Conservation Minister restarted native logging against advice

Conservation Minister Nick Smith ignored scientific and technical advice when he pushed through law changes to allow logging on West Coast conservation land, the Green Party said today.

Conservation Minister Nick Smith ignored scientific and technical advice when he pushed through law changes to allow logging on West Coast conservation land, the Green Party said today.

 

New information released to TVNZ shows that the Department of Conservation (DOC) was critical of proposals to allow logging in West Coast native forests, which are protected as conservation land.

 

“DOC clearly advised that logging was a high risk and would adversely impact to conservation values. DOC advised that logging would affect forest ecology, remove food sources for birds, and change natural forest succession processes," said Green Party conservation spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

 

"National cannot be trusted to protect our treasured places and public conservation lands or listen to sound science.

 

“Our conservation land is supposed to be protected, yet National has opened it up for mining, and now logging.

 

“DOC also advised the Minister that selling fallen timber to fund pest control would not result in a conservation net benefit,”

 

“DOC highlighted that it would need to do more than just some pest control, and that the pest control proposed would be helping species that were not impacted by the logging.

 

“Clearly the Minister had decided to upend the 30-year consensus that conservation land should be protected from logging, and ignore the scientific advice of his department.

 

“New Zealanders fought for years to end logging on public land and to protect our rimu and beech forests. National has turned back the clock to the destructive practices of the 1980s and 1990s," said Ms Sage.

 

“The DOC briefing note makes it clear that under National, DOC and MPI have been investigating opening up protected areas on conservation land for logging since at least 2012. The windthrow caused by Cyclone Ita was just a convenient excuse for the Minister to push legislation through Parliament to change our conservation law to allow logging.

Latest Environment Announcements

Story

NZ needs strong protection against water privatisation

New Zealanders deserve strong protection against the future privatisation of water assets, the Green Party says.
Read More

Story

Nature missing in RMA reform

The Government has missed a crucial opportunity to redesign the resource management system with climate and nature at its heart. 
Read More

Story

Report shows reducing actual farming emissions vital

Evidence shows that relying on offsets to reduce agriculture’s impact on the climate will not work, the Green Party says.
Read More

Story

Budget 2022: Greens call for urgency with nature-first climate investments

Budget 2022 shows progress on conservation commitments in the Green Party’s cooperation agreement Green Party achievements in the last Government ...
Read More

Story

Nature needs us to act right now

The Green Party welcomes the release of the implementation plan for Te Mana o te Taiao Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy and calls on the ...
Read More

Story

Urgent action needed to bring natural environment back from the brink

The release today of Environment Aotearoa 2022 is a sobering reminder of what is at stake if the Government does not step up and take urgent action...
Read More