Envirologue by Dave Hansford

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Envirologue: Swamp Monsters – the Looting of Northland’s Sunken Assets

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  • Ken Sparks,

    Thank you Dave for confirming all my worst fears. In any sane world this latest round of publicity would be enough to shut down this illegal 'business' venture. I really despair about the current Government's worship of the almighty dollar at the expense of everything else - particularly our most fragile environments. Actually, it makes me really fucking angry...

    Cox’s Creek • Since Apr 2011 • 60 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Attachment Attachment

    This is lazy economic vandalism. Northland needs more high-value jobs but instead the return is is going to places like Poland (top pic). h/t Andrew McKay.

    And how convenient that the hubby of a govt MP should be sitting on the biggest stockpile of this easy earner (bottom pic). h/t Aprilanne Bonar.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19518 posts Report Reply

  • Margaret Nancy Davies,

    You mention the value of stockpiled Swamp Kauri as being $40 million.

    "2014 Northland Environmental Protection Society - Swamp Kauri Mining Pushes Rare Native Orchid to Extinction" quotes an insider, that Oravida's Ruakaka Swamp Kauri stockpile of 80,000 tonnes of Kauri is an estimated $400,000,000 or $400 million.

    Grey Lynn • Since Dec 2014 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Blatantly thumbing their noses at the law (not to mention massively destroying wetlands.) I'm glad this has been exposed. But how to stop it?

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2076 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Environmental factors aside, this is the kind of stuff we expect to see in banana republics. It's reminiscent of what Shell Oil and the Abacha military junta was doing in Nigeria's Ogoni Delta.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5382 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    This is essentially what our environmental laws are designed to do. Stay the hell out of the way of anyone who can make a quick buck by destroying the environment. While also preventing anyone from being able to set up anything long-term. So fracking is all fine and set out behind closed doors, while planting some native trees is years in public hearings.

    Obviously if someone was burning down buildings and stealing millions in tools and property it'd be strait to prison for a very long time, a long time ago. But if you want to wreck protected ecosystems and steal stuff out of nature, that's like, awesome business skills, bro.

    And it's not like you can really complain when the chief beneficiary is a senior minister of crown, and favorite of the police. I mean, was that man even assaulted? It's not like anyone was charged.

    Since Nov 2006 • 593 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to tussock,

    And it’s not like you can really complain when the chief beneficiary is a senior minister of crown, and favorite of the police. I mean, was that man even assaulted? It’s not like anyone was charged.

    It’s not far removed from how Sir Joh operated when he ran Queensland in the 1970s & 80s. And it took an investigation into police corruption to bring him down. The way things are going, Justice Fitzgerald – the man who headed the inquiry against Sir Joh – might have to be dragged out of retirement and flown here to investigate. And while we're at it, we might need Justice Leveson of Britain as well.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5382 posts Report Reply

  • Henare,

    On Radio NZ Teisberg understanding of the rules was that the length of the cut wood was based on the circumference of the stump not the width. That's a major piece of misinformation being fed to him as the buyer by the seller.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2011 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to Henare,

    Was just going to say the same thing, that I'd heard Teisberg saying it was based on the circumference, and I remember thinking at the time that that seemed an odd way to define a stump, and I couldn't imagine foresters thinking that was an economic point at which to cut a tree.
    The Forests Act is pretty darn clear that it's the diameter, not the circumference, and the diameter makes a whole lot more sense as a maximum.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 580 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Thank you Dave for articulating this issue so clearly. It's sad when politicians like Nathan Guy are prepared to turn a blind eye to the destruction of our native wetlands to safeguard obscene profits for the few. While most thinking New Zealanders will be shocked by such wanton vandalism, they are rendered powerless when the very people who are charged with protecting our environment are so complicit in its destruction.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1342 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    But how to stop it?

    Anarchist activism – it’s the only way when those supposed to uphold the law refuse to do so. There's even a new academic journal devoted to it;

    http://mobilizationjournal.org/loi/maiq

    And a book by Boraman in NZ, "Rabble Rousers and Merry Pranksters: A history of anarchism in Aotearoa/New Zealand from the mid-1950s to the early 1980s" detailing our previously successful anarchist campaigns :-).

