web analytics

Privatising national parks

Written By: - Date published: 8:55 am, March 2nd, 2010 - 16 comments
Categories: Conservation, national, privatisation - Tags: , ,

If you don’t read Pundit you should. This article by Claire Browning, for example, is excellent. Claire points out that National is trying to get away with a huge con…

John Key’s broken promise, on National’s parks

Key promised no state assets would be sold or partly sold in the first term of his government. But that’s in effect what’s happening, to our biggest state asset of them all

…We know now what it means, to balance the economy and the environment. It’s a zero-sum game: to make economic progress by sacrificing a bit more nature, and then another bit, and then perhaps another

Here are four examples, which are all about conservation and Crown pastoral lands collectively, our biggest state asset. Around a third of the country is protected or partly protected. For most of the last decade, until late last year, tourism was New Zealand’s biggest foreign exchange earner.
1. Mining Schedule 4 protected areas…
2. Commercial concessions on conservation land…
3. Tenure review in the McKenzie country…
4. Irrigating Crown pastoral land for dairy conversion…

The tenor of all these discussions shows money talking. Key misled his voters, when he undertook not to sell state assets in whole or part this term. Indirectly, this is exactly what he’s doing, exposing our biggest asset of all to the risk the highest bidder will win. Next time we all get antsy about privatizing some lesser SOE, I would just say, fuck the SOE, frankly, because we’re doing it to something far more valuable.

He’s dressing up 19th century colonial thinking in the 21st century language of ‘step change’. This is not ‘step change’ (whatever that may be), it’s the old paradigm on which this country was built, about exploiting finite resources to maximum effect, and the dusty mantras of ‘growth’ and ‘catching Australia’.

It’s been framed in terms of spending political capital. It’s our capital being spent, undermining the very assets that make us rich. As I found here, when the World Bank ranked New Zealand second to Saudi Arabia, in terms of natural wealth per capita, 19% of that wealth was attributable to protected areas, only 3% to subsoil assets. And in fact, it’s not even ‘ours’, but another inter-generational wealth transfer. Mining or dairy might give us a bounce now, by pillaging finite resources. What happens when they run out?

And I keep thinking about something else Nick Smith said a lot during the election campaign. ‘It’s not National Party policy to dam the last river,’ he kept saying, ‘of course we won’t dam the last river’. What I’m wondering is: where, short of that, will it stop?

Powerful stuff from Claire. Read the whole article on Pundit.

16 comments on “Privatising national parks ”

  1. Always nice to be appreciated, so on behalf of Pundit, thanks. Claire does an amazing job drilling deep (if you can excuse the pun) into policy and potential law changes. In the comments she adds the important detail that of the 3/4 of a million hectares Labour put into Schedule 4, half a million was the marine reserve down around the Auckland Is…

    • lprent 1.1

      Added you to Other Blogs as well as Media Sites. Looks like quite a mixture these days.

      I’ve just read Beatson’s post on ‘Toyota’. A post is starting to germinate….

    • Red Rosa 1.2

      The critical point is Schedule 4. This land should genuinely be sacrosanct.

      The Nats will try to slither out of any criticism by pointing out (correctly enough) that not all DoC land is Schedule 4.

      Any tramper can tells stories of abandoned mines all across NZ. Gold and coal mining have moved on as technology has changed, while searches for other minerals have mostly proved fruitless.

      And what minerals does Brownlie have in mind? The costs of prospecting are daunting these days, while the big multi national miners don’t seem to be clamoring for access to the national parks.

    • r0b 1.3

      No problem Tim, as I may have mentioned before I’m a big fan. You have many great writers, but Claire is a real gem!

    • Red Rosa 1.4

      Yes, congrats to Claire to echo those below. Great stuff.

      It is indeed extraordinary that the govt royalties from gold last year were only $5m, if Bobbie below has it right. How is this calculated? And are there special tax rules as well?

  2. prism 2

    Yes so true. The trend is a few big financiers to snatch the resources and work them for their own profit. So we are going back from the ideas of our origins
    in early colonial days when there was a desire to make land available to ordinary people for farms. Now the exploitation of the country by the powerful and wealthy is beginning again.

  3. tc 3

    Outrageous/scandelous/lying/deception………more of the same from the NACT then.

    Shall we all hold our breath for the MSM to break this story as all kiwi’s and future generations are impacted………..live in hope.

  4. Bobbie 4

    And the state asset of our minerals is being given away for free, not even sold. Total Royalties for gold last year less than $5 million, and gold mining co’s have tax concessions not given to other companies… even to coal mining companies …

    more at http://www.watchdog.org.nz

  5. reddy 5

    I’VE BEEN TRYING TO SAY, GUV, IT’S A BLEEDING ASSET SALE!

    Thanks Clare. It’s not just an asset sale, it’s a biggie. It’s ours and it gunna be theirs.

  6. logie97 6

    Publicly owned assets, (particularly land and its unearthed riches and resources) are under the ‘scope for selling off.
    The proceeds of the sales go where? retiring debt no.
    Financing tax cuts in a lolly-scramble more attractive.
    And who will be the major beneficiaries of the tax cuts.
    People at the top table.
    Are they the same ones who are buying the assets on sale?
    More than likely.
    So, the government takes their money in the sale and then gives it back to them in tax cuts.
    It doesn’t get better than that.
    Under the last administration that would have been described as the “c” word.

  7. Tim 7

    Would it be fair to mention that lands which maori have made claims for through the Waitangi Tribunal, which are at present, unsettled, are being held by DoC and so effectively, the Nats are undermining the settlement process and maori by wanting to sell these lands off? Or am I missing something? Maybe I’m just commenting too late

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Better care for babies with tongue-tie
    Babies born with tongue-tie will be assessed and treated consistently under new guidelines released by the Ministry of Health, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Around 5% to 10% of babies are born with a tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, in New Zealand each year. At least half can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison over
    The prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison is over, with all remaining prisoners now safely and securely detained, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. The majority of those involved in the event are members of the Mongols and Comancheros. Five of the men are deportees from Australia, with three subject to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Pre-departure COVID-19 test for travellers from the UK and the US from 15 January
    Travellers from the United Kingdom or the United States bound for New Zealand will be required to get a negative test result for COVID-19 before departing, and work is underway to extend the requirement to other long haul flights to New Zealand, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “The new PCR test requirement, foreshadowed last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago