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Nats’ environmental record

Written By: - Date published: 12:25 pm, May 21st, 2013 - 40 comments
Categories: disaster, Environment, national - Tags:

Regular readers will all know BLiP, a long time commenter who methodically documents the performance of the government. Yesterday BLiP posted the following in Open mike, it deserves to be a post of its own. Read on for an account of National’s environmental record…


 
Its not that long ago when, under the heading “ Practical, balanced plan for the environment”, Prime Minister John Key announced

. . .Our environment is a valuable resource that we must preserve and protect. It’s a big part of our quality of life and it’s central to our international reputation, primary sector, tourism sector and wider economy. National’s practical environmental plan will see cleaner rivers and lakes, more trees, more renewable electricity, cleaner air, better management of our oceans and more recycling . . .

Well, he’s a known liar but just what exactly has the John Key-led National Ltd™ government been up to when it comes to the environment. In short, the exact opposite of what John Key promised. For the long version, read on. Since its election in 2008 National Ltd™ has:

been caught out repeatedly lying in the run up to and during the election campaign about its real intentions in relation to the environment

celebrated the opening of the foreign-owned Pike River Coal Ltd mine on DOC land adjacent to the Paparoa National Park from which 1 megatonne of coal will be extracted per year for the next 20 years – Pike River Coal Ltd has announced that it has found additional coal in the national park

cancelled a proposed efficiency standard (MEPS) on incandescent lightbulbs

reversed a moratorium on building new gas/oil/coal power stations

removed the bio fuel subsidy

scrapped the scheme that would have penalised imported vehicles producing high emissions

removed regulations for water efficient new housing by Order in Council

renewed leases on sensitive high country farms which were meant to return to DOC

reversed restrictions on the freeholding of vast swathes of land on the edge of the Southern Lakes

arbitrarily excised 400 hectares from the brand new Oteake Conservation Park, including the most important and, ecologically, the rarest part of the new Park, the tussock and shrubland that went right down to the banks of the Manuherikia River, to enable future access to lignite

said nothing to say in regard to the World Commission on Protected areas of IUCN’s severe criticism of its intention to investigate mineral resources and mining opportunities in protected conservation areas including our three UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Te Wahi Pounamu-South West New Zealand, Tongariro National Park and the Sub Antarctic Islands

approved two prospecting permit applications lodged by Australian iron-ore giant Fortescue Metals Group subsidiary FMG Pacific lodged in June – areas covered by the two-year permits include an 8204-square-kilometre area of seabed adjoining the west coast from Cape Reinga to the Manukau Harbour and a 3798-square-kilometre prospecting area of land from Cape Reinga to the Kaipara Harbour including Ninety Mile Beach, the west side of the Aupouri Peninsula, Kaitaia and the Hokianga.

approved an additional prospecting permit for Fortescue Metals in relation to 3568sq km right next door to the Kahurangi National Park where the Heaphy Track is

was forced to release its Ministry of Economic Development (MED) report under the Official Information Act that proclaims “significant mineral potential” in the Fiordland, Kahurangi and Paparoa national parks – the report said the Waitutu area of the Fiordland National Park had sufficient petroleum reserves to be “worthy” of inclusion in a review of conservation land protected from mining

secretly granted the minerals industry the right to veto proposed National Park boundaries and permission for any such vetoes to be kept confidential – in spite of recommendations from its own officials against any such a veto

called for caring New Zealanders to halt their “emotional hysteria” and recognise that conservation land should be mined for minerals and went on to say “Mining in a modern, technological way can have a negligible effect”

rubished the Department of Conservation (“Canterbury Farming” June 2010 issue – now offline) suggesting it was incapable of looking after the high country reserves and parks under its control

gutted the home insulation scheme

pulled $300 million out of public transport, walking and cycling schemes and added it to a pot of $2 billion to ‘upgrade’ state highways

changed the law to provide billions of dollar in subsidies for polluters via the ETS casino

begun a process of gutting the Resource Management Act to make it difficult/impossible for the public to lodge appeals against developers

removed the ability of Auckland to introduce a fuel levy to fund planned public transport upgrades

left electrification of the Auckland rail network up in the air without promised funding commitments and then came through with a dodgy loan scheme and then unilaterally reorganised the local government structure before finally setting about the privatisation-by-stealth model when busting KiwiRail

removed the programme to make Government Departments ‘carbon neutral’ and also began its first wave of public sector redundancies starting with the Ministry for the Environment which was responsible for the scheme

removed funding for public tv advertising on sustainability and energy efficiency

pulled funding for small-town public litter bin recycling schemes

displayed cabinet ministers expressing public support the bulldozing of Fiordland

reduced Department of Conservation funding by $54 million over three years

cancelled funding for the internationally acclaimed ‘Enviroschools’ programme

usurped the democratic role of local Councils of determining policies for their citizens by requiring the abandonment of the efficient and well-established tree protection rules for urban areas

