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Labour's Forest Protection Policy Welcomed

Environment and Conservation Organisations of New Zealand Inc


Media Release - Saturday 11 September, 1999 - Wellington

Labour's Forest Protection Policy Welcomed by Conservationists

The national alliance of environmental organisations, ECO, today strongly welcomed the Labour Party's indigenous forest policy which promises to protect West Coast Indigenous Forests managed by Timberlands.

"Labour's policy to can Timberland's proposed West Coast beech scheme and halt all logging of crown owned forests on the West Coast is timely, and offers a chance for protection of these precious forests," said ECO Chairperson, Stephen Blyth.

"Labour is sending a clear signal to Timberlands and would be forest loggers that if they enter into any new indigenous forests contracts they will be revoked if Labour is in Government. This clear indication of Labour's policy was welcomed by ECO," Mr Blyth said.

Mr Blyth said it would be foolish for Timberlands to proceed with any further forestry development on the West Coast given the uncertainty of an upcoming election.

"A clear choice is being offered to voters between the major political parties." Mr Blyth said ECO would continue to call on other political parties to support the immediate protection from logging of the West Coast forests.

"ECO supports the disestablishment of Timberlands, with management of West Coast exotic forests transferred to a new body providing economic local benefits."

Mr Blyth said ECO supported Labour's opposition to the Forest Amendment Bill which, if passed, would permit export of native timber as chips or logs. This is unacceptable and it is commonsense to reject the changes proposed in this Bill.

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