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The Standard

Smith plans sale of trees to fund DOC

Written By: - Date published: 11:24 am, June 25th, 2014 - 132 comments
Categories: Conservation, Environment, national, same old national - Tags: ,

DoNOTDisturb

National is to introduce urgent legislation possibly today. The use of urgency is often controversial and should normally only be permitted where the measure has budgetary implications, where there is a discovered defect in legislation which needs to be corrected or where there is otherwise good reason to change the law quickly.

But this bill is deeply political and clearly designed for campaign purposes.  It will have limited effect in the South Island only and is obviously an attempt to drive a wedge between ordinary working people and environmental movements.  It could be called the “Deseat Damian O’Connor and Denigrate the Greens Act 2014”.  Because what is proposed is to allow the commercial use of felled trees in conservation areas on the West Coast.

The announcement said:

Special legislation is to be passed by Parliament to enable the recovery of high value native timber blown over in Cyclone Ita on West Coast public conservation land, Dr Nick Smith announced today.

“We need to take a pragmatic approach and enable the timber to be recovered where it can be done so safely and with minimal environmental impact. This initiative will provide welcome jobs and economic opportunities for the West Coast at a difficult time, and will provide a financial return to DOC that can be reinvested in conservation work,” Dr Smith says.

Smith claims that a law change is needed because the current Conservation Act makes no provision for timber recovery.  This is not surprising.  Conservation areas should be precisely that.  They should be areas where natural processes occur and commercial extraction of trees is banned.  I am struggling to understand how the removal of these trees can occur without damage to the neighbouring area occurring.

Smith claims that urgency is required because the beech timber will soon deteriorate with sap stain and borer.  But you have to question why it needs to be passed so quickly.  Under the bill recovery of timber is allowed until July 1, 2019 so obviously the deterioration is not immediate.  It makes you wonder why a normal legislative time frame cannot be followed.

The profits from the sale of the timber are intended to go to DOC.  It is a strange world where a conservation organisation needs to sell the very thing that it is trying to conserve so that its activities can be financed.

Forest and Bird have started a campaign allowing people to MPs and media from links on their website.  The reasons for their opposition is stated as follows:

It’s easy to think of these logs as waste, but these trees have an important ecological function – they nurture seedlings, they create a home for insects and critters – even native fish, and they help to create a nutrient-rich soil. In a healthy forest, a dead tree is just as important as a living one.

Windfall is a natural process – we should leave nature to do what it does best.

The bill is obviously an attempt to turn West Coasters against any party that stands up for environmental protection.  If it is passed the forests will be weakened as biomass and important habitats for other creatures are removed.  While there may be a case for limited extraction the bill should go to a select committee so that this can be explored.

Smith’s title should be changed to Minister for Deconservation.  Shame on him.

132 comments on “Smith plans sale of trees to fund DOC”

  1. dimebag russell 1

    smith is just another little money grabber.
    he dont know how to leave well enough alone.
    Before you know it there will be roads bulldozed into there and the place will be a fucking mess.
    and dont tell me about jobs.
    poeple move in and out of the west coast all the time.
    its a place where you get cheap housing and good pay.
    but the coasters never stop moaning.

  2. thecard 2

    Perhaps the urgency is required in relation to making a decision on whether to remove the trees in a timely fashion before that decision becomes academic ?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      Or perhaps because the National Party’s owner/donors are concerned that they’ll be prosecuted for touching them after Sept 20th and have paid for a quick law change.

      Time to get the monkeywrench out.

    • NickS 2.2

      Tree’s take time to decompose, so even a couple of years after being wind felled the wood will still be recoverable, so frankly urgency is hardly needed. Other than to try and buy votes on the west coast, through a very short term job boost.

  3. swinbetweentheflags 3

    Another smart political play by the Tories, but also a reasonable idea if the current bill can be amended. Labour simply must support an amended version of this bill, regardless of whether it is passed via urgency or not.

    Labour is the party of the labor movement; if they can’t support a relatively straight forward short-term strategy to create jobs and wealth on the west coast following a major natural disaster, they’re doomed to become Green-lite and eventually be overtaken as the major opposition party.

    We’re talking about removing excess trees – and only those that fell during the recent storm – so the natural ecological processes will not be affected. They’ll be removed mostly via helicopters.

    With the Solid Energy mine closures, Bathurst and OceaniaGold mines being mothballing, there needs to be some Govt-led solutions to the economic woes on the west coast.

    • weka 3.1

      “We’re talking about removing excess trees – and only those that fell during the recent storm – so the natural ecological processes will not be affected.”

      There is no such thing as ‘excess trees’ in a climax state forest. Or a regenerating one. Please go and learn some ecological science, and please stop telling the lie that these trees are not an intregral part of that ecosystem.

      There are other ways to create jobs.

    • fisiani 3.2

      This could be the defining difference in the election.
      In the Red and Green corner. A few thousand dead trees blown over by a cyclone to feed some worms.
      In The Blue Corner Windfall profits for DOC work, hundreds of jobs in logging , milling and transporting and clearance of land for replanting and making the forests safer. Timber for the rebuilding of Christchurch and furniture.

      It neatly sums up the essential difference on offer. Stone Age or Space Age. Green Taliban or Sensible Economics Waste Not Want Not. I’d love to see this debated at election time but I expect The Cunliffe to change his mind again by 5pm.

