Opinion by Alan Simmons. President of NZ Outdoors and Freedom Party.
Commercial forestry and “carbon farming” is resulting in New Zealanders losing their traditional access to outdoor recreation. The locals who previously accessed that land for hunting and fishing or recreation, are now unable to access these carbon credit forest as they have very restricted access, with padlocked gates and trespass signs.
Access to many rivers and fisheries of importance are already lost, such as one of the great fishing rivers within the Kaiangaroa forest planted by Kiwis during the great depression and now owned by mostly foreign interests such as the Canadian pension fund and the Harvard university pension funds. Access has been denied to New Zealanders despite huge public meetings.
We’ve been locked out of access to fisheries like the Rangitaiki River, as well as the vast hunting areas of over 500,000 acres of traditional deer, pig and game bird hunting for local food gathering. New forests are being planted, capturing other valuable resources and rivers where access is or will be denied as they are planted. Most outdoors people are starting to experience access issues as this dramatic change in land use takes hold. I am reminded of the lovely spring creeks of the Waikato River once easily accessed while New Zealand owned, now inaccessible due to land use change.
The Root Cause
The Labour government and its former coalition partners NZ First and the Greens, made some shocking but little known changes in 2018. As a result their vision for planting 1 billion trees seems to have become immeasurable harm from clear-felling, monoculture, pine slash, and storm generated log flumes smashing bridges as they wash down swollen streams.
The incentives have prioritised green-washing over food and our people, locking up prime farm land and destroying communities as investors greedily farm thin air – in the name of “carbon credit farming”.
The race is now on with over 100,000 acres being snaffled up in the last year and planted, in addition to existing production forests being quietly moved into carbon credit banks. New announcements made on an almost daily basis of yet more productive rural properties being snapped up. It continues despite desperate calls from farming groups as the government seems deaf to their concerns
Usual Overseas Investment restrictions are avoided under this scheme, creating a loophole for the mass overseas purchase of our land and transferrable carbon credits that offer nothing of benefit to New Zealand, and serious erosion of the New Zealand we used to know.
The full impact on the New Zealand way of life is not yet fully understood by many New Zealanders.
It was a ‘Kiwi way of life’ for most New Zealand land owners to allow people access to their farms for fishing, hunting, bush walking or camping.
Rural Social Upheaval
But the real problem will be the huge social upheaval due to the stripping out of our rural communities. Whole areas will be depopulated by farmers moving out. Shepherds, shearers and other farm contractors are no longer required, rural contractors such as bulldozer drivers and haymakers close down, as do the local schools and the vet.
Many other businesses such as the handyman, garage and the rural bureaucrats who provide farming monitoring and advice, and rural supply companies will all perish. In the past many city families had friends or relatives on farms and they kept their rural links by visits and helping out.
This connection to our rural roots will be lost as farming families sell up or local farmers can’t afford to buy, competing against the massive carbon credit ‘farmers’. These forests are locked up for 50 or so years with no real work involved will utterly destroy rural New Zealand.
1. NZ Outdoors and Freedom Party, President and Co-Leader Alan has dedicated a lifetime of involvement in outdoors political issues. He’s sat on a number of national body executives, boards, NGO and management groups, including the NZ Professional Hunting Guides Association, Electricorp Environmental Management Board, NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers and the NZ Professional Fishing Guides Association. Many will know him through his website, the hugely popular New Zealand FishnHunt forum.
2. The full paper can be seen at https://www.outdoorsparty.co.nz/exotic-carbon-credit-pine-forests-destroy-the-nz-way-of-life-including-access-to-fishing-hunting-and-tramping/
Alan Simmons is right on the button in his opinion. I have lost recreational access to former high country farms as foreign buyers snap up the farms and convert them to to pines for carbon trading. Earnslaw One is a major intruder. Ernslaw One is backed by the powerful Tiong dynasty of Malaysia. It is ironic the Tiongs are felling rain forests in south east Asia while pretending to be mitigating against climate change in NZ with carbon farming. Of course Ernslaw One doesn’t care about the environment, only money in the bank.
But bad marks for the Labour-led government and its bed fellow the Greens.
The damage to rural communities will be immense.
Alan is correct and it has to stop. We are being led by a bunch of wallies who have no thought of the future and our young people. Just look what it has cost the taxpayer now with all the slash destroying the many bridges and causing havoc. Why should we in NZ grow carbon credit for other nations, they can grow their own?
In years to come society will look back on the utter stupidity of pine carbon dumping. The fabric of NZ rural
society devastated for the money machinations of global companies looking to cheat their way out of their social responsibilities to sustainable agricultural and industrial production. And if you think the devastation caused by slash coming from forestry farming is bad… and the clips of such in Northland now proof it is… wait until you see the downfall from uncared for pine carbon dumping. Utter political and commercial stupidity. And it’s not as if the decisionmakers will one day be able to claim ignorance and shocked naievity. No. They are just being ignorantly obtuse right now. And ask yourself: why!? Bill Floyd. Marlborough.
