Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Taking the piss

When I first read about New Zealand Forests Ltd export of swamp Kauri logs as "Maori carvings", it was clear that they were taking the piss. These weren't real carvings, but just an attempt to disguide a raw log as a "finished product" so as to avoid the prohibition on the export of indigenous timber. The photograph published by the Herald today - essentially a raw log with some paint on it - simply added to that conclusion. But now we have a slam dunk: The logs are openly for sale on - not as "Maori carvings", but as New Zealand Ancient Kauri Logs.


The seller? New Zealand Forests Limited. Which also sells "swamp kauri logs, timber and slabs with carbon dating certificate from University of Waikaito, New Zealand". Oddly, though, they don't appear to sell "Maori carvings" at all (screenshot).

As noted above, New Zealand law prohibits the export of unfinished indigenous timber (so, actual tables OK, but raw logs and slabs aren't). Offering these products for international sale suggests that they are breaking the law.

(Thanks to @snarky_mk for the tip)