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In response to Federated Farmers demand to weaken the Resource Management Act, the Green Party has released leaked information showing the RMA is already so weak a council was able to rubber stamp the secret clearance of 100 year old native bush for dairying in south Taranaki.
The leaked documents show the South Taranaki District Council gave non-notified consent to clear 10 hectares of native forest and wetlands for dairying - despite the opposition of council officers.
“The Feds and National are calling for the RMA to be watered down but it is already so weak it allowed this dairy farmer to clear 10 hectares of high value forest and wetland. This is in a region that has only 1 percent of its native vegetation left,” Green Party Co-Leader Russel Norman says.
“The South Taranaki District Council is engaging in environmental vandalism by allowing the destruction of this remnant forest in a part of the country that has already suffered massive ecological destruction.
“The RMA already has so many holes in it that you can literally drive a bulldozer through it and clear as much native bush as you like. But it seems that clearing 99 percent of the native bush is not enough for the Federated Farmers and National, they want to finish the job.
“Most farmers would be appalled by this environmental vandalism and many farmers have put aside areas of native forest to protect, something that Federated Farmers have supported through the QE2 Trust” Dr Norman says.
“Incredibly, the farmers in this case were told that they needed a resource consent but started clearing anyway. Instead of prosecuting them for clearing native bush without consent, the Council rewarded them by letting them clear the remaining forest that they hadn’t yet managed to bulldoze.
“The public was never told about this ecological vandalism because, like 95 percent of resource consents, it was non-notified and was done in secret by the Council and the dairy farmers.
“The Green Party believes the RMA needs to be strengthened to protect our remaining lowland forests. We believe that local council processes need to be made transparent so that the public knows what ecological destruction Council is planning to rubber stamp.”
Follow link to leaked documents and pictures of the forest: http://www.greens.org.nz/node/20303
The ecological assessment conducted on this forest block showed:
Trees in this forest are between 80 and 120 years old.
It includes tawa, rewarewa, miro, pukatea and rimu – lowland Taranaki forest.
There is less than 2 percent of pukatea swamp left nationally.
There were 78 indigenous plant species in the forest.
The Taranaki lowland forests are not represented in Egmont National Park due to the higher altitude of the Park.
The costs of preparing this ecological assessment were borne by the ratepayers.
people still don't comprehend that the world needs trees, espeically old growth trees like native forests - cutting them down not only releases all the stored carbon but is also akin to draining a lake - which is why the ETS is so interesting (a joke really) because it places a monatary value on trees, where as most just saw timber and farmers saw grazing paddocks for yet more farting and burbing stock - those connected more directly with the earth saw nature in all her life giving properties
The Greens are the only party who has been consistant in speaking out for the earth while other parties continue to rape and pillage in order to maintain the fictional and dangerous notion of growth growth growth at all costs
ERMA is a joke it not only allows this but also GE despite fully knowing what other nations have had to endure - they arrogantly dismiss the warnings of everyone in favour of bio tech firms and now it seems FF has their ear - the consequences are just a few steps away from fully manifesting and then damage control will set in - well after the fact......and to late to be of any use, farmers will experience drought like never before for cutting down their forests to give the greedy more pasture to maintain and our agri and organic industry wil be corupted by GE - there go our exports ....its just a matter of time for these unthinking unconscious bueracrats