set about revamping Auckland governance in a way that is likely to greatly reduce the ‘Environmental Watchdog’ role of the the current Regional Council (since completely fucked it up with the SuperShitty)

removed Auckland’s metropolitan limits and opened the gateway for unfettered urban sprawl

defended internationally the importation of rain-forest-wrecking palm kernel and stood silent whileFederated Farmers called Greenpeace “despicable” criminals, traitors, and robbers

stood silent while Godfrey Bloom, a Member of the European Parliament and infamous Climate Change Denialist, publicly rejoiced in the 1985 bombing of the Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior – who was doing so while standing on a dock next to the replacement vessel

took a 0% emissions reduction target to Copenhagen. Yes, seriously, that isn’t a misprint – that was the lower bound of their negotiation platform – then missed the 01/02/10 deadline for commitment to action it had agreed to – meanwhile 55 of the 80 countries which attended did make the deadline

secretly cancelled the internationally recognised scheme for the mandatory labelling of exotic woods to ensure the timber has not been taken from rain forests in direct contradiction of its own statements made at the 13th World Forestry Congress in Argentina

supported the Department of Conservation’s decision to open up the pristine Cathedral Cove to an ice-cream franchise

gave the Department of Conservsation $1.7 million to further develop commercial activities on DOC land and started an “off set” plan allowing company’s to damage the conservation estate if they agree to improve land elsewhere – no monitoring regime has been suggested on put in place

left DOC director-general Al Morrison to announce that DOC is to charge for services that had been freeand, to soften the public up to the idea that there will be more “energy generation schemes” operating on DOC land

took no action to reduce existing pollution pouring into the Manawatu River and is “leaving it up to industry” to come up with solutions to heal the river which was described by the Cawthorn Institute as “one of the worst polluted in the Western world”

announced a $1.69 million industry subsidy to kick start marine farming without identifying no-go areas nor putting in place a consultation process for individiuals, communities, and other general coastal users

been forced to release documents under the Official Information Act which confirm that DOC has “giving up” on ecologically valuable high-country land in the Mackenzie Basin because of funding cuts. The released documents cite “statements made by ministers”, “diminishing funding” and the Government’s new high-country policies as reasons for the changed stance – the comments from DOC were made after Land Information New Zealand (Linz), which manages the tenure review process, ignored DOC’s previous conservation recommendations for the farms

used former National Party minister and current director of Open Country Cheese – a company convicted of filthy farming practices and found by the supreme court to be a dodgy employer – Wyatt Creech to head up an enquiry into Environment Canterbury which had been standing up the dairy farmers’ demands for more and more water resources and less and less regulation. The Creech report recommended the Environmental Canterbury be sacked and replaced with government appointments and the voters of Canterbury do without democracy until the water situation had been resolved. The Canterbury area holds 50 percent of New Zealand’s fresh water reserves and 50 percent of the water required for hyrdo energy. The Creech report said Environmental Centerbury put too much focus on the environment

been subjected to international condemnation for knowing next to nothing about the parlous state of the New Zealand fisheries

bucked international trends and poured more acid on the 100% Pure brand and increases the bluefin tuna quota

squirmed when New Zealand is subject to international criticism for its backing of commericial whalingwhich National Ltd supports

funded Government-owned company Solid Energy runs an essay competition entitled “ The role of coal in sustainable energy solutions for New Zealand” for school children. First prize is a trip to New Zealand’s largest coal customer, China.

supported access fees for entrance onto DOC walkways – fee introduced following cuts to DOC’s budget.

pressed on with PR bullshit about how New Zealand’s environment would profit from mining national parks, Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson says.

Department of Conservation director-general Al Morrison said the conservation estate created “opportunities to do a whole lot for a lot of different people . . . we’ve got to get away from this idea that somehow we have to protect one-third of New Zealand for a certain constituency and put it in a jar of formaldehyde and leave it

created random fantasies of abundant wealth to promote all forms of mining

ignored reports on sustained non-compliance with resource consents and worsening pollution of water ways.

ignored its own Ministers possible conflicts of interest

done nothing as both its own SOE Meridian and the Department of Conservation to withdraw appealsagainst an 85m high damn with a 14km long reservoir on conservation land.

granted Energy Resources permission to ship Australian yellowcake uranium ore through New Zealand.

apologised but does nothing else for breaching the Treaty of Waitangi by granting a mining exploration permit to Brazilian company Petrobras

continued to remove environmental protection powers from local authorities

totally reversed gains made in the protection of National Parks and other high-value conservation areas in the South Island.

