Envirologue by Dave Hansford

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Envirologue: Swamp Monsters – the Looting of Northland’s Sunken Assets

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  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Alfie,

    Attachment

    Christine Murdoch from July 6.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4529 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    The Herald exposes the sheer volume of swap kauri being exported and claims this has jumped "more than 2500 per cent in five years."

    In 2009, 173 cubic metres of swamp kauri was legally exported. That increased to 1150 cubic metres in 2013, before sky-rocketing to 4356 cubic metres last year.

    Nicholas Jones' story shows that a single company, Silver Fern Resource Trading, sent 1810 cubic metres last year -- all to China. That company is owned by one Yongpeng Wei from Auckland.

    The photograph accompanying the story shows just how intricate and detailed the 'carving' needs to be to garner a rubber stamp from our government.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1328 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    Attachment

    Another log heads south from Paparore.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1295 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    And to add insult to injury, maybe, to the Kaimaumau Wetlands, the plan is to revive Peat Mining.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/regional/282933/northland-iwi-looks-at-peat-mining-proposal

    Locals know nothing about this latest project, but some remember the last time the peat was mined and how the process left the land unproductive for years afterwards.

    This company plans to 'mine' 20 hectares of wetland per year, and could dig down to 7 metres deep in places.

    That is one fucking big hole.

    This document has maps of the area, history of previous peat mining activity, and details the sensitivity of the reserve.

    http://www.doc.govt.nz/documents/science-and-technical/sfc155.pdf

    We have a really bad feeling about this.

    (disclaimer: we are avid shore fishers...Kaimaumau is one of our favourite possies, safe parking for the Bus, and reasonably wheelchair friendly)

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1295 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    Attachment

    While waiting to capture the swamp kauri log on the back of the truck, we waited in the grounds of the Ancient Kauri Kingdom in Awanui.

    The above carved log is in their entrance.

    It would have been rude not to go inside and at least buy a couple of coffees...and I was stunned by the sheer beauty of the processed swamp kauri on display.

    Clearly there are local artisans more than capable of converting this 'resource' into items of commercial worth.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1295 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Auditor-General Lyn Provost has released her report into the MPI rubber-stamping the illegal export of swap kauri on a massive scale. And guess what.

    ...she had seen "no evidence that the Ministry is allowing the export of illegal timber or timber products".

    So that's alright then.

    Moving right along folks. Nothing to see here.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1328 posts Report Reply

  • Fiona Mackenzie,

    The Northland Environmental Protection Society filed action in the Auckland High Court on Friday 11th September against MPI and Customs over their interpretation of the 1949 Forestry Act. We will allow the Court to decide on the legality of the export of Swamp Kauri.

    Northland • Since Sep 2015 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Fiona Mackenzie,

    Glad someone did. Thanks for that.Would be interested if you are keeping abreast of this as to any further updates. As I'd assume others here would too.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Fiona Mackenzie, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    I will keep you up to date with what NEPs is doing. Evidence of timber overseas is everywhere on the net. The Ombudsman also found in our favour. MPI must hand over more information on our OIAs. Still waiting. Where is all the timber from the illegal mining sites. As the AG has said it was left up to trust. No timber has ever been confiscated. Our indigenous wetlands have been devastated by the the mining for swamp kauri. They are now wanting to open cast strip mine the Kaimaumau wetlands for resin. The NRC is considering funding this destruction.

    Northland • Since Sep 2015 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1295 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    more blind 'Justice'

    The Employment Relations Authority has dismissed the claims of Michael Nager, an environmental monitoring officer who said he was bullied by the council and unjustifiably dismissed.
    Mr Nager was attacked and had bleach thrown in his eyes in June 2013, while on his way to court to give evidence against two Far North men who had defied council orders to stop digging up wetlands and ancient kauri logs.
    The pair were swamp kauri miners who later admitted that offence, although nobody was ever charged with the attack.

    Great to see how the council support those it charges with enforcing their regulations, revictimising the victim - and they were so proud of themselves on the radio too - no concern about people getting away with intimidation and assault - grrrr...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7565 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    More on Checkpoint from earlier this evening.

    From the other side they seem to be arguing that he spent lots of time “not being responsive and communicative, and failing to show up to important meetings about his job” while the regional council “tried to act with sensitivity and acted as a fair and reasonable employer”.

