Thursday, June 26, 2014

Urgency for pillage

As I write, the House is in urgency to pass a law through all stages - without select committee consideration - allowing the pillage of windblown timber from the conservation estate. Beyond the obvious abuse of the Parliamentary process, its also a perfect example of the mindset of this government and their view of conservation. Most New Zealanders see the conservation estate as a way of protecting valuable parts of the natural environment for their own sake or for the enjoyment of future generations. National sees it as something which just locks up valuable resources which could be looted by their donors and cronies. They look at windblown native forests and see money lying around waiting to be picked up, which will go to "waste" if left to rot. I look at it and see the nutrient cycle in action, a vital part of the natural processes in these forests, which needs to be protected if we want them to survive.

Forest & Bird's Kevin Hackwell has made a strong case against the law here. It will damage the environment, and it will probably damage the industry it purports to support. Unmentioned is that we will likely see the bulk export of pillaged native logs overseas. National's donors and cronies in the resource extraction industry will do very well out of this. As for the rest of us, our conservation estate will be degraded for their profit.

This is not conservation. It is pillage, pure and simple. And while National may pass a law, we'll hopefully see the environmental movement take direct action to stop it from actually happening.