commenced a divide-and-rule strategy by attempting to paint New Zealanders interested in protecting the environment as outside of the “mainstream” and in defence of the fact that the media is catching to its bare-faced lies in the lead up to the 2008 election

carried on with more lies by talking about modern mining like that at Reefton being carried out by Oceana Golds as being like “key hole surgery”

appeared to believe that the tourists it is attempting to bring to New Zealand are all blind and won’t see for themselves the impact of the dairy farming it is subsidising to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars

appeared itself to be blind when it comes to the Chairman of Fonterra

forced the Commissioner for the Environment to delay the release of a report into the ramifications for climate change in regard to lignite mining and proposals to convert the lignite into diesel

employed financial sleight of hand in shuffling funds towards business interests and away from community groups looking to protect the environment

made more empty promises when a report showing that a third of New Zealand lankes have poor quality water is released

backed down on promises to protect New Zealand children (and the environment cleaner by more informed disposal) from harmful chemicals by improving labeling and imposing mandatory standards on containers

Ignored the findings by attacking the messenger when a World Health Organisation report confirms that New Zealand’s main centres have the worst air in Australasia and Auckland is the most polluted with twice the concentration of damaging airborne particles as Sydney.

studiously ignored so as to take piss about dire warnings concerning the quality of drinking water in Reidstone

failed to mention in its 100% Pure promotions that visitors to the Kerikeri Basin near the Stone Store – one of Northland’s iconic tourism and heritage sites – could come face-to-face with warning signs telling them the water is polluted

failed to mention in its 100% Pure promotions that tourists in the Coromandel could come face to face with New Zealand’s environmental standards when finding hundreds of dead snapper washed up on Beaches

presented bogus evidence concerning air pollution

made more empty promises in relation to air pollution while also extending deadlines for local councils to reduce air pollution

extended deadlines for businesses previously require to reduce air pollution by 2013

put tourism operators in Akaroa at risk by refusing to make the harbour a marine reserve . . . and then rubs salt into their wounds

done nothing after the United Nations finds that National Ltd™’s targets for reducing pollution are not consistent with the measures put in place to achieve those targets

attempted to defend the Emissions Trading Scheme from comparisons with the Australian model while Environment Minister Nick Smith indicates there’s little chance of the two schemes being integrated any time soon

then further slowed down the implentation of New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme

allowed major retailers to reap the benefits of its earlier and secret decision to abandon the mandatory labelling of exotic woods after it is found that the retailers are contributing to the death of native Australian forests despite an independent, year-long investigation which finds otherwise

tried to keep a meeting between John Key and mininng company Anadarko’s boss secret. The company is responsble for a massive oil spill and is looking to to start drilling off New Zealand soon

continued to ignore yet more evidence of farmers failing to comply with environmental regulations

handed over $400 million to farmers to extend water storage and allow for more land to be used for dairy farms. No mention or provision is made for additional protections required to deal with the increased pollution

failed to point out in its 100% Pure promotion that tourists (and locals) should avoid the Opihi River along State Highway 1 because of the risk of exposure to toxins from phormidium

failed to point out in its 100% Pure promotions that tourists arriving at New Zealand’s “nuclear free” sea ports will be sharing the environment with up to 5,000 tonnes of radioactive yellow cake uranium

lied about how bad the RMA is

ignored top scientists and academics who point out that its underfunding of the Department of Conservation will send more species into extinction and hurt its 100% Pure image.

Ignored John Key making an international arse out of himself in regard to New Zealand’s 100% Pure image

carried on with its lies as New Zealand is identified as jeoparising its good name by allowing us to become one of a small number of states stalling progress in forming an international climate agreement
kept stringing us along even after Next thing, New Zealand received the 2nd place Fossil Award for “proposing the most Flexible Mechanism imaginable with no oversight or review. Bring on the wild west. They want to be able to use any market mechanisms they wish with absolutely no oversight or international review! There would be no way to ensure that the units from one mechanism have not been sold two or three times to another such mechanism. This would likely unleash a wild west carbon market with double or triple counting of offsets and a likely increase of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.”

stood silent when Fonterra was caught out lying by overstating its farmer’s compliance on excluding stock from waterways by 100%

put World class surfing waves and Maui’s dolphin’s at Raglan at severe risk by encouraging a proposed iron ore seabed mining in New Zealand’s coastal waters

never followed up after the scientific models created by New Zealand and the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) to allow fishing are called into question

set the scene for our children heading down to the park to find an overseas’ owned company had set up a dairy farm in one corner. Over time the shit builds up

ignored data which shows the expansion of fish-farming in the Marlborough Sounds could cause unacceptable changes in the coastal environment

strategically removed the word “environment” from the lexicon of local and central government

failed to tell the tourists it hopes to attact with its 100% Pure campaign that every year, New Zealand drops huge quantities of poison-laced food into its forest ecosystems; enough poison to kill its human population 4 times over, every year. No country has ever done anything remotely similar, on such a scale

