Labour and West Coast trees

Government to allow recovery of West Coast windfall timber:

Special legislation is to be passed by Parliament to enable the recovery of high value native timber blown over in Cyclone Ita on West Coast public conservation land, Dr Nick Smith announced today.

“We need to take a pragmatic approach and enable the timber to be recovered where it can be done so safely and with minimal environmental impact. This initiative will provide welcome jobs and economic opportunities for the West Coast at a difficult time, and will provide a financial return to DOC that can be reinvested in conservation work,” Dr Smith says.

This could be an awkward move for Damien O’Connor, unless Labour decide to back theis legislation. Here’s a possible sign that they may be against the recovery of fallen trees:

Smith plans sale of trees to fund DOC

National is to introduce urgent legislation possibly today. The use of urgency is often controversial and should normally only be permitted where the measure has budgetary implications, where there is a discovered defect in legislation which needs to be corrected or where there is otherwise good reason to change the law quickly.

But this bill is deeply political and clearly designed for campaign purposes. It will have limited effect in the South Island only and is obviously an attempt to drive a wedge between ordinary working people and environmental movements. It could be called the “Deseat Damian O’Connor and Denigrate the Greens Act 2014″. Because what is proposed is to allow the commercial use of felled trees in conservation areas on the West Coast.

The bill is obviously an attempt to turn West Coasters against any party that stands up for environmental protection. If it is passed the forests will be weakened as biomass and important habitats for other creatures are removed. While there may be a case for limited extraction the bill should go to a select committee so that this can be explored.

That looks like one of mickysavage’s less ‘personal opinion’ posts. Is it his own opposition, is he testing the waters for Labour, or are Labour starting to campaign against it?

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