Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tourism's Luddite Cuddling

Have you heard of David Clendon? Well if you haven't, you are not alone. David "Mystery" Clendon is Sue Bradford's replacement in the The Green Party and their "spokesperson" for Tourism.

David "Mystery" Clendon is a vegetarian, an academic that has always relied on government institutions for employment and his favorite New Zealand animal is the Tuatara. Along with his fellow comrades, David "Mystery" Clendon holds watermelon political views (green on the outside and red on the inside) and considers that the movie Avatar is a real-life documentary. Sounds like perfect qualifications for a left wing MP.

So, what's he achieved in parliament so far?

A quick search on Google unfortunately did not uncover anything other than cliche ramblings, however one of his his latest press releases was of some interest to us.

We see that David "Mystery" Clendon has worryingly become a cheerleader for the The Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand (TIA) and has enthusiastically endorsed their recent submission on mining.

The TIA recently surveyed their membership for views on the government’s proposals for mining protected land under Schedule 4 of the Crown Minerals Act. The  results were inconclusive with 50.6% either fully or partly support of land being removed and 49.4% were against. 

Before the survey, the TIA had been adding to the hysteria about "damaging New Zealand's green image" if further mining of national parks were allowed to proceed. So it was not surprising that the association with its casting vote sided with Greenpeace and Forest & Bird with their mining submission with the following conclusions and key recommendations :
a. Brand and Perception - The goodwill and leverage, built up from New Zealand’s green and clean image is priceless. The tourism industry and other sectors that have leveraged from this image may be at risk if additional mining goes ahead in national parks.

b. National parks – National parks are New Zealand’s crown jewels and no additional mining should be allowed within their boundaries.

c. Outside national parks – Mining may be considered on certain Schedule 4 land outside of national parks but only under strict RMA and environmental criteria. TIA does not support removal of Schedule 4 status from the Coromandel and Great Barrier Island.
We say that when a tourism trade body that represents Kiwi small business aligns itself with the Luddites of left you have to start to seriously question the leadership and acumen of the organisation.

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