Govt to tighten swamp kauri oversight

Nathan Guy (3 News)
Nathan Guy (3 News)

The Government has announced it will tighten the rules on the controversial export of ancient swamp kauri.

But critics say the changes are weak and will do nothing to stop the destruction of wetlands and raw kauri heading offshore.

It's a kauri crackdown.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy wants to make sure the logs aren't being sent offshore illegally.

Swamp kauri is highly valuable and date back to the ice age.

The current law states no raw logs can be exported, but stumps can be and so too can finished products.

But some exporters have been pushing the rules by saying raw slabs without legs or varnish are actually finished table tops.

The new rules mean:

Critics have been campaigning for years for a crackdown but say today's changes won't make a difference.

The apparent loophole allowing raw slabs to be sent offshore won't be closed.

Mr Guy isn't ruling out further changes if the loopholes continue to be exploited.

3 News