Department of Conservation

We need to give greater protection to the public assets of heritage value.

A rumour around Wellington in early 1994 was that there was a Treasury paper advocating selling off part of the holdings of the Alexander Turnbull Library, which contains manuscripts, books and artefacts reflecting New Zealand’s cultural, intellectual and historical heritage.

Sir Geoffrey Palmer fears that the Government's response to a Supreme Court ruling may be "deeply offensive to the rule of law and a constitutional outrage." At the risk of challenging a legal Goliath, I must demur. 

Regular readers of my Pundit columns (all eight of you) will be aware that I am on occasion partial to uttering the odd cry of "won't someone please think of the Constitution!" Exhibit A.

All of the government’s signs are pointing the same way: relocating conservation and the Department of Conservation within the “natural resources” sector, the better to “streamline and simplify” its activities

Last year we learned that the Conservation Minister and the Energy and Resources Minister would both decide about giving access to conservation land for mining. One has an interest in the minerals beneath, the other in the land and the creatures who live there, on behalf of us: the public, the land holders.

Are national parks the things we have when we can’t find anything else to do with them? The Denniston mining proposal is like the Schedule 4 mining proposal, with bonus snails

The Denniston plateau, which is near Mount Augustus, has its own population of threatened giant snails.

Denniston is not a national park. It is not in Schedule 4. It is conservation land, that should have been part of a national park, the Kahurangi National Park. That status was withheld, because of the coal beneath.

Our native forests and the creatures that live in them are in retreat, says the PCE; commerce is a lesser evil than rats, stoats and possums. Barbeque sacred cows, says DOC. Just uphold the law, says Green MP Kevin Hague

Joe Harawira says Maori honour the natural world, for its mauri, mana, and tapu. So, he says, do the Federated Mountain Clubs, whose conference he is addressing -- although many of the delegates are silver-haired and white, and few raise their hands, when he asks who understood the karakia.