Alan Simmons is right of course. Unfortunately there is absolutely no indication that Labour, Labour Light or ACT will do anything to wind back the damage caused to the environment and Kiwi way of life by the mad policies he describes even after the evident devastation of Cyclone Gabrielle. Sadly the minor parties are unlikely to achieve anything but vote splitting in the election so it is safe to predict more of the same and that New Zealand is well and truly stuffed. Sad but inevitable.
The decimation of our Rural Communities under this scheme is immense, and has to be ceased forthwith, otherwise we will not have any Rural Communities left in NZ.
Can’t believe the Labour and Green Parties think they are going to save the planet by flogging off land to overseas interests for carbon farming when all that will do long term is create more environmental damage to NZ and the people who planted all these trees will carry on their polluting ways.
Alan Simmons comments are very true.
Simplistic government policies and Foreign ownership of large tracts of New Zealand are costing New Zealanders dearly. Accessible hunting and fishing is being lost in more remote areas, while ill-managed intensive farmland is wiping out lowland recreational and native fisheries through diffuse pollution and excessive water abstraction for irrigation.
The usual government mantra of “user pays” is being replaced by private profits at community cost.
New Zealand urgently needs an Act that will protect the natural environment for present and future generations. The RMA 1991 was unable to achieve this. The Natural and Built Environment Bill seems unlikely to do better.
How can an Act that promotes rapid development have any chance of halting environmental degradation?
Most of us have had a gutsful of aspirational twaddle. It is time to get real and pass an Act specifically to protect and restore New Zealand’s natural environment.
But the politicians mean so well! They have the best of intentions! “Save the world, praise mother Gaia, people are pests anyway!” Must be getting to a point where it is impacting on our ability to grow our agricutural output, you know the stuff that we sell to the rest of the world so we can buy stuff like cancer drugs and refined petroleum products.
How in all honesty can any government allow once productive land to be sold to overseas interests planted in pine trees and locked up for 30-40 years with no right of access just so another big company can carry on polluting the atmosphere in their own backyard? The Overseas Investment group doesn’t seem to have the balls to reduce the number of companies entering New Zealand and carrying out this wasteful use of land. I was in Pongaroa 2 weeks ago and could not believe the amount of country planted in seedling pines, Thousands of hectares as far as the eye could see. once sheep and beef farming now devoid of animals.
A little known fact is the colossal amount of water these pine plantations suck out of a catchment depleting natural seepage & drying up rivers & creeks.I have had on occasion needed to attack a large radiata windfall with my20 inch bar chainsaw. Cutting through the thick trunk i was astounded at the spray of water zapping out of a cut.The tree must have been holding 100’s of gallons of water i was being fair showered in soray.A plantation must be sucking out 10’s of thousands of gallons, destroying the wet land eco system below
Study history and discover that 2 groups of people have always cooperate for their mutual benefit at the expense of the rest of the people.
THE POLITICALLY ELITE desire authority and power over the rest of the people.
They suffer from the delusion that they are entitled to decide what is “good for” everyone else. The power corrupts them and the resulting tyranny and incompetence leads to social and economic failure.
THE FINANCIALLY ELITE want to own all the property, assets and resources. They are masters of the global Monopoly Game we call “the economy”. The more material wealth they get, the more they want.
The Politicial elites want to steal our freedom and the Financial ones want to steal our stuff.
The financial elites donate money to help the political ones gain control of the government and also pay taxes on the profits (that they collect from the common people) that enables “the government” to have more authority and control of the people.
The political elites grant contracts and enact legislation that favours the growth of the large business enterprises and discourages competition from smaller ones.
The people have become more and more dependent upon and obedient to the political elites of the major political parties whose representeatives are elected to govern them.
A very small and rich minority of people have become richer while the rest have become poorer and more burdened by personal and government debt.
Fear of “Climate change” is enabling the political elites to gain even more authority and power over the rest of the people to “save the planet” (which might not be in danger).
The climate change legislation enables the global financial elites to become richer at the expense of the rest of the people who have to pay more to live and also replace things they currently own with new “green” ones they cannot afford to buy.
The carbon tax and credits system is a financial industry to be eploited by the rich at the expense of the poor.
Property can be purchased and provide a return for doing nothing productive while the revenue from “watching trees grow” is assured by government legislation.
The business of trading the carbon credits also generates profits for those in the game.
C0nsumers of goods and services pay the costs and the resulting inflation will generate more tax revenue for the politically elite to spend governing them.
The climate science is difficult to understand because so many different factors are involved but the “climate change” agenda is easy to understand by FOLLOWING THE MONEY as it flows from the common people to the political and financial elites.
The obvious thing to do would be to rebel and take the authority and power away from the elite minority by refusing to support or vote for the corrupted major political parties and the celebrity politicians they choose and manipulate us to elect to serve them in their government.
Unfortunately, the masses just keep voting for the same “brands” and complaining when they are disappointed once again but do not seem to have the courage or desire to hire some new and better employees (from the small political parties) to work for them in their government.
We do not have to keep voting Labour, National or Green just because we think other people will and they do so because they think we will.