failed to tell the tourists it hopes to attract with its 100% Pure campaign that more than a third of Auckland’s beaches fail water quality checks and are closed for swimming

ignored the closing of the beaches, this time as extremely high concentrations of the bacteria enterococci are identified
ignored Ministerial conflicts of interest, this time involving John Key who is identified as shareholder in the Bank Of America which is backing mining in New Zealand and Australia . . . even when more information is made available . . . and more information . . . and more information

pressed on with additional policies that move away from the protection of the environment towards exploitation

limited , as part of its effort to cash-in on the environment, access to some of New Zealand’s mostendangered species and isolated islands only to those who those who contribute financially displacing conservation staff and scientists

ignored a World Wildlife Fund report, Beyond Rio, which makes clear New Zealand now risks some of thehighest rates of biodiversity loss on Earth unless urgent action is taken

continued to give confidence to Fonterra director Colin Armer being convicted and fined $72,000 for “fouling” a Bay of Plenty waterway after a judge found he could have prevented the pollution were it not for his “systemic” failure to monitor what was happening on his company’s farm

lied when it said New Zealand has the environmental laws and regulations to control oil and gas development on the continental shelf because there is no equivalent of the Resource Management Act to control oil and gas activity outside of the territorial sea (12 nautical miles offshore).
lied when it had already agreed coastal plans to allow marine farming consent holders in the Waikato and Marlborough to move from mussel farming to finfish farming without considering the additional environmental effects imposed

placed short-term business interests ahead of long-term consequences to New Zealand’s environment,particularly biodiversity by allowing damage in one area on the condition that it be “off set” in another creating a dangerous precedent in that such a provisin means that one part of biodiversity can be wrecked in return for “protecting” an area that was never under threat anyway.

promoted proposals that include include a plant producing about 2 billion litres of diesel per year, using at least 12 million tonnes of lignite per year and another producing 3 billion litres using 12-17 million tonnes of lignite annually. A further project would produce by 2016 1.2 tonnes of the nitrogenous fertiliser, urea, using 2 million tonnes of lignite annually

tried to hide the fact that its Department of Conservation was ordered to permit Meridian to to build a damn on the Mohikinui River despite its position that “the public conservation land within the Mokihinui River has such high value that it is most unlikely to be suitable for exchange at all

continued to ignore the slow-motion extinction of Maui’s dolphins:

gone into hiding after it was discovered that significant cuts to the Ministry for the Environment in the 2012 Budget are not publicly detailed or announced

continued to ignore its international obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to “protect and preserve” the martime environment

refused in the face of repeated calls to set national standards for water quality despite mounting evidence of the need to do so

further weakened protection for wild rivers in Canterbury with the ECan Act and indicates that further weakening provisions will follow.

rubber stamped a motorway project with no economic benefit and likely to waste over $1 billion of tax payers’ funds.

been forced to admit that it has spent $1.67 million in a survey of minerals on the West Coast of New Zealand, including within the Te Wahipounamu South West New Zealand world heritage area. Te Wahipounamu is one of 183 natural heritage

secretly ordered that world heritage sites on the West Coast be surveyed as part of a $3 million mineral study spanning more than 16,000 square kilometres. The survey was only puiblicy revealed after Green MP Catherine Delahunty asked for details in a parliamentary question

appointed thoroughtly unsuitable but politically useful members to the Establishment Board for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

facilitated by neglect the employment of inexperienced managers, making poor policy decisions resulting in additional threats to New Zealand’s biosecurity.

under resourced New Zealand’s biosecurity system to such an extent that it is fundamentally flawed preventing any way of identifying how the Kiwifruit killer virus got into New Zealand and, thus, no way of preventing it from happening again.

handed over a further $80 million to business and farmers to subsidise their pollution.

ignored its own guidelines to provide consent the Milford Dart tunnel and Fiordland Link Experiencewhich would otherwise never have been granted.

appointed an advisory group to recommend a significant rewrite of the Resource Management Act to remove references to the protection of coastal areas, wetlands, lakes and rivers and indigenous flora and fauna.

splashed tax payer cash around its consultants considering conservation and environmental protection of the Mackenze Basin and Waitaki Valley

further weakened the resource consent process for foreign-owned mining companies,

locked New Zealanders out of the consultation process on the alloting of areas being made available for resource exploration.

ignored the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment and scrapped government grants for solar water heating

used the Navy along with police and Crown Law to bully environmental protesters in a legal case they knew could not be won

put 23 massive blocks of deep and wild waters east of Wellington and Dunedin on the international market for exploratory oil drilling

allowed its own consultants do a u-turn on the economic benefits of additional roading and then handed them a $200 million contract for further consultation work

