This thing about non-indigenous creatures in the Ureweras is a worry – how far will it spread?

The fish must go - but can the angler can prove he is indigenous?

The fish must go – but can the angler conclusively prove he is indigenous?

The Grumbles are giving serious consideration to moving to the South Island. Somewhere in the Ngai
Tahu’s domain – it doesn’t matter exactly where, although sunshine hours and what-have-you will be among the factors given high priority. A comfortable club for gentlemen with good stocks of whisky is important, too.

If the decision to move is made, advice to follow will be given to all of Alf’s constituents.

The reasoning behind this huge upheaval in the Grumbles’ lives – or the prospect of it – has been occasioned by the whiff of legislation that will might result in Tuhoe people cutting a swathe through non-indigenous flora and fauna.

The thinking seems to be that if it isn’t indigenous, it shouldn’t be here.

Alf was alerted to this by the NZ Herald, which tells readers today that trout, deer, pigs and other exotic species would have to be culled from the Ureweras under a law change before Parliament.

A warning about the aims of the law change has been sounded by fishers and hunters.

Fish and Game Council chief executive Bryce Johnson said it appeared that a new board which would manage the Ureweras did not have the same discretion.

He said that as the bill stands, officials would have to make every effort to exterminate all introduced species.

Introduced species included pests such as stoats and possums but also recreational fishing stocks such as trout and popular game animals such as deer and pigs.

Alf imagines the hunters and fishers have figured that if non-indigenous creatures aren’t welcome, then why will non-indigenous hunters and fishers be welcome, and how long will it take for Tuhoe to be deciding on a bit of ethnic cleansing.

And who’s to say the Tuhoe attitude to non-indigenous flora and fauna isn’t shared by other tribes?

True, Maori Affairs Committee deputy chair Te Ururoa Flavell has said he did not believe that Tuhoe wanted to exterminate game animals and an amendment was likely.

But the Grumbles are weighing up how much store they should place in Flavell’s assurance, if that is what it is.

Why seek sanctuary in the South Island, you may well ask?

Because Ngai Tahu have an altogether different attitude to non-indigenous flora (and – hopefully – fauna as well).

The evidence is to be found and weighed here:

Ngai Tahu has bought nearly 23,000ha of pine trees from the Crown’s West Coast Timberlands forest.

The trees sit on land already owned and operated by the tribe’s subsidiary, Ngai Tahu Forest Estates

The Government will not say how much it has sold the trees for, nor be specific about why it has offloaded them, saying only that it has a policy to exit commercial forestry.

Associate Primary Industries Minister Jo Goodhew says existing supply agreements with timber processing mills will continue.

Ngai Tahu expects harvesting to increase by 10 percent, with the deal expected to be completed by the end of April.

Yes, the Grumbles do recognise that Ngai Tahu have not bought the trees to keep them standing for too long.

They will do what Hone Heke did to those flag-poles up there in Northland way back and chop them down.

But it sounds like they are into the business of cultivating the trees to make a buck rather than wiping them out just because they are not indigenous.

Now – let’s see if there’s a safe electorate with an incumbent Nat MP stepping down where Alf could step in…

One Response to This thing about non-indigenous creatures in the Ureweras is a worry – how far will it spread?

  1. Brendan says:

    The longer this treaty crap goes on the closer we are to all out war!

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