The decision by the QEII Trust to make a profit from the Aroha Island Kiwi Sanctuary, as reported in the Herald, poses a threat to more than 2,412 registered QEII Open Space Covenants protecting some 78,266 hectares.
If the Trust itself wants to make a profit from land which has QEII Covenant protection how can it have the credibility to suggest that everyone else should not do the same?
The QEII Trust was established to assist people who wished to retain ownership of their land while protecting the natural values of that land from economic exploitation. The covenant mechanism recognised that not everyone wanted to sell their birthright.
Only a generation ago it was common to hear kiwis calling out in the night. We have cashed in that heritage. Now it seems that even the QEII guardians of significant habitat remnants are selling out.
First published in the NZ Herald 17 January 2007
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