      • Weepu's beard 3.2.1

        If ecological protections are continually eroded like this then we’ll all be living in the Space Age.

        Literally, in space.

        [lprent: I wish I knew why you keep going into moderation. I’ll have another look later in the day. The most likely remaining reason seems to be that you are using a RSS reader/writer that has a non-conformant post and it is running afoul of the filter that moderates comments that don’t look kosher. I use that as a spam filter for the lazy bots that drop fields to improve spamming efficiency. ]

        • Weepu's beard 3.2.1.1

          20:00 hours, Saturday 28 June. Still not getting my comments through.

          It’s coz I’m Maori isn’t it?

          [Don’t know why Weepu but the engine keeps trapping your comments. I think it might be because you misentered your details at some stage – MS]

  4. Lanthanide 4

    Under the bill recovery of timber is allowed until July 1, 2019 so obviously the deterioration is not immediate.

    So if the timeframe was “unlimited”, that would also be evidence that “deterioration is not immediate”?

    Or, actually, the timeframe may have very little to do with the deterioration, which may actually happen quite quickly, but because they didn’t want to make it unlimited they had to put some date in place, and because they don’t know exactly how fast it will deteriorate, they gave a good margin for error?

    The profits from the sale of the timber are intended to go to DOC. It is a strange world where a conservation organisation needs to sell the very thing that it is trying to conserve so that its activities can be financed.

    Conserving dead trees doesn’t seem like a hugely valuable thing to be doing, especially if revenue can be extracted which can be put to very high value conservation work, like predator proof fences, pest-eradication and looking after endangered species.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      A profoundly ignorant remark, as shown by NickS below.

    • NickS 4.2

      Really short version – dead trees are as much a part of forest ecology as live trees.

      Barring pathological issues like kauri die back or pine beetle infestation due to climate change in northern america of course.

    • William 5.1

      That url should be

      http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-21062014/#comment-835915

      I’ll add that many of the replacement trees are already growing. They were living in the understory but couldn’t grow large because of lack of light. Now they have full light they will grow rapidly. Recovery of fallen logs will cause them to be destroyed due to trampling and delay the forest recovery..

    • fisiani 5.2

      You cannot see the forest for the trees.
      Extraction of the fallen logs will not destroy the forest.

      • NickS 5.2.1

        Forest ecology, it be too hard for fisi 😈

        Despite the fact most high school year 11 students would get the basics if you explained it to them.

      • weka 5.2.2

        Of course it won’t ‘destroy’ the forest. In the same way that not taking the logs won’t destroy the West Coast communities. Taking the logs will have an impact on the forest though, so stop lying about that.

        • Lloyd 5.2.2.1

          No, fisi is right. Removing the fallen logs will not destroy the forest. The removal will cause massive delays in regrowth, will remove a huge habitat for animals such as bats and insects which will feed birds, as well as extracting large amounts of what would eventually form humus to help the regrowth of the new trees.
          Destroy? no. Really screw up? Yes.

          Rather like the economic action of National on the New Zealand economy, isn’t it?

  5. john 6

    There’s hundreds of millions of dollars of high quality timber on the ground.

    Taking out 5% isn’t going to make any significant difference.

    And the West coast has just lost another major employer, so desperately needs a break.

    Or you could just condemn them all to the poverty and homelessness that is constantly complained about.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      Yes, because the profits from the sale and value added will stay on the West Coast and provide jobs forever.

      Good of you to confirm it’s all about the money. Since it’s all about the money, I note you haven’t considered the value of the natural capital at all.

      So much for the astute business ‘mind’ of the Right.

      • vto 6.1.1

        Exactly OAB. In john’s world it all about the money…. money money money

        forests don’t get a look in
        children don’t get a look in
        rivers don’t get a look in
        whales never got a look in
        kauri forests never got a look in

        it just goes on and on

        I imagine john eats money for dinner and breathes money in his lungs, dresses himself in money, speaks only ever about money, and even probably tries to fuck piles of money a-la scrooge mcduck

    • ghostwhowalksnz 6.2

      So the government doesnt create jobs then ?

      • john 6.2.1

        84,000 more jobs were created in the last year.

        http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1405/S00099/84000-more-jobs-in-last-year.htm

        Creation of jobs comes down to one thing – businesses making good profits.

        If you have policies to help business, there will be more jobs. If you have policies that will cut profits, you have less jobs.

        It’s that simple.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.1.1

          And yet tax cuts in 2008 were followed by a rise in unemployment which persists. It’s that simple.

          • john 6.2.1.1.1

            Yeah right – rise in unemployment was due to the tax cuts – in fact they caused such a problem that the whole world went into the worst recession in living memory.

            Just when I though you couldn’t look more desperate….you come up with that.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Claims a complex economic issue is “that simple”.

              Fails to recognise ridicule in response.

              We need better wingnuts

              PS: Is so witless he gets onto an argument about unemployment levels with a leftie, despite the relative track of the two parties. Labour achieved the lowest unemployment level in NZ history, you’d think even a wingnut would recognise the pitfalls, but not poor John.

              • john

                Your responses are usually so idiotic that it’s impossible to tell what you mean at all.

                You’re wrong anyway. The govt provides only a tiny percentage of jobs.

                Companies making good profits are what increases job numbers.

                It is that simple.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Government spending is responsible for 30-odd% of the economy. A tiny percentage indeed.