    He probably would have a response to that statement, but Checkpoint didn’t go so far as finding out and/or reporting it.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1107 posts Report Reply

  • Fiona Mackenzie,

    Northland Environmental Protection Society takes MPI to Court this month over what we allege is the illegal export of swamp kauri. 25th/26th July in the Auckland High Court.

    Northland • Since Sep 2015 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Fiona Mackenzie,

    I hope the court sees that the illegal shipping caused the destruction of valuable ( not monetary valued ) wetlands.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3870 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    Top Energy refuses to sell swamp kauri

    Far North power generator Top Energy has turned down overseas offers to buy swamp kauri on its land near Kaikohe.


    Instead it is moving to protect it.

    The lines company owns wetlands around its geothermal power stations at Ngawha, where ancient logs lie preserved.

    Top Energy chief executive Russell Shaw said the company had been offered big sums for the kauri by Chinese interests but believed it was too precious to sell.

    He said it was possible to walk around the partly buried forest, and pick up kauri leaves preserved for 2000 years - while the girth of the trees towered above humans.

    Mr Shaw said Top Energy and the Far North Council were arranging permanent protection for the swamp kauri at Ngawha, and believed the geothermal area had excellent tourism potential.

    Great news.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1295 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Fiona Mackenzie,

    Northland Environmental Protection Society takes MPI to Court this month over what we allege is the illegal export of swamp kauri. 25th/26th July in the Auckland High Court.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/82407475/swamp-kauri-case-in-auckland-high-court

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1295 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    I’ve seen a few references to this informative post in recent days.

    Who would have thought that the kauri would come back and bite in the last week of an election campaign? Ironically, also with a strange link to the Minister charged with fronting and sorting the mess.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3114 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Ironically, also with a strange link to the Minister charged with fronting and sorting the mess.

    Hmmm....I've had a wee gumbeat over on TS about this...I smell a number of rats decomposing in the swamp on this latest incident. The pipeline practically forms the eastern boundary of the big log storage yard.

    I will not be satisfied until we get up there to check out the locale...from our knowledge of that immediate area things are not adding up. Vehicle troubles at the moment but should be up there by the weekend.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1295 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Ironically, also with a strange link to the Minister charged with fronting and sorting the mess.

    A very strange link Hillary. The spill attributed to kauri excavation is in Ruakaka, and there's a company called Kauri Ruakaka Ltd. By a strange twist of fate, that company used to be known as Oravida Kauri Ltd.

    Isn't it funny how dots sometimes mysteriously conspire to join up.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1328 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Alfie,

    The spill attributed to kauri excavation is in Ruakaka, and there’s a company called Kauri Ruakaka Ltd. By a strange twist of fate, that company used to be known as Oravida Kauri Ltd.

    I'm waiting for the cowpoo to hit the rotor blades, somehow, soon - but it's strangely quiet.
    newshub "The 170km pipeline was damaged by a digger driver hunting for swamp kauri at Ruakaka three months ago, the New Zealand Herald reports.
    The pipeline remained intact but ruptured when pressure was increased on Thursday.
    Refining NZ chief executive Sjoerd Post confirmed to Newshub a digger had scraped over it, and it will take 10 to 15 days to fix."
    Read somewhere today it was definitely "kauri ruakaka" but now can't find that. So still waiting for Ms Collins to field some tough questions ...

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2065 posts Report Reply

  • dave stewart, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Since Aug 2014 • 36 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Alfie,

    Isn’t it funny how dots sometimes mysteriously conspire to join up.

    Another dot in the series - confirmation from Lloyds that the digger did it.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/97041095/damaged-auckland-fuel-pipeline-may-have-been-waiting-to-break-since-2014

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2014 • 765 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody,

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2014 • 765 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    I'm surprised that someone in the MSM hasn't picked up on this connection. Yet.

    And an interesting thing. If you drill down through Oravida-related companies, director Shi Stone has 14 companies with the word "kauri" in their registered name. Ownership of these seems to weave through a variety of holding companies, for whatever reason.

    And I see Jenny Shipley appears as a director for some. If the connection is correct, there is a certain irony in the fact that part of the blame for the current fuel crisis falls on the shoulders of a former National PM as well as an aspiring PM who'll never make the cut.

    I guess the positive side of this is the undeniable ability of those responsible to pay full compensation for the damage they've caused.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1328 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Hmmm. The Dom Post was ready to run a story attributing responsibility for the swamp kauri fiasco, but the story was mysteriously spiked yesterday. Now why would that be?

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1328 posts Report Reply

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