Pre-election forum on conservation and the environment
When: Wednesday 19 October, 7.30 pm
Where: WEA, 59 Gloucester Street
F&B Organised and most partys represented
Forest and Bird North Canterbury Branch is hosting a pre-election forum this Wednesday at the WEA. Questions will be put to political parties on a range of conservation/environmental issues including Canterbury's water management.
Parties who have accepted the invitation to participate:
· An Act representative
· Labour- Brendon Burns, MP ChCh Central
· National – Kate Wilkinson, Minister of Conservation
· Maori Party - Rahui Katane Spokesperson for Conservation and Environment,
· Green Party - Eugenie Sage, candidate for Selwyn electorate
Each party will have 10 minutes to answer the following questions and present their party vision for conservation.
1. Do you support open cast mining on West Coast public conservation land?
2. Cut backs to the Department of Conservation over the last three years have led to significant staffing and budget cuts. What can we expect, in the next 3 years, if you are elected?
3. 95% of Canterbury’s lowland streams are said to be polluted, and NZ wide 50% of our lakes. Kevin Paris from the OECD Trade & Agriculture Directorate said last month in regard to taking water “40% of NZ farmers are not complying with the terms of their consents …”. Starting Christmas 2011, how will you improve the quality of publicly owned water?
4. Would you allow the West Coast Mokihinui River to be dammed?
5. An estimated 80% of NZ’s native species are found in the sea. Less than 1% of New Zealand’s marine environment is fully protected. Do you support the proposed area of Akaroa Harbour becoming a Marine reserve?
6 a) The incubation & hatching of great spotted kiwi is a partnership between DOC and Willowbank, Christchurch. Will you ensure that with the increasing development of DOC public/private partnerships, there will be a free flow of information to the public if the public asks for it?
b) The Department of Conservation has a hierarchy under legislation which requires it to protect the natural environment, foster recreation and allow tourism. There is an increasing commercialisation of DOC. Do you see any risks in the Department becoming increasingly dependent on private commercial funding? Could this lead to a conflict of interest, with conservation objectives and legal responsibilities?
Audience questions put to the politicians will take up the rest of the meeting. Supper follows.