                  In my professional career I have watched (private sector) client companies go from four or five employees to hundreds. This was not “that simple”, no matter how much you would like it to be.

                  • john

                    It’s that simple.

                    If companies make profits, they can employ more people.

                    If companies don’t make profits, they lay off staff.

                    If companies make profits, the govt gets more tax and can employ more people.

                    If companies don’t make profits, govt gets zero company tax from them, and less paye, and then govt ALSO has to lay off staff.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Government has no role to play. Apart from the roads. And the educated workforce, and the rule of law, and the electricity infrastructure, and the fire service, but apart from that, you ask what the government has done to create jobs – nothing!

                      Oh, and telecommunications, R&D incentives, trade agreements, and a bunch of other things, but apart from those…

                    • framu

                      well done john – youve utterly evaded the rebuttal to one of your random claims – again

        • ianmac 6.2.1.2

          If 84,000 jobs were created last year and the unemployment rate hasn’t changed much, then the 84,000 must have been the result of 84,000approx jobs being lost.
          Like if I draw out $100 from my account then put it back again have I just created $100?
          In John’s Planet the answer is yes.

          • john 6.2.1.2.1

            Wrong.

            The total number of jobs is 84,000 MORE jobs than last year.

            More like it you have a mortgage, and put $84,000 in your bank account, you’re still $84,000 better off even though you still have your mortgage.

            • McFlock 6.2.1.2.1.1

              Basically, this government is so awesome it can just keep up with an increase in the working age population, such a shame for 147,000 unemployed in the underclass, not to mention the working poor /sarc

              And I note that total work hours increased 3.3%, while your 84,000 jobs was an increase of 3.7%.

              More fucking part-time insecure casual mcjobs. :roll:

              This country needs real economic progress, not casualisation.

  6. Bad decision by smith – bad for the forests and the country as a whole. Funny, when I was up at Perry Saddle Hut the other day i noticed the sign by the fire – “kindling helicoptered in so please use sparingly”. What happens in the forest stays in the forest.

  7. vto 8

    There is no need for urgency on this – it is entirely about trying to win the coast in the upcoming election where they are on a hiding to nothing after Pike River especially.

    But realistically there will be very little recovered due to difficulty of access and the danger associated with harvesting windfall – it aint anything like normal felling operations, it is very dangerous. In addition they will be at risk of swamping the market….
    …. but then again you should see some of them gun barrel trunks lying around – the bushmen are licking their lips and creaming their pants such is the size, beauty and quality of some of the windfall.

    If the left wants to keep hold of the political gains it currently has in this land of labour and union origins then its opposition to this should imo be token, to uphold your principles. Don’t make a big deal out of it other than to perhaps announce policy along the lines … “this windfall legislation will have a dropdead date for us of (pick some much earlier date than 2019)”.

    2c

    • john 8.1

      You say they shouldn’t do it because there’s not much wood there.

      You say they shouldn’t do it because there’s so much wood there it will swamp the market.

      I think that’s called grasping at straws.

      • weka 8.1.1

        Do you know what the hourly rate for running a helicopter is? Know what West Coast weather is like? Any idea of the terrain of the forest they are talking about?

      • vto 8.1.2

        You are not very good at comprehension are you. Why don’t you try reading again so you actually understand what was said.

        No wonder you have such stupid views on how society should work. Idiot

        • john 8.1.2.1

          Obviously I hit a nerve pointing out your contradiction.

          • vto 8.1.2.1.1

            You are an absolute idiot

            you say this “You say they shouldn’t do it because there’s not much wood there.”..
            .. no that is not what I said. I said they wont do much, not they shouldn’t do much; and that is not because there’s not much wood there, it is because it is too difficult to access and too dangerous

            then you say this “You say they shouldn’t do it because there’s so much wood there it will swamp the market.”…
            no that is not what I said. I said they risk simply swamping the market, not that they shouldn’t do it because they risk swamping the market.

            The two statements of mine mean exactly nothing like what you think they mean.

            Which is what I mean – you are a simpleton and an idiot. You wouldn’t actually know a market if it bit you on your fat arse. Your fat arse which sits down all day. An arse which has never actually done a proper days work in its life.

            • john 8.1.2.1.1.1

              Perhaps if you could make a longer more explanation – that one is as clear as mud.

              You obviously rely on complete and total ignorance to base your opinions on.

              Proof you do that is in your last couple of sentences.

              • vto

                It is only mud to people lacking comprehension skills like yourself….

                like your view above about how little effect you think collective nation-wide spending (i.e. government spending) has on the economy and jobs. Truly ignorant. But if you believe it you could head off to Somalia where there is virtually no government.

  8. One Anonymous Bloke 9

    The solution to this is simple. Get into the bush now and drive iron spikes into as many of the fallen trees as it takes to render the whole theft unviable.

    • john 9.1

      Yeah that’s right – kill off as many jobs as possible.

      Then you can spend years winging about poverty.

      Not everybody wants to waste their life spending 80 hours a week whining and whinging on the internet for zero effect and suckling off the taxpayers teat.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1

        I see you’re back to plagiarising feeble drivel again.

      • Blackcap 9.1.2

        Good call John. The greenies and left seem opposed to any form of growth (economic) but are quite keen to call for things like living wages and other financial benefits to the less well off. What a bunch of hypocrites.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.2.1

          Yes! That explains why throughout New Zealand history, per capita GDP is always higher under Labour-led governments.

