17 Jun 2015

Fast facts about swamp kauri

7:57 am on 17 June 2015

Opponents of the swamp kauri trade in Northland say log mining is destroying fragile ecosystems and amounts to plunder of a national treasure.

Digger unearthing ancient kauri.

Digger unearthing ancient kauri. Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

The Far North Protection Society says the multi-million dollar trade is not only illegal, it is destroying an entire ecology of wetlands and fragile dune lakes.

Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy has defended the regulation of the industry, but Northland Maori leader Dover Samuels is calling for a moratorium while the laws are reviewed.

What is swamp kauri?

Kauri logs unearthed from peat await sale.

Kauri logs unearthed from peat await sale. Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

Can it be exported?

A kauri log "carving" wrapped in plastic, leaving a warehouse in Awanui for export.

A kauri log carving wrapped in plastic, leaving a warehouse in Awanui for export. Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

So what are the conservationists upset about?

Lake Ngatu now discoloured by run off from nearby kauri mining.

Lake Ngatu - said to be discoloured by run-off from nearby kauri mining. Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

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