INDEPENDENT NEWS

Labour slaps slick Nick's sticky fingers

Published: Fri 13 Aug 1999 02:59 PM
Nick Smith should keep his sticky fingers out of the Nature Heritage Fund till, says Labour conservation spokesperson Jill Pettis.
Mrs Pettis says the Fund should not be plundered at the minister's whim to secure forest for a Stewart Island National Park.
"A Stewart Island National Park is a great idea but the Government should not cut corners and jeopardise other conservation programmes to get it. Looting the Forest Heritage Fund without consulting its guardians and without considering its purpose would be robbing Peter to pay Paul."
The Nature Heritage Fund was set up by Labour in 1990 (as the Forest Heritage Fund) to pay for covenants protecting native forest on private land. National has already cut its budget from the original $6.75 million. If Dr Smith takes another $2 million for the Stewart Island land the Fund will be gutted, says Mrs Pettis.
"The Fund is a tremendous success but it seems Dr Smith is ready to loot it without consulting the expert committee that is there to advise him. Apparently he's also happy to take the money without considering the criteria the committee normally applies."
The Stewart Island land around the Lords River is South Island Landless Natives Act (SILNA) territory. The suggested cost of the protection covenant is $3000 a hectare, when the average cost of Fund covenants to date is about $250 a hectare.
"This has only come up because Jenny Shipley visited Stewart Island and thought a national park would be a useful election-year promise. It seems she's happy to scotch other vital conservation work for the sake of the National Party."

Next in New Zealand politics

Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
By: New Zealand Government
Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
By: New Zealand Government
New resource for schools on climate change
By: New Zealand Government
Regulations pave way for quality medicinal cannabis
By: New Zealand Government
New Year Honours: Sporting greats among knights and dames
By: RNZ
Gordon Campbell on a White Island inquiry
By: Gordon Campbell
$10.98 million of PGF funding announced
By: Kaikoura District Council
Proposed whitebait rules are pitiful, won’t save native fish
By: Forest And Bird
Whitebait rules needed to save fish from extinction
By: Forest And Bird
Fisheries management helps prevent overfishing - Reaction
By: Science Media Centre
Whitebaiters set to lose thousands on stands
By: New Zealand National Party
Government attempting to ban whitebaiting
By: New Zealand National Party
2019 NZ's fourth warmest year on record - Expert Reaction
By: Science Media Centre
Simplistic climate change lessons counterproductive
By: Federated Farmers
Climate change curriculum
By: Taxpayers' Union
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media