Supported the Department of Conservation into granting foreign-owned multinational mining company OceanaGold permission to destroy 55 hectares of beech forest so as to extend its Reefton mine to a total 81 hectares without public notification

envouraged the Minerals Industry Association to bully local authorities to step aside from what little environmental protections they are able to impose

reduced its environment agencies to little more than a ramshackle collection of underfunded and ineffective small back offices with no direction or policy for dealing with the vast marine resources of New Zealand

eroded New Zealand’s bio-security to such an extent that Christchurch Airport is found to have failed at a basic level

removed the directive terms “protect”, “preserve”, “maintain” and “enhance” from the RMA fundamentally weakening the legislation and deliberately introducing confusion as to its overall intent.

futher ensured that New Zealand tax payers continue to subsidise 95% of big polluters’ emissions

drastically reduced the size of proposed marine reserves off the West Coast so much so that one advocate says they are “an insult” to those who spent years trying to establish them

instructed its delegates at the world’s largest conservation conference , the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s conference in Korea, to oppose any further measures to protect Maui and Hector dolphins in defiance of 117 other countries and 460 environmental organisations requesting New Zealand ban gill and trawl nets in waters up to 100 metres deep

lied about the environmental impact of fraking

refused to enforce its own legislation to protect the environment

ignored concerns about fracking which has seen the practise banned around the world

twisted the knife by exploiting news of redundancies at Solid Energy in a statement which claims opponents to a proposed mine are “getting in the way of” potential jobs as part of an effort to discourage legal action

changed to law allowing a consideration of the effects on climate change to allow Australian-owned mining company Bathurst Resources (also known as Buller Coal) to build a 200-hectare open-cast coal mine on the plateau and excavate 80 million tonnes of coal that, when burnt, will release about 200 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere

further ensured the extinction of New Zealand sea lions by failing to extend necessary fishing restrictions

failed to protect the New Zealand marine environment and ignored international obligation with its Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf Act oil drilling legislation

continued to obfuscate and dither while More than half of monitored recreational sites on our rivers are declared unsafe for swimming

ignored its own scientific evidence and advice from its own authorities to lock-in tax payer funding of business which pollutes New Zealand’s air

refused to enforce its own laws in respect to water pollution

changed the law to make it more difficult to build a deck on a house than it is to drill for oil

avoided its international obligations “to ensure the conservation and management of sharks and their long-term sustainable use” while its fishers carry on with the barbaric practise of shark finning.

ignored public support for conservation by ordering another round of cuts to the Department of Conservation.

stood alone at the world’s largest conservation summit and voted against more protection for species at risk

further gutted environmental protection legislation to speed up the building consent process for developers

vancelled without notice the five-yearly State of the Environment report put together by the Ministry of the Environment, the report is the largest stock-take of trends relating to land, water, air, plants and animals

abandoned the Kyoto agreement completely

allowed its on lobbyist to publicly attack a prominent New Zealand scientist for speaking truth about New Zealand’s environment in an effort to silence the accurate reporting of scientific evidence

attracted international mockery for the fact that the pristine landscape featured in The Hobbit and used as the basis for the 100% Pure New Zealand campaign as fantastical as dragons and wizards

remained “relaxed” about the fact that New Zealand is now the 18th worst out of 189 nations when it came to preserving its natural environment

pulled out of Kyoto just weeks after the OECD reports that global greenhouse gas emissions could rise 50 per cent by 2050 without more ambitious climate policies, as fossil fuels continue to dominate the energy mix

laughed when New Zealand received two “Fossil of the Day” – first-equal and second place – awards on the first day of international climate talks in Doha, Qatar

used Hobbiton – Waikato – as the centrepiece of its 100% Pure campaign when the area is the country’s major source of pollution to the Hauraki Gulf

handed over responsibility for the monitoring and reporting of fraking activity , for which it has inadequate legal protections, to the foreign-owned multi-nationals which are carrying out that activity thus totally ignoring its own Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment

lied, obfuscated and used government resources to attack and undermined local authority plans to improve water quality
sanctioned an unnamed foreign-owned multinational to go ahead with a major road through pristine South Island National Parks

employed disingenuous gobbledeegook to defend its decision to withdraw from the Kyoto Agreement.

turned a deaf ear to calls for New Zealand to assist pacfic island nations by taking a stronger position on climate change

displayed contempt for existing agreements and Environment Case law by approving new salmon farms in recreational areas within the Marlborough Sounds

refused to investigate the impact on increasing use of neonicotinoid pesticides which is likely to be a major contributor to the sudden and dramatic decline (aka colony collapse disorder) of the New Zealand honey bee population, National Ltd™ also refused to consider the development of a strategy to protect what is left of the honey bee population.

