Politics and the Environment – Cause and Effect

Opinion by John B Henderson 
The late John B Henderson was national president of the NZ Deerstalkers Association, a very competent trout fly fisherman. and saltwater angler  He wrote many editorials in NZDA’s magazine “NZ Wildlife”. In this editorial of Autumn 1973, he wrote of the relationship between politics and the outdoors. When too many say they aren’t interested in politics, John spells out that there’s no other choice – if you care. He reflects on the 1972 election when the National government were ousted by the Norm Kirk-led Labour Part with environmental and outdoor issues to the fore. These are extracts.
If there were any doubts in the past that the great public debates involving the environment conservation and outdoor recreation were politics issues, then the hard lessons driven home by the general election should have spelled them for all but the myopic.
An entrenched government paid the price for the many formso f environmental destruction they were either directly responsible for or which they had allowed to happen. and for their neglect, were unceremoniously bundled out of office.
Did the previous National government think it had any friends at all with respect to their blundering with the public’s Lakes Manapouri – Te Anau? (The defeated government wanted to raise the lakes both in a National Park to provide power to a foreign owned aluminium smelter)
Did they catch one single vote in that long, immensely costly and stupid trout farming debacle? – the blatant attempt to commercialise a sporting fish and the most popular recreational pursuit in New Zealand, for pin money? Did they not read the newspaper columns or sense the massive wave of protest that ran through the angling fraternity for more than three years and made enemies of thousands of ordinary placid anglers?
Did that government make one ounce of sense in trying to defend a dozen or so weird land deals they arranged a blessing for, involving secret negotiations with respect to public land, the sale of first class farm land to foreign absentee owners?
We now have a different government and it is hoped the public will be just as diligent in examining its record at the next election in 1975. On the credit side we have already seen action that killed the trout farming bill and moves with respect to lakes Manapouri and Te Anau that look promising.
To those naive souls who continue to bleat that conservation, fishing, shooting and hunting and politics don’t mix I say that is precisely what those who pull the big strings want you to believe – you will continue to do so at your peril.
If the system fails, it is because the government has failed.
Politics and environment are nothing more and nothing less than cause and effect.
<c> John Henderson packing into the Tararua Ranges 1950s.

, Politics and the Environment &#8211; Cause and Effect

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7 Responses to Politics and the Environment – Cause and Effect

  1. Fred Hemi says:

    I well remember the 1972 election and beating trout farming. Now Fish and Game is under threat of a governmental takeover. If government succeeds, trout farming will be high on its agenda. John Henderson’s words apply to today.

  2. Stewart Hydes says:

    If you’re seriously “not interested in politics” .. then you shouldn’t vote .. it’s as simple as that.
    Easy. If you’re not prepared to do some homework .. research the policies of the various options .. then your vote may do more harm, than good.
    You’ll end up casting your vote for the wrong reasons.
    Not who’s best for your electorate .. or, to end up in government, and running the country .. but who you like the look of the most.
    And looks can be deceiving.
    Look at the mess we’re in right now.
    The global pandemic is taking all of the attention .. and drawing our eyes away from the fact so many things are heading south.
    The fundamentals of our economy .. the ability of our small businesses to be successful .. and even aspects of our way of life.

  3. Graham Elwell says:

    Water is Life ! & Politicians must play their part in stopping the sad decline of our Water Quality ? by HALTING ASAP > all FREE Bs handed out by ” Big Chem” ! who like their mates Big Oil think they can do as they like ? Buy extra get a Parka or in the draw for a new 4×4 ! resulting in that far more AG/Hort Chem Etc. is sprayed out than is actually needed ? & sooner or later it ends up in our Waterways .///// Humans plus Trout & Salmon NEED clean water. So Politicians please pull finger ? as you as well are drinking without knowing it , some crook water as well ! PS liked the pic of John Henderson, if only we could bring him back.

  4. Dr. Charlie Baycroft says:

    What everyone ought to do is join one of the main political parties and attend a few of the local meetings.

    You might learn something about who actually has control of our political system and who benefits from it.

    There are less than 50,000 party members in NZ.

    Only a small percentage of them are actively involved.

    A dozen or less regularly attend and participate in local party meetings where issues are discussed, policies are agreed, representatives are chosen (for the rest of us to vote for) and campaigns are planned and implemented.

    The majority of these people are older and often were government employees.

    They are serious and well meaning people but most seem to think that they are somehow entitled to meddle in everything and tell everyone else what to think, say and do.

    Perhaps it is not unfair to label these people as “moralistic busybodies”.

    Not many of these influential people hunt, fish or shoot and most do not approve of anyone who does.

    The culture in these little groups is very prejudiced toward people that hunt, fish or shoot and the policies that they create are designed to discourage this “horrible” behaviour.

    If you vote and think that this gives you any understanding or influence over what the government will do to you then you are sadly mistaken.

    If you want to understand what is really going on and how the system works then you ought to join one of the main parties, front up to some meetings and maybe even get some representation before it is too late.

  5. Grant Henderson says:

    Farmers are starting up a protest against what they see as over-regulation by the government (others see it as farmers being held to account for their actions).

    We must start organising our forces against the voices of rural self interest which are now on the march and whipping themselves into righteous anger. No doubt they will find plenty of opposition politicians ready to listen.

    A media headline about the protest read “Enough is enough”. Of course, you could say the same about the way farming has hammered our rivers, the Selwyn being one.

    • Dave Rhodes says:

      Sorry Grant, whilst I sympathise with your sentiments as they affect water quality and fishing, the issues here are much larger than that and deserve revolt.
      The French Yellow Vests are an example we need to emulate if this out of control loony-left/green/maori government is to be brought to heel.
      I will be at a local Groundswell event “Howl of a Protest” tomorrow with my dog and my Ute. See https://groundswellnz.co.nz/
      Issues range from SNA’s, impossible and unworkable predator-free, mass 1080 poisoning, manic Fish & Game and of course ultra-invasive bureaucratic interference at all stratums of society usually by bureaucrats with little to no real-world knowledge of their topic of interference.
      Not to mention a government spending taxpayer money like water. Alot of it totally unaccounted for especially when “gifted” to Maori. Again$750m for a bridge that’s not even needed, yet unable to pay those angels of mercy our nurses a living wage. Shame on them.

  6. Keith Hawkins says:

    Dear David,
    Do you think it is okay to pour synthetic nitrogen on poorus ground like the canterbury plains and then sit back with your blinkers on so as not to observe the detrimental effects of the enviroment. Some would say you made the mess so you clean it up.
    I guess its okay for the government to pay out hundreds of millions for farmers on irrigation and the clean up of micoplasma bovis but god help us if the government spends on other things.
    Its all very well bleating on about the ute tax but if i am correct farmers always right off these costs as business costs at tax time so are you any worse off.

    You seem to think that it is okay to drain wetlands which serve a vital purpose in the environment and once again sit back while the government spend tax payers money on building artificial wetland replacements

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