The Green Party campaigns vigorously against cow pooh pollution but in opposing legislation against freedom dumping they’re sanctioning human pooh pollution.
The Green Party’s opposition to the Freedom Camping Bill shows it puts people camping where they like ahead of responsibility to our environment, Environment Minister Nick Smith and Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson say.
The Bill passed its First Reading in Parliament yesterday with only the Green Party and former Conservation Minister Chris Carter opposing it.
“I am particularly disappointed the Green Party voted against the Bill. They are being hypocritical in demanding stronger action against polluting farmers but turning a blind eye to the increasing problems in our most sensitive areas caused by irresponsible freedom campers. They cannot pretend to be the defenders of New Zealand’s clean green brand when they put more weight on camping freely than the responsibility to do so without polluting,” Dr Smith said.
“We need to take a consistent and fair approach to all groups whose pollution is damaging New Zealand’s reputation. The Government has more than doubled the maximum fines to $200,000 for farmers and $300,000 for industry for breaches of water discharge consents. Regional Councils have toughened up enforcement with a significant increase in the number of prosecutions. Everyone needs to take a step up in better respecting our environment.”
Ms Wilkinson says it’s baffling that the Green Party is happy for some of our most pristine and popular countryside to be treated as a toilet or dumping ground.
“Freedom camping will always remain part of the Kiwi holiday culture but it’s important that we can better prevent the appalling behaviour of the minority so everyone else can enjoy their holiday.
“This Bill is about giving local councils and DOC better tools to protect areas that have been badly impacted by the growth of freedom camping. The backcountry will remain unaffected, as it should be, and no responsible, law-abiding camper is going to be impacted.”
The legislation isn’t aimed at people who get caught short between loos. It’s designed to counter the growing problem of people camping where they will and dumping their rubbish and faeces there.
It is a problem not confined to rural areas. People in Te Anau and Wanaka have reported finding human waste on the grass verges of town streets.
People travelling in vehicles with self-contained loos will still be free to camp almost anywhere. Those without self-contained vehicles will have to stop where there are loos.
I can’t understand why anyone would oppose that, let alone the party that works so hard to counter other forms of pollution.