lied about its commitment to addressing climate change

failed to monitor Sanford Ltd’s pollution resulting in an international embarrassment

allowed foreign-owned multinationals to proceed with oil exploration without the financial resources available to mitigate any environmental damage should it occur

been caught out ignoring its own advice on implementing environmental monitoring procedures

used changes to the Resource Management Act to remove local authorty’s rights and planning for the protection of trees

commenced removing local authority’s rights to plan for housing

allowed more than 53 percent of Canterbury’s major water users to avoid having meters installed

mixed the cooperative model of climate change negotiations with the competitive model used in trade negotiations, thus putting outcomes in both areas a risk

ducked questions asking for evidence as to the safety of genetically engineered food

ignored the fact that New Zealand carbon credits are no longer the unit of choice in the New Zealand’s own carbon market. Figures from the official Emission Unit Registry show that emitters who initially supported NZUs are now using a range of international units to meet their carbon obligations under the Emissions Trading Scheme

used highly dodgy figures in calculating the reduction New Zealand’s net carbon emissions by including trees due to be harvested in the next few years

ignored news that New Zealand’s first glyphosate resistant weed has been found and the resulting call for the use of glyphosate (Monsanto’s “Roundup”) to cease

stayed silent for five months after being advised that Fonterra’s milk product were contaminated with dicyandiamide (DCD) and now face an international backlash.

set no maximum level of contamination of dicyandiamide (DCD) (AKA cyanoguanidine) in milk products for consumption by New Zealanders, stood silent while the farming industry says the withdrawal of dicyandiamide (DCD) will result in yet more pollution of New Zealand’s waterways

stood silent as NIWA announced findings of research which showed 20 per cent of marine life in the Milford Sounds port area could be killed off as a result of copper leaching from anti-fouling paints on boat hulls

secretly without consultation and any right of appeal used a short-term draconian law to ammend a water conservation order for the Rakaia River

been locked out of the international carbon market because of its trucculent attitude

continued in its efforts to eliminate tree protection of any kind in Auckland and elsewhere

stood alone as the only developed country not to have tabled an unconditional single number target as part of the international climate change negotiations

cut funding into research about protecting the last remaining giant kauri

continued to endanger the 100% Pure brand

been unable to explain how genetically engineered mould escaped from Massey University laboratories and remains unable or unwilling to provide further information

introduced foreign species without a consideration of the risk to human health

allowed oil companies to ignore breaches of resource consent and set neihhbours against neighbours

obfuscated on the negative economic benefits of major raod works

obfuscated on the level of cuts to the Department of Conservation

disengaged the previously widely held concept of environmental protection from any consideration of economic development

sacked 140 staff at the Department of Conservation

inserted last minute changes to environmental legislation that were not announced and, thus, not considered during public submissions and earlier readings of Bills.

lied about the practise of fracking going on in New Zealand for the past 30 years

funded its Economic Development Ministry’s membership of the Coal Association lobby group

staged a consultation process on the restructuring for the Department of Conservation and then completely ignored any submissions generated

proposed handing over recreational paua gathering areas to commercial operators

opened a further 190,000 square kilometers of New Zealand’s coastal waters for oil exploration

allowed the Minister of Energy’s own political adviser to make public calls for the boycotting of the environmental iniative Earth House

held secret meetings with oil company executives known international as irresponsible and mendacious

exposed Auckland beaches to the unmonitored risk of oil exploration by companies unable to afford any clean up operations if required

breached international law and used parliamentary urgency and ignored international guidelines to rush through legislation depriving New Zealanders of the right to protest against drilling for oil within 350 miles if New Zealand coast

given permission for oil drilling to take place over earthquake ridden continental plate fault lines just off shore from Wellington

stood idle while water quality used by households continyes to worsen

ensured that the MacKenzie Basin is turned from a conservation estate into a development area

used parliamentary urgency to avoid public notification, consultation and/or consideration of a law allowing companies with no experience nor financial resources to drill for oil on earthquake-ridden fault lines lying in New Zealand coastal waters

. . . but wait, there’s more!!

40 comments on “Nats’ environmental record ”

  1. ghostrider888 1

    see links to The Carbon Bubble on todays Open Mike. (love your work BLiP)

  2. Bill 2

    Indeed there’s more. And across several fronts too. Which is why I despair over the attachment people seem to have for demonstrating on a ‘one issue at a time’ basis – it’s a ‘stop/start’ morale sapping excercise in futility.

    A movement that similtaneously expressed many voices on many issues – that was a vehicle for many fronts of discontent/anger that nevertheless afforded multiple articulate analyses for peoples’ self selected core concerns, is the only way to end the oft times destructive nonsense of governments and force them into a space of high accountability. (And that doesn’t just apply to this National led one).

    And if such a movement embraced the development of substantially democratic means of organising, then it would offer a far more empowering ‘freedom to’ to sit alongside the traditional protest mentality of ‘freedom from’.

    But now I’m straying into territory where I’m always left feeling that my reasoning is encountering a gulf in understanding between the likes of myself and those wedded to ‘traditional’ means of protest/demonstration.