          Oh, no wait, it just shows that John and Blackcap are either ignorant or mendacious.

          Which is it? Are you dupes or duplicitous? I’m picking John is duplicitous and Blackcap is a dupe.

        • vto 9.1.2.2

          You should check the evidence blackcap…

          the evidence shows that there is always more growth under left governments than right governments.

          similarly, like this current government, right governments rack up more debt while left governments pay it down.

          go check the evidence so you can stop looking like a fool

    • fisiani 9.2

      That would kill or maim loggers . You are a truly sick person.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2.1

        The forestry industry doesn’t give a fuck about its employees and I don’t see you complaining about them, and in any case you drive spikes then publicise it.

        I’m happy to accept full select committee hearings instead.

        • john 9.2.1.1

          Not giving a fuck about your employees looks saintly compared with your idea of DELIBERATELY harming workers.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2.1.1.1

            I look forward to your campaigning for fully funded mining inspectors and OSH.

            • john 9.2.1.1.1.1

              We need more to counter to gormless idiots who think it’s a good idea to deliberately hurt forestry workers..

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                While you’re getting all hysterical, I note that in human history one worker, maybe, has been injured in a tree-spiking incident, and the “spike” in question was most likely an old nail.

                So there’s that.

                Your side still has Pike River and Cave Creek to explain, not to mention the recent ‘spike’ in infectious disease hospital admissions due to inequality and deaths associated with your climate denial.

                You were warned about it, you deliberately chose to ignore the warnings and hurt everyone else instead.

                The moral high ground is over there. You need a map to find it.

                • Grumpy

                  Headlines on the Coast “Green, Labour activists promote sabotaging fallen timber”.
                  That should get Damian back in, and do nothing for the Green vote on the Coast.

                  • john

                    Here’s the news tip line for the Greymouth Star
                    http://www.greystar.co.nz/contact

                    Some of the extremist nutter comments here that suggest sabotaging jobs would probably help sell a lot of papers.

                  • weka

                    Headlines on the Coast “Green, Labour activists promote sabotaging fallen timber”.
                    That should get Damian back in, and do nothing for the Green vote on the Coast.

                    The electorate includes Tasman district.

                    The GP got 14% of the party vote in West Coast-Tasman in 2011 (compared to 11% nationally). Labour got 27%, National 46%.

                    Between Labour and the GP, they got 54% of the electorate vote, compared to National who got 40%

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Coast-Tasman#2011_election

                    Looks to me like quite a few GP voters in that electorate, who vote tactically on the electorate vote.

                    • john

                      You’re right – there’s always been a lot of greenies on the coast.

                      But the big split on the coast is more likely to be between Greens and everyone else, rather than the traditional left/right.

                      Many of the forestry workers who would lose out on jobs would be, (or at least used to be) Labour voters.

                    • weka

                      How many jobs are you envisaging?

      • joe90 9.2.2

        That would kill or maim loggers . You are a truly sick person.

        Nah, because blades cost a small fortune the thought that there may be foreign objects embedded would make it almost impossible to get a mill to accept any logs for processing.

        btw, I’d recommend a Paslode….drive them below flush – invisible to the naked eye.. .sweet…

  9. ghostwhowalksnz 10

    Whos to be checking that the loggers arent spying a nice standing tree and taking that too ?

    After all loggers dont seem to see rules and regulations as applying to them

  10. Ad 11

    Nope I’m with Smith on this one.
    West Coast has lost several hundred jobs recently. It needs all the help it gets – including from nature’s accidents.
    There’s still people in Kaitaia hauling out swamp Kauri logs from windfall from thousands of years ago. Good on them.

    • weka 11.1

      What are those people in Kaitaia going to do when the Kauri runs out?

      • Ad 11.1.1

        Starviong on the streets. See Karol’s post on homelessness.

        • weka 11.1.1.1

          So it makes sense to create sustainable employment, rather than slash and burn employment, right?

          There is no reason why the current govt couldn’t be creating sustainable jobs, apart from ideology. That National refuse to create sustainable jobs is not a good reason to support slash and burn ones.

          • john 11.1.1.1.1

            Govt doesn’t create jobs – private companies create jobs.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1.1.1.1.1

              So Shane Jones doesn’t have a job? That’s good.

              • john

                Over 90% of workers work in the private sector.

                If you want growth in jobs, profitable companies is where it will come from.

                THEN the govt can get a bigger tax take and also employ more people.

                Effectively there needs to be an additional TEN private sector workers, to get enough tax to employ ONE additional worker in the public sector.

                • dimebag russell

                  so what?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  It’s sounding less and less simple with every passing comment.

                • McFlock

                  Your logic seems to be that because it is now then that is how it can only be.

                  I seem to recall that prior to 1985 that figure was close to 40%, not 90%.

                  I know it was a communist nightmare for randian superheroes like yourself, but we didn’t have 27% of children living in poverty.

                  • john

                    Today is not three decades ago. Things have changed

                    Most of us don’t live in the past, thank goodness.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Yes, 27% of children living in poverty is preferable because ideology.

                    • john

                      Many of todays definitions of poverty would cover most kids growing three and four decades ago. I seldom had one pair of new good shoes, let alone two pairs.

                      And I certainly didn’t have access to the internet or a computer.

