Skip to main content


Short comings of the RMA

Dear Simon,   It is noted that you had an interview with ‘Newsroom’ about shortcomings and possible replacement of the RMA. At the beginning of the interview you said, ‘Environmental management law that flip-flops after every election isn’t good for either the economy or the environment. Any reworking of the RMA must not only protect the environment, but cure some of the cumbersome processes.’
 |  Malcolm Campbell  | 
Short comings of the RMA

Remember Tadpoles for Sale?

I am going back in history to demonstrate that general conditions in the environment were not extremely disastrous fifty years ago. Now I am sure you will recall some of the happy days at school when children used to bring all sorts of objects and creatures to school to show the teacher. I am not talking about ‘The Law’, I am looking at The Environment, at some simple things in my primary school days. In the Spring, many children brought tadpoles to school, so many in fact that the teacher ran out of jars and had to plead, ‘no more tadpoles please.’ This scenario was well before the RMA. Now move on to six or so years ago, a young entrepreneur in Waihi advertised, ‘Tadpoles for Sale’. Did you ever think that Tadpoles would become a saleable commodity after the advent of the RMA? It is possible that it is illegal under the terms of the RMA, to trade in creatures from the environment. What is important is that the demise of poor old Kermit the frog, is a symptom of a widespread environmental collapse that ‘The Law’ has done nothing to stop.  Do not take my word for the damage done.

From Hauraki Herald Page 20 8 Feb. 2019 Reader Report, Narena Olliver, member of Ornithological Society laments ‘the decline of New Zealand Birds and disruption of the food chain, no longer do insects splatter windscreens and what has happened to the flocks of finches and starlings?’ Page 18, 17 May 2019 How To Help Us Protect The Inanga This Season. Whitebait have also joined the endangered list.  Page 8, 29  Nov.2019. Are Chemicals Killing Bees asks Gerard Hutching?  Worldwide, conservationists have been sounding the alarm over an impending ‘insect apocalypse’ caused by pesticide spraying. 14 Feb. 2020 Kelley Tantau reported ‘Avian Botulism Kills 800 Birds.’ The human-devised waterways are managed by Environment Waikato and Hauraki District Council. Both parties make heavy use of herbicides.

Waikato Times Page 11, 26 Feb. 2019. Echoing Nareena Olliver, Phil Lester Professor of insect ecology at Victoria University, wrote ‘Insectageddon Should Freak Us Out’. New Zealand insects are in crisis, extinctions have already occurred. 16 Sept. 2019. Gerald Piddock reports, ‘a new study by The Waikato Regional Council found a chemical cocktail in Waikato groundwater including banned fire fighter foam, bee harming insecticide, pesticides and pharmaceuticals.’

Newsroom 6 June, 2020, reported the collection by volunteers of around 3500 dead birds and an unknown number of fish in the same Hauraki Plains area.

New Zealand Herald 13 March, 2019.  Brian Rudman column where he writes he is ‘sick to death of poison-based pest remedies.’

Sydney Morning Herald, via The Press, 4 June, 2019 Herbicide Blamed.  The oncologist said, ‘Because they (husband and wife) are not genetically related, their deaths from pancreatic cancer are definitely an environmental factor. Both made extensive use of glyphosate.’

Sorry Mr Upton, I have to rush.  I believe some of the cattle have to be moved as they may be on slopes the previous Govt. deemed too steep to graze. However, there are still more points to ponder. Take a break…

Simon Upton is Commissioner for the Environment and previous Minister in the National Party.