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Ed Sheeran

Flavell defends swamp kauri trade

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Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell is defending the right of private landowners to sell off ancient kauri from under their properties.

Other MPs are questioning the trade in which logs preserved in swamps for tens of thousands of years are being shipped overseas with minimal value added processing.

There are claims that the Maori patterns carved into the surface layer of some logs are a sham to get round export regulations.

Mr Flavell says he’s in the business of encouraging Maori to develop their resources.

"You know I’ve always taken the view that if people happen to have resources at their disposal and they can make some money out of it then so be it. Thats an absolute property right and a right that they should have as individual land owners because if they didn't do it somebody else might come along in the future and do it" he says.

Te Ururoa Flavell says he wouldn’t support swamp kauri being recovered from crown-owned conservation land.

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