                      And even the 50% or 60% of median income is a dubious measure.

                      By this standard, we could double the income of every person in the country and it would have no effect on the number of people living in “poverty”.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Oh dear. Innumeracy is a terrible handicap, and especially pathetic in one who pretends to business acumen.

                    • McFlock

                      I love the way tories need to deny almost every facet of reality in order for their policies to pretend to make sense:

                      AGC: deny it exists
                      Poverty (child, adult, whatever): deny it exists
                      Human irrationality even when money is involved: Deny – assume humans are rational economic actors
                      Fossil fuel depletion: deny, assume infinite contents of a finite volume
                      Government policy’s role in unemployment: deny

                      Goddamn reality’s liberal bias.
                      I don’t live in the past, but I learn from it. And I sure as shit don’t live in john’s fantasy world, aka “planet key”.

                    • john

                      Similarly, a DECREASE in the median wage, but no change in incomes at the bottom, would mean FEWER people fitting the definition of living in poverty.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      McFlock, you forgot “shoot the messenger” and “blame the victim”.

                    • McFlock

                      Similarly, a DECREASE in the median wage, but no change in incomes at the bottom, would mean FEWER people fitting the definition of living in poverty.

                      Broadly let’s go with that. Let’s assume that we reduce poverty by “levelling down”. That means less ferraris, but it also means less people able to outbid the formerly poor for basics like milk and eggs and shoes. Fewer handmade bespoke shoes polished in champagne, but a more equal market for basic shoes. If that was how poverty was to be reduced.

                      Poverty is relative, because it means everyone else can outbid you for the basics.

                      By the way, here’s a further example of your failure to read:

                      I seldom had one pair of new good shoes, let alone two pairs.

                      The criterion in the 2008 Living Standards deprivation index was:

                      Continued wearing worn out shoes

                      Where did you get the idea that a poverty measure included “not having at least TWO pairs of new, good shoes”?

                    • john

                      McFlock, lowering the MEDIAN income (but not touching those above median) would mean fewer people would be in poverty according to the 60% of median definition.

                      All sorts of definitions are used to define poverty, including –

                      -a waterproof and warm jacket (my kids puffer jackets are warm, but they’re not waterproof, so fail there)
                      -buying new rather than second hand cloths (fail there – we have some hand-me-downs and buy great second hand clothes at times).
                      – having a roast meal at least once a week (fail there)
                      – two pairs of good shoes (fail there at times)
                      – no furniture that’s worn out (fail)
                      – eat meat, fish or chicken at least every second day
                      – go out for entertainment at least once a fortnight (not always, so fail there).

                      Perhaps our children are part of those figures you talk about.

                    • McFlock

                      john,
                      do your kids have waterproof clothing?
                      if not, is this because you cannot afford it, or because you’re an arsehole?

                      The first is economic hardship, the second is maltreatment by a dickwad. What score do your kids have for shit you cannot afford to provide?

                      You fucking idiot.

                    • john

                      They are cosy and warm in their nice new Kathmandu and Macpac puffer jackets – but no, they’re not particularly waterproof in heavy rain.

                      And in your book this is maltreatment of children, or to quote you – “you’re an arsehole? “maltreatment by a dickwad” “You fucking idiot.”

                      Do you ever read your verbal vomit?

                      What a huge amount it tells us about the type of person YOU are.

                    • McFlock

                      lol

                      you’re the sort of fuckwit who blatantly lies about measures of child poverty experienced by his neighbours and you don’t want abuse?

                      Fuck off you unregenrate piece of dogshit. You don’t get to deny the very real hardship of children and get away with it scot-free. You might get a knighthood for being a moronic sociopath, but you won’t get treated like a normal human being worthy of respect.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Poor John, can you not conceive of a set of numbers where all n > 60% of the average?

                    If you can, why pretend doubling everyone’s wages is relevant to your ‘argument’?

                    • john

                      It’s pretty basic – If you can’t understand that doubling a set of incomes doesn’t make any difference to how many are 60% of the median, then time to go back to school.

                      Similarly, if you can’t understand that lowering the median will mean fewer people are less than 60% of median, then best go find a 12 year old to get some maths tuition.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      What about increasing the lowest wages until they are >60% of the average, John? Why are you wanking on about doubling the whole set and/or lowering the median, when neither of those measures would do a damn thing?

                      It’s because you’re a dishonest wanker with zero personal responsibility, eh John.

                      Either that or innumerate.

                      Which is it? Onanism, or stupidity?

                    • john

                      As I said – if you can’t understand that, then time for you to consult a child about your maths.

                      Using an arbitrary 50 or 60% of median wage as a figure poverty figure is nonsense.

                      It takes in no consideration of if there’s 2 mouths to feed, or 10. Whether someone pays hundreds a week in rent, or lives in their own house.

                    • McFlock

                      It takes in no consideration of if there’s 2 mouths to feed, or 10. Whether someone pays hundreds a week in rent, or lives in their own house.

                      Stop making shit up you fucking idiot:

                      Note 3: Most income poverty measures use equivalised disposable household income (i.e. after tax household income adjusted for family size and composition). Both measures can be calculated before or after taking housing costs into account.

                      edit: I’m outta here for a few hours. Don’t let reality get in the way of your statements, I like laughing at fucking morons like you.

