Public Access to Conservation Lands Under Threat?

by John Porter
This is an abridged version from Waikanae Watch site

The public’s conservation estate is being readied for control by Maori radicals says John Porter writing for Waikanae Watch. 
“The indicators are there for all to see,” he says.
An Options Development Group (ODG) was established in late 2020, by the Minister of Maori Development, Willie Jackson, to ensure any partial reviews of the general policies of the DOC were guided by perspectives and insights from te ao Māori at a national level.
, Public  Access  to Conservation Lands Under Threat?
<c> Willie Jackson

The implications for conservation land and native species are huge if the recommendations of ODG are “locked in.,” said John Porter. 
“Unfortunately, the process has been undertaken behind closed doors with the public excluded. Consultation has been extremely limited. It appears that the work completed by the group is ‘locked in’.”
This process would see all Conservation Land reviewed. National Park status is likely to be removed in some cases. All decisions on the future of land including, its resources, would be made by Māori.
The source says “disappointingly the Options Development Group has no members of the public present, the meetings are not open to the public and DOC has refused to publish the meeting minutes on line even after receiving an OIA request. The group brings in a Te Ao to the table but does not reflect a diverse multi-cultural society.”
The Options Development Group “has highlighted that the management and use of resources within Public Conservation Land would be given to Māori to manage as they wish. “Ensure Tangata Whenua access to and use of all species and resources managed within the conservation system, including within the context of permissions and concessions.”
Increased Commercialism
Further enhancing the intrigue and stratagem around this, basically, unknown group and their hidden agenda to acquire control of the conservation estate, is their concept that increased commercial development and use of protected areas of what was formerly Public Conservation Land will be allowed.
“Worryingly, that would, in all probability, include mining.”
Options presented include providing mana whenua with the opportunity of exclusive use of DOC land in carrying out commercial activities, at a fee discount or no charge, allowing iwi to manage and grant concessions under a new “co-designed” framework, and a revision of the current funding allocation model, to be “co-designed” with iwi/hapū.
“That sounds awfully like economic control to me. A cynic could be excused for thinking the Deloitte’s review was a thinly veiled method of wrapping some legitimacy around what is blatantly a method of ceding control of Public Conservation Land to Maori.”
The authors of the Deloitte’s report are Tamarapa Lloyd, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Whakaue and Angela Andersen, Waikato-Tainui.
“So, I ask this question – Do you think New Zealand’s conservation estate is being prepared for control by Maori?” said John Porter.
Greedy Eyes
Maori incorporations would, no doubt, be casting voracious eyes on these proposed changes. The economic opportunities available, if all decisions on the future of land and its resources are to be made by Māori, are enormous! Ngāi Tahu, for example, have economic interests in gold mining, coal mining, logging, hydro and tourism. Intriguingly, or coincidentally, much of New Zealand public conservation land lies within Ngāi Tahu’s boundary. 
DOC are currently calling for submissions on their proposal for “Streamlining the stewardship land reclassification process”. But submissions closed Friday, 18 March 2022. 
“Make no mistake, this is simply the first phase of ceding control and probably the eventual cessation of free and open access to New Zealand’s conservation estate.
Closed Doors
The process has been undertaken behind closed doors with the public excluded. Consultation has been extremely limited.
“There is a high level of opacity and negligible publicity around this issue and public input is critically needed. If, like myself, you are concerned that the conservation estate is being readied for control by Maori, it is vital that we all make a submission to DOC. There is a huge amount at stake here!” said John Porter.
“Jacinda Ardern promised her government would be the most open and transparent New Zealand has seen. Sorry, no, not happening! Jacinda Ardern promised her government would be a government of transformation. She just forgot to mention so much of the transformation would be undertaken, covertly,  behind closed doors!” he said.

, Public  Access  to Conservation Lands Under Threat?

<c> Nelson Laks National Park – “National Park status is likely to be removed in some cases. All decisions 

on the future of land including, its resources, would be made by Māori.”

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5 Responses to Public Access to Conservation Lands Under Threat?

