The illegal export of ancient swamp kauri logs needs to stop and a Ministerial inquiry started to prevent more environmental destruction and the loss of New Zealand taonga, the Green Party said today.
“It’s clear that the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) is allowing ancient swamp kauri logs to be exported to China, despite this being illegal under the Forests Act 1949,” said Green Party conservation spokesperson Eugenie Sage.
“The restrictions on the removal of swamp kauri from wetlands and the export industry are poorly managed despite Minister Nathan Guy’s claims to the contrary.
“The Government is being negligent in its failure to enforce the provisions of the Forests Act.
“MPI’s failure to uphold and enforce the law means that ancient wetlands are being plundered and swamp kauri logs that are tens of thousands of years old are being carted off overseas. There are only a finite number of these ancient logs in Northland and once they are mined and exported, they are gone forever.
“Exporters are getting around the regulations by failing to provide clear documentation about the source of the logs, and passing off these ancient logs as finished, manufactured timber products if they have superficial carvings on them, or have been milled into “table top” slabs.
“The Minister and MPI are allowing kauri miners to make a mockery of our law, our environmental protections and our taonga.
“The mining of ancient kauri logs and stumps needs to stop, and a full inquiry into swamp kauri exports begun. We need to know how this situation has been allowed to happen.
“The National Government’s policy of regarding nature as a resource to be mined, drilled or logged has got to end,” said Ms Sage.