Labour & Greens opposed $1.2m windfall for DoC

The Department of Conservation has made more than $1 million by harvesting native timber blown over by a cyclone on the West Coast.

Up to 400,000 hectares of public conservation land in the West Coast was damaged by Cyclone Ita in April 2014.

The government passed urgent legislation to allow the Department of Conservation (DoC) to open parts of the coast to operators to harvest the timber.

So far more than 5000 cubic metres of timber has been harvested, 90 percent of which was rimu.

DoC spokesman Tim Shaw said $1.2 million had been made from processing the timber. . . 

That windfall money will  be spent on conservation yet Labour and the Greens opposed the legislation that made it possible.

7 Responses to Labour & Greens opposed $1.2m windfall for DoC

  1. pdm says:

    Labour and the Greens doing what comes naturally to them – opposing for the sake of opposing. No vision and no hope.

  2. Bulaman says:

    And the wider economic benefit (wild approximation)
    Helicopter and associated $1 million
    Processing $0.5 million
    Sale of Timber $5 million
    Reduced imports due to substitution
    After 2017 keep it going!

  3. Dave Kennedy says:

    I guess this is going to be the way of things from now on. DoC forced to make ends meet by collecting windfalls to finance conservation.

    Obviously the money is desperately needed after over $60 million has been cut from DoCs budget under National.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/8546008/The-true-cost-of-DOC-budget-cuts

    I had a visit yesterday from well known local mountaineer who was concerned about the cost to the country and our conservation estate from the huge increase in tourist numbers. Tramping and climbing huts are bursting with overseas travelers and few are paying for the real impacts of their travel. Tourists can pay for an annual hut pass of $122 and if they then walk the Te Araroa walkway they are only paying $1-2 a night. I was also told about ill prepared tourists who do things like ripping off mattress covers to fashion ponchos to protect themselves from unexpected bad weather. We have all heard the stories of ill-prepared tourists who need to be rescued at great expense to us.

    Rather than celebrating the riches of collecting fallen trees (and all the organisation and environmental considerations involved) why not charge reasonable rates for staying in our huts and have a conservation tax on all tourists that could then go directly to DoC. Tourists come to experience our natural environment and it seems only reasonable that they donate something for protecting it.

    We had over 3 million visitors last year, at $25 each, that would provide $75 million of extra funding for DoC. Charging at least $20 a night for huts would also provide millions for their upkeep.

    Tourism is the latest gold rush and we are approaching it the same as dairying, pushing for quantity rather than quality and not having a sustainable approach to growth.

    I still personally oppose the harvesting of windfalls.

  4. Will says:

    Real jobs for New Zealanders, harvesting resources which would otherwise go to waste, to be used to manufacture real products.

    You favour new taxes. You’re just taking the piss aren’t you Dave, winding us up.

  5. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    I’m curious, did your mountaineer suggest increasing the hut cost?

    Back country huts make around $1.6M (2015) in revenue. Most huts have a fee of $5 per night.

    You suggest we should make $75M from these huts. That makes the nightly fee $234.

    Given the huts work on an honest box basis – good luck with that!

  6. Dave Kennedy says:

    Will, when you talk of fallen trees going to waste in our conservation estate it is the same as saying fresh water that reaches the sea is a waste. Do you believe that as well?

    Mr E, go back and read again what I said regarding hut passes, talk about misrepresentation…good grief!

    http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-stay/stay-in-a-hut/booking-and-paying/

    When our taxes go into maintaining DoC for New Zealanders to pay $5 a night is still pretty reasonable but I think tourists should pay a little more for the privilege of using our facilities. $122 is pretty cheap for a couple of weeks or more accommodation for tourists. I wonder how much it costs when we also have to rescue them because they go out unprepared?

  7. Dave Kennedy says:

    Oops…”When our taxes go into maintaining DoC huts, for New Zealanders to pay $5 a night is still pretty reasonable…”

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