                    • john

                      Thanks for the link
                      http://nzchildren.co.nz/IncomeBasedMeasures.php#Table_1

                      It shows four different ways of measuring poverty, all of which show a reduction in child poverty numbers since 2001.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Govt doesn’t create jobs – private companies create jobs.

                      Another bald faced lie.

                      Large companies and corporations DESTROY jobs, because reducing wages is PROFITABLE.

                      Gawdammit, where are the qualified wing nuts.

                    • john

                      Laughable – there’s been 84,000 new jobs created last year.

                      Yet the public sector only created 390 of those.

                    • McFlock

                      It shows four different ways of measuring poverty, all of which show a reduction in child poverty numbers since 2001.

                      until 2007.
                      What did national do to stop the GFC increasing child poverty?

                      Not e-fucking-nuff you prick

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Every argument a lie. Every fact a red herring. John’s intellectual poverty and deceit on display for all to see.

            • weka 11.1.1.1.1.2

              “Govt doesn’t create jobs – private companies create jobs.”

              So why aren’t private companies creating sustainable jobs then?

            • Lloyd 11.1.1.1.1.3

              You don’t understand jobs do you? Please explain how jobs were created by the Soviet economy? I am not convinced that private companies made all those tractors you saw on the Soviet Union propaganda movies. I’m not saying that the Soviet Union was the best model for generating jobs, far from it, but it did work fairly well for about 50 years, longer than most capitalist organisations.

              Government controlled organisations can create jobs. It just depends on the government controlling the organisation in a similar way to a successful capitalist. The organisation does not have to be private.

              The argument that something has to be privately owned to be successful is just a product of that neo-liberal propaganda factory known as the Chicago School of Economics.

          • Ad 11.1.1.1.2

            It’s precisely the lack of either slashing or burning that should appeal to you then.

            • weka 11.1.1.1.2.1

              Removing windfall trees from intact native ecosystems in order to fund DOC and provide jobs in the short term IS slash and burn. It’s not slash and burn of the forest, it’s a slash and burn mentality that says we can take what we want now and not take into account things like the laws of physics or biology and we don’t have to act sustainably because we want what we want now and bugger the future.

              The Minister of Conservation is ignornant of how forests actually grow and thinks that the trees are ‘wasted’ if not removed. That’s slash and burn mentality. 150 years ago we literally slashed and burned. Now we like our slash and burn with some greenwash.

              Have you read Nick and my comments in the previous thread (linked above), where we explain the biological realities of how forests grow and function?

  11. weka 12

    There doesn’t seem to be much information about the actual place the trees would be taken from. I had a look the other day and could only find one decent photo, and it was of bush edge. Where’s the detail? What kind of forest, where is it, what jobs and for how long, given it is conservation estate, who has done the audit on extraction and profit etc etc.

  12. millsy 13

    Get the trees? Fine. Just plant 2 for every one taken. I think that is a fair trade

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1

      They’re already growing, unless they get destroyed by logging activities…

    • ghostwhowalksnz 13.2

      The forest has enough young trees growing in the understory, the ‘logging’ will trample that.

  13. millsy 14

    And don’t fuck it up. Though they cannot be trusted not to

  14. dimebag russell 15

    more piffle from john who doesn’t seem to know the first thing about logging, the environment or job creation. he just spouts a whole of gibberish from miltonfriedman 101. If you want to create jobs then do what Keynes suggested and put all the gold in the world in a hole and then pay people to dig it up again.
    as for johns assertion that not providing jobs for the already nearly at capacity forest industry is hurting workers then I suggest he looks at the figures for accidents in an industry that doesn’t give a fig about its workers. only its profits.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1

      Shorter John: the rockstar economy barely keeps up with population growth. Our economic strategy is gale force winds.

    • john 15.2

      So we need more jobs for people.

      But we don’t have enough people to do the work.

      Latest news on forestry accidents from Radio NZ –

      “In the first five months of this year 46 serious injuries were reported compared with 82 in the same period last year.

      There was one fatality between January and May, compared to six in the first half of last year.”

      • One Anonymous Bloke 15.2.1

        Problem: Rockstar economy fails to provide enough work for all, fails to even match working age population growth.

        Solution according to John: increase population growth. And gale force winds.

        Hodson & Busseri are definitely on to something.

  15. dimebag russell 16

    so what does doc want the money for?
    so more beardy weirdys can mess round with kiwis and kakapos and put them off, you know, doing it?
    and john I just read your last post and it doesn’t make sense.
    why is that?

    • weka 16.1

      DOC is severely underfunded. Because NACT cut their funding. DOC needs money for conservation and management of the conservation estate. Logging windfall is part of the neoliberal agenda to make everything function under a business model, irrespective of whether that acutally works or not.

  16. vto 17

    this callous nasty poster john has suddenly become very active…

    thing is that he sounds like a total theorist who sits behind a desk each and every day and has never actually done a real job in his life… never created anything …. never truly contributed …. just sat on his arse … today sits on his arse ….

    what an arse

  17. Mike the Savage One 18

    While there will be some political intentions behind this bill, and especially its urgency, I think that in such situations, where large areas of native forest have been devastated by an unusual major storm, there should be exceptions allowed to harvest a number of trees that can be gathered and transported with minimal interference to the natural environment. This can be done with special equipment, and also helicopters being used.

