Forest & Bird are muscling in on the election action, and reminding us to think of nature when we cast our vote with a "vote for nature" campaign that hopes to get people to keep in mind the political parties’ position on major conservation issues.
With most of the talk ahead of November’s election on the downturn in the economy and the rebuilding of Christchurch, the environment and conservation are in danger of being seen as unaffordable luxuries in these hard times.
But Forest and Bird say they're more important than ever. Our clean, green “100% Pure” image is crucial as a marketing edge for our tourism and agricultural exports but is it at risk of being seen as a sham?
Forest & Bird has drawn up a list of the policy goals they think are important for the future of New Zealand. It includes saving the wild beauty of the Mokihinui River from a hydro dam, protecting the unique Denniston Plateau from open-cast mining and the stopping the large scale conversion of the Mackenzie Country tussocklands into irrigated and fertilised pasture.
Forest & Bird has asked each of the political parties to commit themselves to these objectives and have posted their responses on their website, so far only the Green, Mana and United Future parties have replied, which in itself is telling. The campaign is being promoted on Twitter and Facebook.