Iwi want to own the forest, but then want taxpayer to pay for doing the weeding

Iwi want to own and manage the forest and tell us all they are the guardians of Waipoua Forest for us all…but it turns out that they really mean for a price….to help with the weeding.

The Waipoua Forest Trust says the Transport Agency is putting Tane Mahuta and other giant kauri under threat by careless management of the road that runs through the Northland forest.

The conservation trust sent a report to the agency saying endangered plants have been weed-sprayed and rare trees chainsawed, and invasive weeds are running rampant.

The trust’s spokesperson, Keith Stewart, said the agency was ignoring its responsibility to protect the forest, and the iwi in charge of managing the roadside needed to take more care.

He said the agency was being cavalier.

“I think the problem lies with the NZTA [New Zealand Transport Agency], they’re the ones at the end of the day who have the responsibility for that road and for the forest it goes through, the problem that we have at the trust right now is that the response from NZTA has been to completely ignore our complaints, completely ignore them.”

The Transport Agency said it had met trust representatives to try to understand their concerns, and was auditing the management of the forest.

Perhaps if they hadn’t bought 241 additional hectares they’d have the money to undertake the weeding.

And they are pushing tax breaks as well:

The Waipoua Forest Trust is a registered charity, with all donations/memberships eligible for New Zealand and international tax breaks. Created through the vision and drive of conservationist Stephen King, and guided by a board led by Te Iwi o Te Roroa kaumatua, Alex Nathan in accordance with the tikanga of Waipoua’s traditional guardians,  Te Roroa.

And while they blame NZTA, look who was actually responsible for the state highway maintenance:

For over a decade the Trust has also managed the state highway that traverses the Waipoua Kauri Sanctuary, ensuring that high eco-standards conducive to  high forest health are maintained. This has been award winning work, and has seen the emergence of rare plant life right to the edge of the forest highway, where treasured indigenous forest plants such as orchids can now be seen close to passing traffic.

Perhaps if they stuck to their aims and goals instead of gallivanting off to Japan on junkets things might be a little better looking.

In April 2009, Alex Nathan, who is chairman of both Te Roroa Whatu Ora and Waipoua Forest trust, met with his counterpart from the Yakushima community in Japan, which has similar concerns about preserving ancient giant trees. The two leaders launched the “Family of Ancient Trees” project to raise mutual awareness and encourage eco-tourism. The agreement followed a series of visits and talks between members of the trust and other concerned New Zealand groups and their opposite numbers in Japan. In May 2009 the trust was one of the sponsors of the Waipoua Forest run, in which many Japanese visitors participated.

Bludgers be bludgers…and some can’t ever stop themselves.

 

– Radio NZ


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