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 784 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Anarchist activism – it’s the only way when those supposed to uphold the law refuse to do so. There’s even a new academic journal devoted to it;

    Does that include monkeywrenching? There are times when pitchforks simply aren’t enough.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5382 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    :-). The best campaigns block without flagrant violation of the law. One of my favourites in NZ was this one;

    http://www.listofmicronations.com/lomwiki/index.php/Independent_State_of_Aramoana

    They raised huge sums of money selling stamps and issuing passports. Had a 'traveling embassy' (a sign painted caravan) that toured the nation raising awareness, oppositional support and fighting funds.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 784 posts Report Reply

  • william blake,

    Since Mar 2010 • 367 posts Report Reply

  • Kevin McCready,

    I'm also worried about the levels of pig-ignorance of these people. eg Judith Collins when she said "I don’t like wetlands, they’re swamps… Go and find someone who actually cares because I don’t."

    Auckland • Since Jun 2013 • 115 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    http://www.listofmicronations.com/lomwiki/index.php/Independent_State_of_Aramoana

    They raised huge sums of money selling stamps and issuing passports. Had a ‘traveling embassy’ (a sign painted caravan) that toured the nation raising awareness, oppositional support and fighting funds.

    I have an Aramoana passport! Somewhere. Brilliant campaign.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3886 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    I don't know if cute publicity stunts work against flagrant corruption though. I'm freakin scared.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3886 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Have media got anything out of the Northland Regional Council about why they are giving consent for operations that wreck wetlands?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19518 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    slumber-jacking & loggerheads…
    I see The Press has even weighed in on the matter – http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/69497644/exporting-kauri-logs-is-nonsense-pine-too
    I was gonna put a link to this fine piece in the comments there, but I am stuck elsewhere and have forgotten my Stuff log in details <doh!> – maybe someone else could, in the interests of spreading real information…

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7704 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Lilith __,

    I don’t know if cute publicity stunts work against flagrant corruption though. I’m freakin scared.

    Something Yes Men or Chasers-grade?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5382 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Kevin McCready,

    Pigs are smarter than this!…

    I’m also worried about the levels of pig-ignorance of these people. eg Judith Collins when she said “I don’t like wetlands, they’re swamps… Go and find someone who actually cares because I don’t."

    Here’s a follow up link for that particularly egregious piece of self-serving arrogance by ‘Judas’ Collins –
    http://www.3news.co.nz/environmentsci/collins-wetlands-comments-outrage-environmentalists-2014050617#axzz3da0IVUEH
    Note how she deflects any responsibility for or connection to the actions of her husband’s company – cronyism at its finest.
    Master class deflection stuff this – avoids responding to reported facts being presented to her by merely saying she doesn’t watch a particular show, then adds (petulantly) that she never will – a schoolyard bully more than a potential ‘right honourable’…

    But I can see why the government might want an arm’s length agency to emasculate the TV3 newsroom for them!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7704 posts Report Reply

  • Ken Sparks, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Collins is doing her best here to make sure politicians rank as low as they possibly can on the 'most respected' list.

    Cox’s Creek • Since Apr 2011 • 60 posts Report Reply

  • Ken Sparks, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    I was gonna put a link to this fine piece in the comments there, but I am stuck elsewhere and have forgotten my Stuff log in details

    Done!

    Cox’s Creek • Since Apr 2011 • 60 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    log in

    heh

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19518 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Anarchist activism...Does that include monkeywrenching?

    It's not really a good idea to talk about specifics, but yes, monkey wrenching is a common tactic. But it has to be done carefully, and remembering that the usual goal is to get the public onside and/or a law change. Or in this case, have the law enforced.

    NFA in NZ is an interesting example, arguably the turn-around came when a major bit of monkeywrenching backfired. Luckily for us it was allegedly the logging company that did it, and the blowback from that stunt got a law change. But it all did depend on a bunch of people willing to live in a subtropical rainforest (the West Coast: putting the sub in subtropical since 1845) for as long as it took. Note that the snail occupation a few years later failed, despite same technique in the same area.

    In Oz there have a been a few similar campaigns, and the ones that work have either been publicity-oriented (Franklin) or brutal (the GECO assaults, Bombala firebombing). The latter is almost amusing - after rounding up a bunch of anti-logging types the plod "discovered" (ie, the attacker complained to too many people that no f*** greenie was gonna get the credit) that the log truck was firebombed in retaliation for the owner shagging someone else's wife. Still got a bunch of native forest declared off limits to loggers, though.

    You'd really want to sit down and work out a cunning plan, and decide what you want to have happen. IMO one good outcome would be a new Labour govt deciding to take a stand by banning export or confiscating logs that have dubious provenance. Labour have form on this (NFA above), so it's slightly plausible. What you need is a protest and an arrogant idio... ok, what you need is a protest :)

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1111 posts Report Reply

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