Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Still taking the piss

Last year, the Supreme Court ruled on the pillage of swamp kauri, stating clearly that export was forbidden unless it had been clearly turned into a finished product. But less than a month later, MPI was again approving minimally carved logs for export, pretending they were "finished products" so the pillagers could make a quick buck:

A Supreme Court judgment has placed Te Uru Rākau, the Ministry for Primary Industry forestry arm in the role of deciding what’s art and what’s a log.

Te Uru Rākau's call is a swamp kauri log with light carvings, similar to those found inadequate as to be considered a finished product, and a paua shell-dotted resin inlay is a genuine sculpture.


The decision to call an item exported in December, barely a month after the Supreme's Courts judgment, a sculpture has shocked the Northland Environmental Protection Society’s Fiona Furrell.

“I feel this Ministry is making a mockery of the Supreme Court ruling.”

And she's right. The "products" MPI is approving are no different from the raw logs the Supreme Court ruled were illegal. Which is not the sort of behaviour I'd expect from a government agency. But I guess that's what happens when you let yourself be completely captured by the industry you are supposed to be regulating.