    • ghostrider888 2.1

      well, you know how I burn about “traditional” means of protest / demonstration! Personal / political, even Brian S. Roper was hopping on a plane to London shortly…

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.2

      If the Labour movement, the Green movement, the unions, social media, the parliamentary select committee submission process, etc isn’t enough I doubt another layer is going to make much of a difference.

      When it comes to changing the law, protest alone isn’t sufficient.

      • Bill 2.2.1

        When it comes to changing the law, protest alone isn’t sufficient.

        Well, indeed. And that’s not at all beside the point I was making 😉

  3. Rich the other 3

    Yippee , “NATIONAL”
    A real Government with real commitment to improving peoples lives.
    Recognition that people matter and they are displaying a balanced approach to environmental matters, really good to see, well done the nat’s.

  4. tracey 4

    Kudos for collating the information and taking time to publish it.

    • Rich the other 4.1

      Kudos, YEAH RITE.
      That’s what he’s paid to do and probably from a parliamentary allowance , the same allowance the greens rorted when getting signatures for the failed petition on asset sales.

      Good old tax payer , shafted again.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.1.1

        They spent their own leaders’ budget on it. So what if it was my money – that’s exactly the sort of thing I want them to do with it. What a false champion of freedom you turned out to be, wormtongue.

      • framu 4.1.2

        the didnt rort it you you cretin – it comes from their parliamentary budget and they can spend it on whatever they like.

        Can you give us an assurance that A) you understand this, and B) you wont make this foolish ignorant accusation again?

        also your making unsubstantiated accusations about the author – not trying to speak for the mods – but historically that hasnt gone down that well

      • BLiP 4.1.3

        Bzzzzt . . . WRONG. As it happens, and as if its any of your business, I am an ungrateful corporate wage slave in the employ of a foreign-owned multi-national.

        • Rich the other 4.1.3.1

          That would be the world wide green movement.
          Head office in Ga Ga land, they sent nz norman , a disillusioned ausse who thought it might be easier to ruin a small economy than a large one.

          He wont get the chance.

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.3.1.1

            yeah Key and English will run the ship aground first and fast

          • tricledrown 4.1.3.1.2

            rich the whatever poor argument because ponckey and blinglish will already have fucked it good and proper!
            Herald conservative commentator armstrong says Key and English have done nothing to re-balance the economy and sooner or later we are going to pay for the widening gap in the balance of payments!
            same as what Russell Norman has time and again pointed out you fundamentalist fwit

          • BLiP 4.1.3.1.3

            Heh! Congratulations, you’re a moran. Its actually quite amusing because I meet lots of people like you in my professional environment. With my flash suit and tie, short back and sides, 2011 XR8, freehold residence (with two South Auckland rentals), and traditionally conservative occupation, those in that milieu make the automatic assumption that I am one of them. Social niceities combine with “the customer is always right” resulting in me staying schtum while regularly observing National Ltd™ voters’ behaviour when they think no one is watching. They spout, almost, word for word, the sort of dribble you do and as they go on it becomes more and more obvious how they have chosen to let others do their thinking for them. Not only have they not read the policies they mock, they do not realise that they have locked themselves into an ideology as crippling as Scientology.

            An ideology is a system of beliefs which work as a cognitive structure to frame your experiences.

            An ideology is a way for you to structure your moral choices, your attitudes, and your feelings , and have them all pre-wired and pre-decided ahead of time.

            Here’s a made-up example of an ideology:

            The Axioms of “Reaganism”:

            – The government destroys everything it touches. Any time the government gets involved, any activity becomes corrupted, over-priced, and useless after the government gets done with it.

            – Private enterprise can always do a better job than the government can. The attempt to turn a profit always makes an activity more efficient and productive for everyone.

            – Therefore, governments should be run by businesses because businesses can always do a better job than the government can.

            When you adopt Reaganism as your ideology and become a Reaganologist, you look out onto the infinitely big, wide world that exists out there, and instead of seeing exactly what is there, you use the pre-wiring and the cognitive structures of Reaganism to interpret and categorize that infinity into simple bite-sized chunks.

            Let’s say you are driving through a construction zone, through a government-run road project. To you, the Reaganologist, this project is filled with people who just stand around all day and never get any work done. Even though you are driving on a road – a road built by a government-run road project – you never notice that all the roads you have ever driven on were built by government-run road projects. You never notice that you have never had trouble on any roads at all. You’ve never been in want of any road anywhere, and you have always driven to even the most remote towns – towns which were very expensive to build roads to – and towns that no one could make a profit on by building a road there.

            As a Reaganologist, you see none of that. You only sneer and become resentful at all this government waste, and all those lazy, do-nothing bums working on this road.

            Your ideological structure has filtered out some things that do not conform to it, and accepted others that do conform to it, and given you attitudes and emotions to feel per its dictates.

