Swamp kauri shambles continues with muddled maths

Further evidence that the Ministry of Primary Industries may have been negligent in its implementation of the Forests Act 1949, including confusing diameter and circumference measurements, means a moratorium on swamp kauri mining and exports is urgent, says the Green Party.

“The Green Party has no confidence in the Government and MPI's implementation of the Forests Act, or in its understanding of basic mathematical measurements. An urgent halt to exports is needed while an inquiry is conducted into the chaotic swamp kauri industry,” Green Party conservation spokesperson Eugenie Sage said.

“The size of swamp kauri stumps that are legally allowed to be exported is based on the diameter of the tree. An offshore swamp kauri buyer's repeated statements that it is based on circumference measurements instead of diameter, suggests MPI may be allowing the export of ancient kauri stumps more than three times the size of what the Forests Act allows.

“MPI seems to be allowing the laws of the land and the laws of mathematics to be cast aside to allow widespread plunder, enabling a nineteenth century-style gold rush on swamp kauri.

“A kauri tree’s circumference is 3.14 times its diameter – as anyone who remembers being taught the meaning of pi at school will know – so it looks like the mathematical failure to correctly apply the law has led to the export of swamp kauri stumps 3.14 times the permitted size.

“Last week evidence surfaced of illegal exports of swamp kauri logs, with logs and rough sawn planks advertised for sale on Chinese, US, and Polish websites.

“As well as allowing exporters to get away with sloppy export documentation and pass off blatantly unfinished timber as finished products, there is also a question about whether MPI is applying the wrong measurement to increase the allowable size of stump exports.

“This muddled maths is likely to generate significant additional profits for swamp kauri exporters, given that the timber sells for up to NZ$5000 per cubic metre on international websites.

“Sustainable management is the purpose of Part 3 of the Forests Act, which controls indigenous timber logging and exports. The way MPI has allowed the swamp kauri industry to develop is anything but sustainable management.

“We urgently need a moratorium on further swamp kauri mining and exports to protect Northland's wetlands and a scarce and valuable resource from being trashed and sold off for quick and dirty profits,” Ms Sage said.

Action

Virtual Events

We have activists across Aotearoa / New Zealand who are working hard to build a brighter future for our kids and grandkids. This page lists upcomin...
Take Action

Action

It's time to pay our essential workers a dignified wage

Our essential workers are the heroes getting us through the COVID-19 crisis, yet for too long they’ve been...
Take Action

Action

Join our call to stop funding fossil fuels!

We need to remove all public money managed by the Government from climate-changing fossil fuel industries.
Take Action

Action

Support our Climate Action Plan for bigger bolder climate action

We agree with all five of the School Strike for Climate's demands. Read more and sign the petition.
Take Action

Action

Show your support to end housing inequality

Our essential workers are the heroes getting us through the COVID-19 crisis, yet for too long they’ve been undervalued and many barely....
Take Action

Latest Environment Announcements

Story

Funding for Kaipara district community waste programmes

Waste reduction and recycling programmes in Kaipara are set to get a boost with Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage today announcing a $361...
Read More

Story

Green Party opposes RMA fast-track bill that cut corners on environmental safeguards and public consultation

The Green Party has opposed the COVID-19 Recovery Fast-track Consenting Bill which shortcuts normal consenting processes under the Resource Managem...
Read More

Story

New protection for dolphins and support for changes to fishing methods

Extensive new protections are being put in place as part of an updated plan to look after New Zealand’s native Hector’s and Māui dolphins, announce...
Read More

Story

Strongest ever water reforms mean swimmable rivers within a generation

The Green Party says major freshwater reforms announced today provide the strongest ever protections of our waterways, to help ensure the next gene...
Read More

Story

Budget 2020: Huge investment in green nature based jobs jump starts sustainable COVID recovery

The Green Party says the $1.1 billion environmental investment in this year’s budget to create thousands of green jobs will help jump start a susta...
Read More

Story

Reducing waste and creating jobs - Minister announces 2020 Waste Minimisation Fund applications open, focus on COVID-19 recovery

Creating jobs in the vital waste reduction sector is the focus of the latest application round for the Waste Minimisation Fund, which opens today.
Read More