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Carter Holt Harvey says further mediation futile

Date: 23 April 2001

Carter Holt Harvey decides further mediation futile

Carter Holt Harvey has today withdrawn from the South Island ports dispute mediation process after waiting over six weeks to get a response from the New Zealand Waterfront Workers Union (NZWWU) to its compromise proposal. Chief Executive Officer Chris Liddell confirmed the decision.

"For five months the company and its contractors have gone well beyond any requirements of good faith to move this forward. We have tried to find a compromise with the union. On each occasion that we have offered a solution they have not had the courtesy to respond, or even to give any indication that they intend to respond.

"It is public knowledge that the mediator has rejected all the arguments put up by the NZWWU in support of their campaign and we have reached the end of our patience," Mr Liddell said.

He said the most recent offer of a solution that the company had put to the union over a week ago was eminently reasonable but had again drawn no response. The company would rely on the protection of the law to ensure that its right to load ships was no longer interfered with.

"The NZWWU has run a campaign of misinformation and intimidation. They have damaged New Zealand's reputation as an exporter and threatened a huge export opportunity emerging in the forestry sector."

"Carter Holt Harvey has contracted to a legitimate and respected stevedoring company that complies fully with all safety and employment requirements. We chose them because they are an innovative company that allows us to export more effectively.

"It is now time to move on," he said.

- Ends -

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