The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) must reveal the 9,700 emails it has tried to hide regarding the swamp kauri trade, and front up over why it has concealed information, the Green Party said today.
The High Court has said MPI must release the emails to Northland Environment Protection Society (NEPS), which NEPS wants for its judicial review case that MPI allegedly breached the Forests Act by allowing export of ancient swamp kauri logs and planks.
“Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy told Parliament last year that he had the swamp kauri trade under control, but his ministry has tried to hide what’s really going on in the swamp kauri trade by denying NEPS this public information,” said Green Party primary industries spokesperson Eugenie Sage.
“The Green Party and NEPS revealed last year that swamp kauri exporters were breaking the rules and exporting unprocessed slabs of swamp kauri despite MPI saying they had control of the issue.
“What has MPI got to hide that it sought to block the release of emails and information about swamp kauri, all the while saying everything was under control?
“Community organisations, or any member of the public, should not have to go to court to get information from government agencies,” said Ms Sage.