The Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy was wrong to ever assert that everything was fine and dandy with the mining and export of ancient swamp kauri, the Green Party said today.
The Office of the Auditor General has today released a response to a “Request for inquiry into the regulation of the ancient swamp kauri industry”.
“The Auditor General found that the Ministry of Primary Industry’s regulation of swamp kauri milling and exports had shortcomings,” said Green Party forestry spokesperson Eugenie Sage.
“The further changes that the Auditor General suggests for the Ministry and councils to now make highlight the ongoing shortcomings in the control of the mining, milling, and export of ancient swamp kauri.
“The Government’s new management measures announced in mid-July are failing to prevent Northland’s wetlands from being plundered or protect the cultural taonga that ancient swamp kauri represent.
“The gaps in the Government’s regulatory oversight identified by the Auditor General also suggest that the Ministry and councils previously may have allowed substantial milling of ancient kauri from areas of indigenous wetland.
“At the time that the Minister was claiming that there was nothing wrong with the regulation of swamp kauri, there was no reliable system in place to ensure that the ancient swamp kauri being milled was being mined in line with the law,” said Ms Sage.
Office of the Auditor General’s letter