from www.familyintegrity.org.nz | Concern Over Proposed 'Garden Laws'
The upcoming anti-pruning bill is ridiculous! New Zealand's garden party heads this campaign to stop all plant abuse and stick up for plants' rights. Laws against starting destructive fires and wantonly chopping down plants and trees already exist, rendering this change unnecessary. Replacing the old bill, which justifies the use of force on plants for correction and training, smacks of foolishness. The only purpose for which they will allow force is to restrain plants from harm to themselves or others. How can plants grow properly when they cannot be corrected?
The current legislation allows the "use of force" for correction and training of flora and fauna. It states that every gardener is justified in using force by way of training a plant if that force is reasonable in the circumstances. The new law achieves a full repeal of the old legislation and removes any common law rule having the same effect. This bans not only pruning, but many other valuable gardening strategies, including weeding and staking. Why tolerate a law against techniques proven successful and harmless over centuries?
With the majority of New Zealanders against the new legislation, chances of it passing appear slim, but this government often arrogantly disregards the people's opinions. Polls show that an outstanding 78% of the population oppose this bill. They realize that this change will consider talented, successful gardeners criminals under the law. Disobedience discovered means plants uprooted at great risk and placed in other care. Some will always hurt plants, but this legislation will not stop them. It will only hinder good gardeners from effectively doing their job. Get the government out of gardens!
Research shows that many of the proposal's banned procedures actually improve growth. Staking plants, which they say violates plants' rights to freedom, truly helps. A case researching the advantages of staked vs. unstaked tomato plants, revealed that damage by all species reduced significantly in staked plants. Numbers of the deadly granulate cut worms and southern army worms also inhibited by staking. Stakes and trellises not only reduce much damage to plants from other creatures, but provide support, preventing taller plants from giving way and plants with sprawling growth habits from growing wild.
Opposing this proposition is necessary. While the government tries to oversee gardeners' ways by making beneficial actions illegal, many more important issues will be overlooked. This change gives "Advice to the Police that they may use discretion about whether prosecution is necessary or not when cases of minor assaults on plants come to their notice." When more significant problems need control, why should police time be wasted pursuing and prosecuting actual effective training? The government needs to enforce laws which truly stop violence against plants. Take action against this ludicrous proposal. Write letters, phone MP's, publish articles, spread the word, and sign petitions. Will you let our nation be harmed?
Fourteen year old, Bethany Robb