“The ACT Party is today challenging Associate Environment Minister James Shaw to show some transparency around the work he is doing on Significant Natural Areas,” says ACT’s Primary Industries spokesperson Mark Cameron.

“ACT asked Shaw through Parliamentary Written Questions what briefings he’s had over the past six months by name and title. Shaw answered that he had received two but that he wouldn’t give the name or title.

“Why the secrecy? This is an issue that has caused landowners a great deal of stress and anxiety, whether it’s iwi or farmers, they feel as though there’s a land grab going on.

“Councils around the country have started to reject this policy, because they can see that it’s bad policy.

“Carrying out his work in the shadows with no transparency will only increase the fear and anxiety of landowners.

“Shaw told the Grey Star newspaper “It is utterly irresponsible for ACT to speculate on the content of two briefing papers they have not seen.”

“The best way for him to stop the speculation is to show us. To withhold even the titles is ridiculous. Is it because they’re called “Sneaky Land Grab?” Did the briefings inform Shaw's earlier comments about "pakeha farmers from down south" who "don't want to follow any kind of regulation."

“Farmers are the ones who kept the economy going during COVID-19, now they’re having their land confiscated and being taxed on farm vehicles. James Shaw should be thanking farmers rather than continually trying to punish them.

“James Shaw should apologise to farmers who are the best conservationists of their own land. If you take away property rights, there’s no incentive to be a conservationist. Who would be a conservationist on their own land if the reward is getting your land confiscated? Countries without property rights are environmental disasters.”

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