  1. Jack Tuawhaiki says:

    National Parks and Public Lands are public property. DOC is an arm of the Public Service. Jacinda Ardern as PM is the most senior public servant.
    She has no right to allow this to happen. Nor Willie Jackson. He as a MP, is a public servant not serving one activist group of one ethnic group. Jackson and Mahuta and similar activists do not have the backing of all of those with Maori ethnicity. I wager most of us with Maori descent would disagree with this proposed theft of public lands.

  2. Alan Rennie says:

    What is this mysterious, magical CONNECTION that Maori claim that they alone have with this piece of earth we call New Zealand?
    It’s home.
    The very first Maori landing on these shores never had that connection. This was not their home. It BECAME home. But their home was where they’d come from. In the same way as it was for Captain Cook and the first European settlers to this land. Their HOME was else where. But the children born to those settlers, both Maori and European, for those children and their descendants THIS WAS THEIR HOME! They knew no other home. Their memories of growing up, of living, of parents dying, being buried, that’s what gave them that connection with this land! For Maori it was a few hundred years before Cook arrived, but that DOESN’T GIVE THEM ANY GREATER CONNECTION TO THIS LAND THAN MY GRANDDAUGHTER BORN A YEAR AGO! This is HER LAND,HER HOME! As it is for everyone privileged to have been born here! To say anything different is just nonsense! WE are New Zealand! ALL of us!

  3. Frank Schumaker says:

    All humans in NZ are the result of migration. The Polynesians about 1200 or so were one wave. Then came the Europeans in 18th and 19th centuries. All were migrants. Anyone regardless of lineage, born in NZ, is indigenous. So stop this absurd division and get with the egalitarian ethos, the Treaty was about.
    Stop the sellout to one lineage of evryone’s land, public land.e

  4. John says:

    Democracy and equality are principles firmly stamped in NZ history. These should be the basis of all future decisions on resources land, and access. Duly elected bodies making decisions for all New Zealanders is our only way forward we need to get back to these principles and away from non elected individuals having power to override democratic process.

  5. Ordinary Kiwi says:

    Once upon a time when NZ was a prosperous and democratic nation whose people cooperated and worked hard to make it successful and prosperous.

    Their money and efforts created power plants, railways, telecommunication systems and even an airline.
    These admirable people of the past also agreed that all citizens should have equal rights to access the public lands, foreshore and seabed and forage and hunt for food there.

    Then our political parties and system were gradually taken over by a small and peculiar minority of political activists who rebelled against the social and economic systems that had been so successful and prosperous and decided to destroy them.

    These omnipotent moral busybodies decided that these systems need to be destroyed because they had been created by the abilities and efforts of people who were mainly white, male and obviously very evil.

    These people also wanted the government they controlled to have more and more authority and power over the rest of the people and that required more money than the taxpayers could provide.

    The solution was to privatize and sell off the enterprises that were publicly owned and spend the money to further their political agendas.

    Having wasted all that money, they now want to privatize and sell off the public lands, foreshore, seabed and the resources in them.

    Of course, it would be difficult to do this openly because the people would disagree but there is a way to establish legal title to these precious resources.

    That way is to “entitle” a supposedly disadvantaged race to ownership of these resources as compensation for what the evil white men of the past did too their ancestors.

    Once title to the public lands, foreshore, seabed, water, and other natural resources of New Zealand has been taken from the people granted to the racist corporations it can also be transferred to other global commercial entities who will then exploit these resources and generate more revenue for those who have control of our political parties and system further their goals of government dependency and control.

    One day, probably sooner than later, people will realize that all this politically correct, woke racist nonsense was just an excuse for stealing what we used to communally own.

    When, as it is now, a small minority of people have taken control of the political system for their own benefit it is called OLIGARCHY and democracy can only be restored by more and more people joining and becoming active and influential in the main political parties to choose and support more appropriate representatives to serve them in their government.

    There are probably less than 50,000 political party members in New Zealand and only a small percentage of them are active or influential in choosing who the rest of us will be allowed to vote for and what they will do if elected.

    The rest are just one of about 3.5 Million eligible voters who are kidding themselves if they think the politicians and bureaucrats care about them or what they think.

    Democracy is all about government of, for and by the people but it is only for the benefit of the people that are active in choosing who will properly represent and speak for them when elected.

    The only way to restore democracy is for more and more ordinary working people to join and participate in National and Labour parties so that they are also able to be represented and have an effective voice in their government.

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