We will not “waste our votes” by giving some new employeees a try.
Rejecting the major parties will threaten and reduce the authority and power that the political and financial elites have over us.
Bud, you’re (sadly) so correct. Google it and you’ll find “the basic rule for drinking pine is 10 gallons of water for every single inch of tree diameter. That means a 12-inch plant will absorb nearly 120 gallons of water. There are also records that average pine trees can absorb up to 150 gallons of water a day when there is unlimited water.” Streams where pines have been planted en masse are now running dry. Once they flowed -before pines – all year round.
These are trout streams, habitat and spawning waters. Where is Fish and Game?
These streams are native fish habitat – where is the Department of Conservation and the Ministry for the Environment? AWOL.
WHY DO WE ALLOW NON-RESIDENT FOREIGN OWNERSHIP OF NZ LAND AT ALL?
The only Kiwis I come across who agree with it .. are those who are “feeding at the trough” .. bureaucrats .. and politicians!
The vast majority of Kiwis disagree with it!
Much less .. allow foreign interests to buy our land .. let them plant it pine trees .. lock us out of our own spaces .. and all just so they can claim carbon credits / offsets?
And now we see the resulting “forestry slash” adding hugely to the devastation caused by flooding events!
All while the foreign owners are sunning themselves in Acapulco (or wherever else they happen to be), oblivious to the carnage their investments are helping to cause!
Stop Non-Resident Foreign Land Ownership in New Zealand.
WE .. MUST .. HAVE .. ROCKS .. IN .. OUR .. HEADS!!!
I totally agree with what everyone else here is saying.
What i cant understand is how all these foreign investors are allowed to come here and purchase this kind of land and totally stuff decent farms meaning people working on them are out of work.
When you see all the slash that is causing so much damage, it is devastating both in Monetary terms to fix the damage, i.e. bridges etc. and peoples livelihoods.
And because of pine trees we also have wilding pines which themselves are a cost to the country and water ways. This govt and future govt need to stand up and grow some balls and say enough is enough because I bet the govt will do nothing and it will continue happening. We are being sold out to the wealthy overseas buyers like others were saying to offset their carbon credits so they can keep polluting. it has to stop!
And worst of all ?. It is all invain . Extra CO2 can not.Does not,and never has caused extra warming in the past . The sun not CO2 governs our climate .We now cool as we go into ”The Eddy Minnimum” the next solar grand minimum . U.A.H Satellite data for January 2023? minus 0.04 degrees C below the 30 year long running average.. Extra CO2 may if anything cause slight cooling. [ by increasing convection and hydrological cycles which are responsible for over 80% of this planet’s cooling.]
The family farm is an example farmed for 70 years. A 10,000 stock unit farm, it sold four years ago for $7 million, now sold to a forestry syndicate for $17 million. Government needs to wake up. Market forces are not always good for the public interest.
Amazing the Green Party, really in coalition with Labour, do not seem to be concerned. Greens have lost their way, too wacky and into social engineering.
It is well known that the practices planting pines and of leaving slash on the sides of hills needs to be addressed and changed – pines have replaced native bush that stabilized the ground and that the slash needs to be cleaned up because it ends up in our waterways. Emergency Management Minister Kieran McAnulty, in a briefing on the cyclone response, said “there was no doubt slash was causing an unneeded addition to the weather event”. It is also well known pine forest monoculture on the side of rivers, streams, lakes, and other waterways impact adversely on their ecosystems.
Pine trees use much more water than native trees, accordingly, from the first stages of planting exotics, runoff is decreased and increasingly less water flows into and in waterways. Additionally, the adverse effect continues as pine plantations (along with the spread of wilding pines) cause acidification of soils which destroys the alkalinity of fresh water in which numerous invertebrate aquatic insect larvae thrive in and provide food for both native and trout and salmon species.
Olive, Good point re adverse effect on “both native and trout and salmon species.” It raises the question where is the Department of Conservation? Silent and motionless – sleeping.
Stop Press , With the sad result in the Hawkes Bay ? am sure everyone will agree that this whole Industry needs an urgent reset !! Slash Pine waste should be managed much better by using a “Native Tree Buffer Zone ” around all future Pine plantings, as the thick moss/ Lichen that grows under Native Trees , act as a sponge & soak up water & slows down the run off & must help with Water Quality fishery/ food gathering wise .
Also some of that Pine Waste should be recovered right away , post harvest ? Sure some of you have have burnt green pine cones & bark ? almost as good as coal & chucks out the heat , as it contains Turps/ Gas, Methane Etc . are we ignoring a future energy resource here ? /// Also I note we are STILL selling our Land overseas of late Southland ? Sure as hell Bods in Kualalumpa , are that NOT worried about all the damage that is done ? they just want the $$$$$ .
Sorry should read KUALA LUMPUR !! Many Thanks .
Big damage to farms and towns all along the East Coast. Particularly from slash and logs from exotic logging, you will have seen it on tv. TOTAL BLOODY MESS.
Forestry industry is 80% foreign owned, corporate structure.