NZ Pine Forestry Is Bad For Our Environment. March 2013

New Zealand National Government Promoting Sale of Timber To China

DSCO 1786Photo taken at Dunedin Botanical Gardens by Merrilyn on Holly’s camera Dec. 2012.

So much of our land mass in New Zealand is now taken up with pine tree farming.  Hundreds of hectares which not so long ago, were covered with lush native bush, are now used to grow pine trees to sell.

For a start – felling trees in large numbers is a very bad thing for New Zealand. It causes erosion, as well as everybody knows.  This is a typical National government ‘quick-fix’ which, in the long run, will cause more damage than it is worth. But there are other things about farming pine trees which make it a bad thing:

Cutting down our forests, and growing pines to sell overseas, is very bad for our environment.  Cherry Raymond wrote way back in the 1970’s in ‘The Woman’s Weekly’ about the bad effects of growing pine trees en masse in New Zealand.

Our country is meant to have lush green rain-forest trees growing over it. Our ever-green forest trees encourage the rain-fall.  Of course, it is wonderful to have exotic trees planted in our gardens and parks as well.  But people need to realize that planting great forests of any trees which are not indigenous to our country will have a serious effect on the environment, one way or another.

Pine tree plantations, in countries where they are not indigenous, have been shown to change the climate of the areas where they have been planted. Pine trees repel the rain clouds, and reduce rainfall. This will affect weather-patterns generally, causing more wierd winds, droughts, and freak storms.

Apart from that, the large scale felling of pine trees causes serious erosion, and reduces the fertility of the soil, so that it is difficult to grow anything else afterwards.

It was either John Key or Stephen Joyce who spoke on NZ television news a few nights ago, proudly telling the nation how grand their scheme is to sell more timber to the rest of the world.

Why is there a sudden demand for New Zealand timber?  Because other countries have stopped cutting down their trees.  They now recognize, if they haven’t already been aware of the fact, that cutting down their trees is not good for the environment generally, mainly because of erosion.  A country will be all the healthier for keeping its forests, plus having the beauty of the forests left intact for the pleasure of the people.

A secondary point:  Cutting down trees and harming the environment in any way is a very bad thing for tourism. You would think that our government, being very keen on promoting tourism in our tiny country, would consider our environment to be our greatest asset.  Not so, it would seem.

Japan has had a ban on cutting down its forests for a long time:  Maybe 20 or 30 years or more. They have been buying our timber for all that time, instead of cutting their own forests, because we were the fools that would sell it to them.

Our parliamentarians think it is a great thing that other countries are not cutting their own timbers, because it means we can make more money.   John Key (I think) said:  “Well – many European nations, as well as America, have stopped selling off timber to the international market, so this gives New Zealand a great opportunity to make extra money through selling timber to countries such as China, where there is a huge demand for our timber.”  So said our Prime Minister John Key.

Beatles song ‘The Fool On The Hill’ – ‘The man with the foolish grin is sitting perfectly still.  But nobody wants to know him, they can see that he’s a fool…..”



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