The Ministry for Primary Industries has been ordered by a judge to release thousands of internal emails regarding allegations of illegal swamp kauri activity.
The 9,704 emails between eight MPI officials could be evidence that the agency knew logs were being misrepresented as finished products.
The Northland Environmental Protection Society have taken three government agencies to court for a judicial review on ths issue: MPI, Customs, and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.
They claim the agencies allowed raw swamp kauri logs to be exported under the guise of being ‘tabletops’ or ‘Maori carvings’. It is illegal for valuable swamp kauri to be exported unless they are a finished product or stumps.