New Zealand’s conservation estate is under threat again.

The Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has just lodged a case in the Supreme Court to downgrade the specially protected status of 22ha of the Ruahine Forest Park so that it can be flooded to make way for the Ruataniwha irrigation dam. A dam that will mean more industrial dairying and more pollution in our rivers.


The Minister of Conservation should be protecting our natural heritage not taking legal action to destroy it.

This case could set a dangerous precedent for New Zealand’s conservation estate. Specially protected areas could be ‘reclassified’ and destroyed or degraded by commercial activities like industrial agriculture, dams and mining.

There are already plans underway for another irrigation dam near Nelson which would flood part of Mount Richmond Forest Park.

We cannot allow this dangerous precedent to be set.

Conservation land is a taonga and it belongs to all New Zealanders and future generations - not to private companies who want to make a profit from destroying or degrading it.

Forest & Bird already fought this case in the Court of Appeal and they won. Downgrading the status of this land was ruled to be unlawful.

When this Government threatened to mine ‘Schedule 4’ conservation land, thousands of New Zealanders mobilised against it and the Govt backed down.

Send an email to Maggie Barry and share this page - The Minister of Conservation should be defending our precious forest heritage not giving it up to be drowned for a dam.