Outdoor Council Expects More Enlightened Environmentalism From Coalition
The Council of Outdoor Recreational Associations of New Zealand (CORANZ) has welcomed the new coalition government of NZ First and Labour backed by the Green Party.
CORANZ’s co-chairmen Andi Cockroft and Bill Benfield said the track record of the defeated National-led government relative to outdoor recreation and the environment, made it imperative that a new, approach was urgently needed.
“If it took a change of government to achieve that, so be it,” he said.
Bill Benfield said on rivers alone the past government had a sad attitude of denial while it continued to champion more and more growth of dairying with irrigation demands and more nitrate leaching. Andi Cockroft said issues had become several due to the previous government’s disregard for the environment and democracy.
“The gutting of the democratically elected ECAN council in Canterbury and Environment Minister Nick Smith’s dictatorially grabbing centralised approval rights for aerial poison drops, short-sighted immigration influx, widespread 1080 drops on public lands, allowing foreign mineral exploration of forest parks and inshore seabeds, uncontrolled sale of farm lands to foreigners, mismanaged sea fisheries and others were an indictment of the previous government’s obsession with exploitive raids on public resources and the environment.”
Another issue CORANZ was concerned about was the on-going treaty claims by small but powerful elites in iwis which under National’s treaty minister Chris Finlayson were “madly out of control.” Often involved were public resources such as coast lines, mountains and potentially water.
Both CORANZ co-chairmen said the coalition deal represented a grand opportunity to rescind the National-led government’s policies and and change cultures that often were based on neo-liberalism.
“We anticipate and expect a far more enlightened environmental approach,” said Andi Cockroft.