Politics and the Environment – Cause and Effect

Opinion by John B Henderson 

The late John B Henderson was national president of the NZ Deerstalkers Association. He wrote many editorials in NZDA’s magazine “NZ Wildlife”. In this editorial of Autumn 1973, he wrote of the relationship between politics and the outdoors. 
When too many say they aren’t interested in politics, John spells out that there’s no other choice – if you care. 
He reflects on the 1972 election when the National government were ousted by the Norm Kirk-led Labour Part with environmental and outdoor issues to the fore. These are extracts.



© John B Henderson – “Politics and environment are nothing more and nothing less than cause and effect.”


If there were any doubts in the past that the great public debates involving the environment conservation and outdoor recreation were politics issues, then the hard lessons driven home by the general election should have spelled them for all but the myopic.
An entrenched government paid the price for the many forms of environmental destruction they were either directly responsible for or which they had allowed to happen. and for their neglect, were unceremoniously bundled out of office.
Did the previous National government think it had any friends at all with respect to their blundering with the public’s Lakes Manapouri – Te Anau? (The defeated government wanted to raise the lakes both in a National Park to provide power to a foreign owned aluminium smelter)
Did they catch one single vote in that long, immensely costly and stupid trout farming debacle? – the blatant attempt to commercialise a sporting fish and the most popular recreational pursuit in New Zealand, for pin money? Did they not read the newspaper columns or sense the massive wave of protest that ran through the angling fraternity for more than three years and made enemies of thousands of ordinary placid anglers?
Did that government make one ounce of sense in trying to defend a dozen or so weird land deals they arranged a blessing for, involving secret negotiations with respect to public land, the sale of first class farm land to foreign absentee owners?
We now have a different government and it is hoped the public will be just as diligent in examining its record at the next election in 1975. On the credit side we have already seen action that killed he trout farming bill and moves with respect to lakes Manapouri and Te Anau that look promising.
To those naive souls who continue to bleat that conservation, fishing, shooting and hunting and politics don’t mix I say that is precisely what those who pull the big strings want you to believe – you will continue to do so at your peril.
If the system fails, it is because the government has failed.
Politics and environment are nothing more and nothing less than cause and effect.










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4 Responses to Politics and the Environment – Cause and Effect

  1. Bud jones JonesQSM says:

    The time has come again for those who enjoy the outdoor sports activities to wipe the Parliament clean of Ardern & her cabal of racists intent on demolishing democracy & installing a 50/50 power share with elite iwi tribes.
    Right now the paper work is being finalized to hand over the conservation estate ownership to part maori racists. Further land zoning changes will result in the entire country being handed over to moedi demands.Witness, fore shore & seabed already gone.
    Our time has come, so that we follow the likes of JB Henderson in standing for what has been handed to us to preserve.Make no mistake we have been called up to bat.

  2. Chaz Forsyth says:

    John B Henderson was a ‘power house’ all on his own. He was so far-sighted, he predicted too that the NZ way of life would change once the population reached 5 million.

    Naive people thought (and argued) there was no place for politics in sport. For some, these views persisted until the 1981 Springbok tour! Those of us who knew of the deer control debacle, were aware of its roots (and the politics which interfered with recreational hunting which lay in decisions passed in 1930.

  3. Bud jones JonesQSM says:

    Prime Minister has now confirmed that her Government will begin consultation on the wider implementation of co-governance in New Zealand

  4. Ben Hope says:

    The most shameful thing with John Henderson as NZDA president was the underhand attempts to assassinate him (from within NZDA) constitutionally at an Ashburton NZDA conference. Luckily the underhand move was thwarted by a top guy the late Bruce Candy of Ashburton who quickly moved a vote of confidence in the president. The would-be assassins were NZDA members who were National Party members, National being the government at the time. John Henderson was fearless but judicious and proper in his defence of the outdoors, deer and hunting..

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