Minister of Shane Jones has no good policy answer for 50 Shades of Green’s concerns about favoring forestry over farming so has resorted to getting petty politicking:
Minister Jones is both wrong in fact and totally out of court with his accusations against the conservation lobby group 50 Shades of Green.
To claim, as he did, that we’re part of the National Party is a little like suggesting James Shaw is about to join Act 50 Shades of Green spokesman Mike Butterick said.
“I find this type of political loquaciousness offensive and cheap,” Mike Butterick said. “If Minister Jones has any hard proof maybe he’d like to share it.
“50 Shades of Green is a non-political organisation committed to maintaining prosperous provinces.
“Minister Jones obviously wants to achieve the opposite.
“Anyone is welcome to join our organisation regardless of colour, class, creed or political persuasion,” Mike Butterick said.
“All they need is a strong belief in provincial New Zealand and be prepared to work to maintain its prosperity.
50 Shades of Green was born of concern about the threat subsidies for forestry pose to the future of rural communities and food production.
It’s a political issue but it’s not a partisan one.
That the Minister is resorting to political attacks shows he’s not really listening to the concerns being expressed by farmers, local body politicians, real estate agents, stock agents and others who understand how serious the rapid afforestation of productive farmland is.
If nothing is changed rural communities with be even harder hit than they were by the ag-sag of the 1980s.
Serious concerns deserve a far more considered response than petty politicking from the Minister.
You can read more about the issues at 50 Shades of Green
You can sign the petition asking that legislation which incentivises the blanket afforestation of farmland be rejected