The Green Party can’t see the wood for the trees.
It’s letting itself be blinded by its ideology to oppose the sensible, and environmentally sensitive, recovery of thousands of hectares of native trees felled by Cyclone Ita.
National’s West Coast-Tasman candidate lobbied Conservation Minister Nick Smith to allow the recovery and said:
. . . that with the downturn in international coal and gold prices, the extra forestry and sawmilling work this decision “would be a welcome filler for jobs and economic activities on the West Coast”.
Sitting MP, Labour’s Damien O’Connor is not quite so enthusiastic:
West Coast-Tasman MP Labour’s Damien O’Connor said he wanted to read the bill before deciding how he would vote, although he thought National would “just” have the numbers to get it through.
He said on the face of it, it seemed logical, and trying to reduce waste from the storm and create opportunities was sensible: “Any opportunities for our region at the moment are welcome.”
However, they had to be mindful not to flood the market, and squeeze out existing operators. . .
Perhaps his caution is prompted by not being sure whether his party will back him if he supports the recovery.
It was Labour which stopped logging on the Coast and it’s in a difficult position.
It’s caught between knowing it should support something which will provide jobs even if it means supporting a government initiative, and not wanting to buy another disagreement with the party it’s most likely to need as a coalition partner if it’s too have any chance of forming a government this year.
That would mean it too take the short-sighted focus on the trees which nature felled of the wider view of the woods which could provide much-needed work for Coasters?