NZ for sale

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, September 1st, 2009 - 2 comments
Categories: Environment - Tags:

I was browsing through our image archives and came across this, which I think is from a protest before the election:

Well, they got it wrong about Kiwirail but they got it the main bit right – under National, NZ is for sale to overseas multinationals.

Who else do you think is going to be digging up our national parks and selling our mineral wealth?

Oh, I’m sure they’ll invest lots into New Zealand, just like they always do. I can’t see them demanding tax breaks for carrying out the arduous task of relieving us of our mineral reserves, like the oil companies did in exchange for taking our oil off our hands.

No, I don’t think the multinational mining companies will come in here, try to employ as few New Zealanders on as low wages as possible, then slip away with the loot. That’s just not how we know these paragons of responsible corporate citizenship operate.

As for the environmental damage, if there’s one thing I’ve learned its that giant corporates operating in a foreign land never try lobby for exemptions to environmental regulations, nor do they ever just flat out ignore them. Multinationals know how important our environment is to us and respect that. They’re always more than happy to stay around afterwards, once they’ve made their money for the investors back home, and help us clean up the mess they make.

[incidentally, Farrar writes “[imagine] 11 hectares of [DoC] land has huge economic value. What if we purchased 500 hectares of land over there to replace it in the conservation estate. The conservation estate gets to grow, we get the economic benefits of the land’s economic value a win/win.” Maybe, depending on the conservation values of the land in question but the larger point is that it’s not going to happen. Our Conservation Minister has said DoC owns too much land. They’re opening up more marginal high country land for farming. National has no plans to replace land they let be mined. They’ve got no interest in building up conservation estate, just in exploiting it.]

2 comments on “NZ for sale”

  1. vidiot 1

    Perhaps that evil multi-national corporation that is SOLID ENERGY ?

    And it’s DOC – Department of Conservation, not DOP – Department of Preservation, perhaps they should be a bit more fluid with their/our land holdings ?

    Conservation: The maintenance of environmental quality and resources or a particular balance among the species present in a given area. The resources may be physical (e.g. fossil fuels), biological (e.g. tropical forests), or cultural (e.g. ancient monuments).

    In modern scientific usage conservation implies sound biosphere management within given social and economic constraints, producing goods and services for humans without depleting natural ecosystem diversity, and acknowledging the naturally dynamic character of biological systems.

    This contrasts with the preservationist approach which, it is argued, protects species or landscapes without reference to natural change in living systems or to human requirements.

  2. NickS 2

    [incidentally, Farrar writes “[imagine] 11 hectares of [DoC] land has huge economic value. What if we purchased 500 hectares of land over there to replace it in the conservation estate. The conservation estate gets to grow, we get the economic benefits of the land’s economic value a win/win.’….

    The stupid, it burns.

    Trawling up what stuck in my head from last semesters (failed, I heart ADHD+LT sleep deprivation) conservation biology course, all land is not created equal.

    Basically, across spatial scales, habitat is highly heterogeneous, and temporal scales matter as well, since this ends up producing a heterogeneous distribution of flora and fauna, along with population densities and connections. Also, NZ habitats typically take centuries to regenerate properly, and the long-term studies of the impacts of land-change, indicate that those changes have long-term impacts on regenerating ecosystems. Combine this with basic population ecology stuff to do with colonisation, dispersal, extinction risks and a few other factors to do with habitat, and connections between habitat patches, and it becomes rather clear the conservation value of relatively undisturbed native habitat.

    Which boiling down, basically means that old, well established habitats generally have statistically different collections of species, compared to regenerating land, leading to a higher degree of species richness. Meaning you typically end up with more bang for you conservation buck form conserving large bits of the backcountry, rather than heavily modified former pasture, or “landscaped” former mining sites. It’s not to say, regen-ing bits of old pasture and forestry planations isn’t worthwhile, it’s just that it’s not a 1:1 replacement for established native environments.

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