    This proposed once off law change, apparently just for a specified purpose in this one case, is exactly the kind of stuff that will gain Nick Smith and National sympathies in the wider public, and make environmentalists and the Greens look like “purists” holding positions beyond reason. To stubbornly oppose this move, this will most likely have more negative results, than for the Greens (and some opponents within Labour), simply saying, ok we can agree to it, under very strict terms though.

    The natural environment will not be harmed too much, if only a smallish percentage of the logs get taken out, which seems to be the intention, and the trees too hard to harvest, or already otherwise unsuitable to be taken out, are left behind. The argument that this will disturb natural ecological, biological cycles of degeneration does not sound convincing enough, as even normal native forests will lose nutrients from rotting trees and other plants through the rain that falls and washes a fair bit out of foliage and soils into waterways.

    Ensuring this move is just limited for taking out trees in this particular case and defined areas on the West Coast, and that it will be done by avoiding much disturbance of the remaining biosphere, there will not be too much damage done, while some sawmills and other businesses will benefit, by also creating additional employment.

    It would disappoint the government, should the Greens take a more constructive stand, as then the Nats could not exploit this bill for political purposes. Better keep up the pressure and focus on other areas and topics, including the Maui dolphins, dear Greens, than make this an uncompromising debate. It is not something comparable to what is happening in large parts in Indonesia, in the Brazilian Amazon region and so forth.

    • weka 18.1

      Do you have a link to details on the harvest, how it will be done, where, etc?

      Why do you trust National, and the logging companies, to do the right thing by the environment in this process?

      “The argument that this will disturb natural ecological, biological cycles of degeneration does not sound convincing enough, as even normal native forests will lose nutrients from rotting trees and other plants through the rain that falls and washes a fair bit out of foliage and soils into waterways.”

      Think that through a bit more. If nutrient loss is normal via rain, what happens when you start taking out biomass as well?

      • Mike the Savage One 18.1.1

        Helicopters were used before, I have not bothered to dig out a link though. It is technically possible to “harvest” trees (the logs really, with branches chopped off on site) without too much interference.

        When you have wide areas devastated and laid bare to heavy rain, even the logs and foliage will not stop rain from washing out many nutrients and so, as the trees do no longer protect the soil enough. Regeneration is possible, and it can be so, with leaving branches and foliage behind, while still taking out the tree stems and logs.

        Environmentally forestry is practiced in a fair few countries, some now also in tropical forests, but traditionally in many places in Continental Europe, where you do not chop down whole plantations, which is though common still in NZ.

        As with mining, there are techniques now, that interfere as little as possible, and the environment will not suffer much at all. As this is an unusual, emergency kind of situation, it seems a bit ridiculous to make this a high end environmental battle ground, likely to not favour the Greens and environmentalists at all, as most will view them as too “fundamentalist” and “purist”. That can lead to vote losses, I fear.

        • weka 18.1.1.1

          Do you have a link to some photos? I’m not sure that the forests have been laid bare.

          Of course regeneration is possible. It just won’t be intact native ecosystem, it will be managed forest. Why not just be honest about that? Then we can look at the differences between intact ecosystems and ones that are considered useful for extraction.

          “Environmentally forestry is practiced in a fair few countries, some now also in tropical forests, but traditionally in many places in Continental Europe, where you do not chop down whole plantations, which is though common still in NZ.”

          I’m all for sustainable, mixed species, selective logging forestry, including of native timber. I just don’t think it should be done on conservation estate. If we want native timber for use, we should be growing it ourselves, not cherry picking out of existing protected forests.

          Have you seen this?

          http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-26062014/#comment-839493

      • Mike the Savage One 18.1.2

        Weka – your concern is a bit too high, as with your argument, farmers should not be allowed to harvest hay or straw, when harvesting just the “grain” itself. Also what about other crops, where you then would have to leave it all on the fields to rot?

        I understand that natural forests are somehow a bit different, but when such a once off storm happens, there is not much damage done by just harvesting a small percentage of the actual tree logs, and leaving branches and other foliage behind, to rot and serve as nutrient delivering fertiliser for new growth.

        • weka 18.1.2.1

          Hoisted on your petard there mate. The whole point is that conservation estate is not a harvestable crop. If you want to farm native trees, then farm them. No problem with that.

          As for grain cropping, there is significant evidence that removing the straw and then stubble by say burning is hugely damaging to the soil, ongoing fertility, and the sustainability of that land management. Sustainable practices tend to let the stubble/hay stay on the land and be part of the fertility cycle, and/or the material gets made into compost (either by grazing or by humans).

          “I understand that natural forests are somehow a bit different, but when such a once off storm happens, there is not much damage done by just harvesting a small percentage of the actual tree logs, and leaving branches and other foliage behind, to rot and serve as nutrient delivering fertiliser for new growth.”

          [citation needed]. See my link above, and bear in mind that large trunks serve a different function than leaves and small branches.

          • Mike the Savage One 18.1.2.1.1

            Hah, heard of farming? Hay and straw are never removed from the fields forever, as they are returned by spreading the dung from the cattle and cows that may feed on them. But that may not be practice so much everywhere in NZ, as it is in other places of agricultural use.

            You have little idea about farming or forestry it seems, apart from reading some academic literature.