            As a Reaganologist, the titans of industry are all heroes to you, because they embody all the values that you adopted when you became a Reaganologist. You swell with pride every time you see a CEO of Goldman-Sachs on TV and you can’t believe that any government bureaucrat at the Security and Exchange Commission would ever question his business practices. Government oversight is criminal in your mind, and suppressive to the real producers in society.

            In this way, after becoming a Reaganologist, you see the world in the way that Reaganism dictates.

            The advantage of an ideology is that it takes the infinite world around you and breaks it up into bite-size chunks, with all of it pre-understood ahead of time. It makes things simpler for you.

            This is also the disadvantage of an ideology: You don’t see the world as it is any more. You no longer see the parts of the world that do not fit into your cognitive structure. You see the world only as your ideology dictates that you see it.

            This same example can be made for a “Rooseveltist”. The same advantages and disadvantages would apply. Rooseveltology would make you just as blind, and just as stupid as Reaganism.

            No ideology can match the infinity of life, or the infinity of you. The stronger you hold on to an ideology, the smaller, and more fixated you become. As more and more of the infinities of life hit you which do not fit into your ideological construct, the more tightly you cling to it. Until at last, you become fixed and pinheaded.

            Not only does an ideology blind you to things that do not fit into it, an ideology also separates you from your own thinking. When you start “thinking with” an ideology, you become unaware of how you came to your own conclusions. In fact, they are not your conclusions – they are the ideologies’ conclusions, and you’ve just accepted them because they are consistent with, and support, your ideology.

            Coming up with solutions that only support the ideology is the way the Church of Scientology got to be what it is today, and this has also made David Miscavige who he is today.

            Adopting an ideology to do your thinking for you is the basic mistake that many humans have made throughout history, not just Scientologists.

            But it is a mistake.

            This is the most important thing I have learned from being an ideologue.

            And the most important thing I have learned from George Orwell

            It won’t be until you personally suffer an outrage at the hands of tory ideologists when you have an opportunity to snap out of it. Even then, however, the damage caused by the mental effort of coping with the cognitive dissonance could have taken its toll and, instead, will still vote National Ltd™ like a beaten dog which still licks the hand of its master.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.1.3.1.3.1

              You’re really not supposed to quote the whole blog but well worth it in this case.

            • Rich the other 4.1.3.1.3.2

              You poor we thing.
              All alone in an intolerable environment, it must be tough but as long as those money grabbing parasites on the poor are paying you well with profits from the poor , then that’s OK, is it ?.

              You just don’t get it , you don’t have to be rich to vote national , you do have to be stupid to tolerate the greens.

              I guess when your all alone at night , can’t get to sleep , worrying about work ,the deception in your life try to think of norman , the screem is unforgettable,

              GIMME MY FLAG, GIMME MY FLAG ,
              that must put a smile on your face.

              • Draco T Bastard

                You just don’t get it , you don’t have to be rich to vote national

                No, you just have to be stupid and/or psychopathic/sociopathic.

                you do have to be stupid to tolerate the greens.

                Ah, no. The only people who don’t tolerate the Greens are National and Act supporters and they’ve already proven that they’re stupid and or psychopathic/sociopathic.

                • TheContrarian

                  “No, you just have to be stupid and/or psychopathic/sociopathic.”

                  Way to condemn a significant portion of the population, you arrogant dick.

                  “The only people who don’t tolerate the Greens are National and Act supporters and they’ve already proven that they’re stupid and or psychopathic/sociopathic.”

                  Hand-waving assertions.

            • ghostrider888 4.1.3.1.3.3

              Wow, BLiP.

      • tricledrown 4.1.4

        poor argument only by $75,000 no where near the $100million plus this govt is spending on propaganda what price democracy!

      • Paul 4.1.5

        How much did your NACT friends selling Mighty River Power?
        Judge not that you might not be judged……

  5. TheContrarian 5

    FWIW – bio-fuels are a pretty bad idea.

    • KJT 5.1

      Bio-fuels from waste, including wood products waste and sewage plant algae, are a good idea.
      Growing crops specifically for bio fuels is not always such a good idea. depends on the land uses and other crops they displace.

    • Lanthanide 5.2

      Bio-fuels are a bad idea, up until they are a good one. Like all things in life, really.

    • millsy 5.3

      Depends on where you get them from. I read somewhere that converting a field of corn into biofuel will take up more energy than what will come from the yielded biofuel (same with tar sand extraction).

  6. Macro 6

    This needs a wider audience.

  7. millsy 7

    Those who support the poisoning of the air we breathe and the water we drink for profit, deserve neither profit nor clean air and water.

  8. Rich the other 8

    Encouraging , and Positive .

    This site must be a concern for the green extreme.
    This article has been here for several days and has to date attracted only 38 comments from just a few contributors.
    It seems voters are pretty pleased with the Govts realistic approach to environmental matters.

    Good to see.

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