Groundswell NZ welcomes the Prime Minister's announcement that an investigation will be conducted into issues around forestry slash.
The grassroots organisation has regularly raised concerns about the impact of forestry on the environment and communities and are heartened to see the message has reached the right ears.
Groundswell NZ spokesperson Bryce McKenzie says:
"It will be crucial that the investigation looks into the massive amount of land being bought up for pine forestry by international buyers looking to get easy 100 per cent carbon offsets. The 100 per cent offsets mean these international companies don’t have to do a thing to address their own polluting behaviours.
“These pine forests don’t even contribute to our own carbon targets in New Zealand, but it’s our environment bearing the impact.
"Additionally, the land being scooped up by opportunistic offshore carbon-offsetters is often prime land for food production. This hurts our rural communities and the New Zealand economy.
“However, it would be a mistake to attribute all of the destruction we’ve seen post-cyclone to slash. The Government needs to also investigate the impact of pine forestry being planted in cyclone-susceptible areas which results in trees being blown over and vegetation being swept downstream, contributing to flood devastation.
"When the Government becomes blinkered by ideological approaches to addressing environmental problems they can miss the unintended consequences which can wreck their own havoc on the environment. That is one of the unintended consequences of having mass pine plantations."