Greens on warpath over Ruataniwha dam

Majo Mathers 

The Green Party will fiercely oppose Bill English’s plan to override the Supreme Court decision that saved part of the Ruahine Forest Park from being flooded for the Ruataniwha dam.

Bill English has signalled that he would change the law to override the Supreme Court’s ruling that prevents the Department of Conservation from swapping conservation land for private farmland.

If National changes this law then specially protected forest and the habitat of threatened species will be destroyed forever.

‘Cynical and destructive change’

The Green Party will fight National all the way if they pursue this cynical and destructive law change – and so will thousands of New Zealanders who care about our protected parks and forests.

New Zealand’s protected parks and forests are meant to be safe and preserved for future generations, not traded away to make a quick buck.

Slippery slope

It is a slippery slope. How many other areas of our protected parks and forests will be traded away and destroyed so that they can be dammed or mined for private gain?

National is being disingenuous by claiming the conservation estate will gain from the exchange of protected forest for private land. This ignores the fact that the private land in this case is not threatened, so if we lose part of the Ruahine Forest there will be a net loss of native bush and habitat.

This dam does not stack up economically, it does not stack up environmentally and it requires the destruction of habitat of threatened species. It’s time to walk away from this dam.

Mojo Mathers is a Member of Parliament on Green’s List and the Party’s Spokesperson for Conservation, Animal Welfare and Disability Issues.

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