            I know people in both fields, and they tell me that it is not going to be a disaster to pick a few logs out of a forest and leave branches and other stuff behind. Forests do regenerate, and what exactly do the logs contain, I ask? Lots of wood fibres, and the leaves may contain more nutrients and so than the stems of trees. The trees live from what is in the ground, minerals and so, and there is bound to be more in the way of minerals and “fertiliser” in the ground anyway, it is not always a “cycle” without external input, that is between dying wood and leaves, and new growth, add the earth into it, perhaps.

            Native forests have also regrown in places, where there was some mining and agriculture and forestry before. I accept that great caution should ge applied, but it is not always a disaster to harvest a few logs out of a forest.

            • weka 18.1.2.1.1.1

              “I know people in both fields”

              So do I, including people who are farming sustainably.

              But you are still missing the point. Two of them.

              One, you know farmers and foresters, but not ecologists and conservationists. Farming and forestry in NZ are both largely extractive industries. If you want conversation estate to be the same, just be honest about it.

              Two, yes it’s possible to harvest windfall from native forest, it won’t kill the forest, but it WILL change it, and that change is what is at issue here. Saying ‘it won’t be a disaster’ is a straw man.

              You think it’s ok to mine conservation estate, and you are ok with the changes to that forest as a result. I’m not.

              “The trees live from what is in the ground, minerals and so, and there is bound to be more in the way of minerals and “fertiliser” in the ground anyway, it is not always a “cycle” without external input, that is between dying wood and leaves, and new growth, add the earth into it, perhaps.”

              With all due respect, you need to read some soil science, and then some mycology. Then look at ecological studies on climax forests and how they function (not sure we are talking about climax forest to be honest, the trees in that picture of Nick Smith look like immature ones to me, but that’s a whole different kettle of fish).

              btw, did you read the link I gave above, which has comment from F and B on the whole ecology aspects?

              • weka

                The other thing at issue here is what will happen to these forests over the next decades and centuries of AGW. If we were sane as a country, we would be leaving the windfall and putting scientists in to study the regeneration and how it is changing over time and what happens to the whole system. Given that high wind events are likely to be more frequent, this seems crucial.

              • Mike the Savage One

                “Farming and forestry in NZ are both largely extractive industries. If you want conversation estate to be the same, just be honest about it.”

                I am not on about farming and forestry in NZ, I am on about farming and forestry in a wider sense, for instance as practiced in the EU, but that is of course an “evil” place, as it is supposedly all “subsidised” and not for other reasons sensible.

                You are obviously coming from a fundamentalist based thinking, and that is sadly why you will NEVER convince many in the wider public, as few are expert scientists, and have all reports to read on every little detail on soil science.

                If we would apply the strict rule, we should not even allow agriculture in New Zealand, as it would harm the soil too much, right?

                So I can guess your voter base to be close to 1 per cent, and that will make a huge difference this election, I am so sure of, ahem, ah, I d o not know?!

                I suggest also, that in the likely urban environment, where you may be living, you carry out your manure to the soil outside, as that is where it deserves to be kept, as to regenerate growth at ground zero, so to say, to recycle things. It would not be correct for you to even put any rubbish into your rubbish bin, as it should in the holy sense of environmental correctness be recycled right at your domestic point of residence and interaction.

                With such thinking, I am not surprised, the “progressives” have too few spokespersons that convince enough others to change their worrisome behaviour, which is what we should really be addressing.

                • weka

                  No idea why you think Europe is evil. Am happy to read some links of sustainable forestry from there.

                  What I’m talking about is systems thinking. It’s not just within science, many people who work with the land use systems thinking.

                  I vote GP. They’re currently sitting around 12%, and afaik agree with the generalities of what I am saying.

                  I live in a farming community. I have a composting toilet. Where I live, neither of those things is particularly remarkable.

                  “If we would apply the strict rule, we should not even allow agriculture in New Zealand, as it would harm the soil too much, right?”

                  What strict rule? Where humans live and need to get their needs met, we can practice sustainable agriculture. All I’m saying is that humans don’t have to make everything serve their needs. It’s ok to have conservation estate that is off limits to harvesting. NZ has a very fine conservation history, and the values from that are engrained in the population. Yes there are people who believe that mining in conservation estate is ok, but I’m willing to bet there are more people in NZ who believe the opposite. I think this would be true for removing windfall trees, once the population was educated on all the pros and cons (although I suspect the most NZers have other things on their minds than conservation).

    • Blackcap 18.2

      You make some very good points there. I am not a left voter or green voter usually, but you are right that the general public get very fed up with a continual “no” from green supporters even when it really does not warrant a “no”. This kind of things “opposition to taking the fallen logs” plays right into Nationals hands and turns the majority of people against the greens.

  18. Lloyd 19

    When questioned if the logs will be taken out by Westland firms and be milled in Westland, John Key laughed.

    Any West Coaster who thinks this law change will create a logging boom with jobs for him or her and their neighbours will probably be bitterly disappointed.

  19. dimebag russell 20

    on the head KS.
    and they want to wreck everything else just because they can.
    they are like some evil spirit let loose on the world.
    up against the wall muthufuckas.

  20. Michael D 21

    The recovery economics don’t stack up, The few mills that can handle these logs are tiny and the cost of roading to get to them is prohibitive. Heli-logging is the only viable option that avoids roads, but this will only just cover costs, there is no room for profit. Nothing will happen other a few % of area that is close to a formed road.

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    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    2 weeks ago
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    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
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  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
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    2 weeks ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
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    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
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  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
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    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago

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