains extreme. More>>


NIWA: The Climate Record That Keeps Getting Broken

Among the multitude of New Zealand climate statistics there is one record that continues to be broken month after month. Since January 2017 there has not been one month that recorded a below average nationwide temperature, according to NIWA’s seven station ... More>>


Govt: Extended Loan Scheme Keeps Business Afloat

Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small ... More>>


Science: 2019 Prime Minister’s Science Prizes Announced

The 2019 Prime Minister’s Science Prizes have been announced in a digital livestream event today. The Prizes recognise the impact of science on New Zealanders’ lives, celebrate the achievements of current scientists and encourage scientists of the ... More>>


RNZ: Fuel, Alcohol Costs To Go Up From Today

The increase today in the taxes on fuel, road user charges and alcohol is being called a tone-deaf move. More>>


Stardome Observatory: Young Kiwi Astro-Photographer Shoots For The Stars

Matariki by Josh Kirkley. The stars are aligning for up-and-coming Auckland-based astro-photographer Josh Kirkley (Kāi Tahu). During lockdown, one of his images was picked up by NASA and shared on the space agency’s Instagram to its 59.2 million ... More>>

DCANZ: Time For EU To Commit To A Level Playing Field For Trade

The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) has welcomed New Zealand Trade Minister David Parker’s statement that it is unacceptable for New Zealand exporters to continue facing an ‘unlevel playing field’ in the EU. Details leaked ... More>>


New Zealand Government: Supporting Kiwi Businesses To Resolve Rent Disputes

The Government will legislate to ensure businesses that suffered as a result of the COVID-19 response will get help to resolve disputes over commercial rent issues, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. More>>