The removal of protection for urban trees by the Government is threatening a 500-year-old kauri tree, and is just the thin end of the wedge if the Government is to gut the Resource Management Act (RMA) further, the Green Party said today.
“When it’s ok for one of our oldest and most treasured trees to be chopped down to maximise profit, and allowed under the latest changes to the RMA, there’s something very wrong here. Environmental protection in our legislation and our local government rules isn’t strong enough,” said Green Party environmental spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.
“Nick Smith is planning an even more brutal assault on our environment by watering down the principles of the RMA that ensure our cherished places and assets like our forests, our beaches, or open spaces are looked after.
“Trees like the kauri are intrinsic to our identity, and we’re working hard to save them from kauri dieback disease. There are only around 200 left in the Waitakere area, where protestors are fighting to save the 500-year-old tree.
“Further changes to the RMA will only sacrifice our landscapes all in the name of affordable housing, which Nick Smith clearly can’t guarantee.
“There are alternatives to shredding the RMA. The Green Party would bring in a Progressive Ownership Initiative that will see low-income families rent-to-own government-built homes at an affordable price, and introduce measures to slow down the rate of property price rises such as a capital gains tax.
“These and other measures would address housing affordability without endangering the environment and the things we love about it,” said Ms Genter.
For more information:
Julie Anne Genter MP, 021 061 1164
Kimberley Rothwell, Political and Media Advisor, 04 817 6723, 021 253 8915