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New kauri swamp rules won’t protect wetlands

Changes announced today to improve the “transparency, clarity and oversight” of kauri swamp extraction won’t make an iota of difference because they rely on the honesty of contractors, Labour’s MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.

“These contractors refuse to reveal how much of this ancient taonga they have dug up and shipped off overseas. 

“Yet now they will be asked to ‘inform councils of any and all extraction activity’. It is not clear what happens if they don’t and how authorities will know if the necessary paperwork has been completed for a log sitting in a yard in Mangonui or Ruakaka.

“These new rules also seek to ensure any extraction process protects the natural habitat the swamp kauri came from. This is ridiculous as any activity involving heavy machinery will damage wetlands.

“The operations of these contractors have resulted in jobs and economic benefits being lost to the North, endangered wetlands being irreparably damaged and native fauna ruined.

“These changes will not protect wetlands, create jobs for Northlanders or improve transparency of the swamp kauri export process,” Kelvin Davis says.