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Act "Not Fools"

Native Forest Action (NFA) yesterday admitted making a blunder by accusing ACT leader Ken Shirley of making a fool of himself by publicising a leaked email, says a West-Coast newspaper.

Reporter Ian Gill of the West Coast Times Newspaper writes, "Mr Shirley drew attention to a newsletter distributed by NFA which claimed Labour Party money had helped fund the group's disruptive activities in the lead up to the general election."

"NFA then goaded Ken Shirley through the media claiming that the contents of the email newsletter he objected to was simply a hoax and was only addressed to one specific person."

"We (NFA) challenge Ken Shirley to show journalists his "leaked email." They will see it was originally sent to John Dronfield, the only person who received it. Timberlands obviously took the bait and handed the e-mail onto Act in an attempt to distract attention from Kit Richards' current email crisis."

"However, NFA's email does not contain Mr Dronfield's name." the paper wrote.

"Yesterday, NFA spokesperson, David Russell, admitted the group had made a mistake."

"Mr Russell said a check revealed that NFA sent its e-mail to Mr Donfield under the "undisclosed recipient" heading in accordance with its normal practice in sending mass-mail newsletters."

"NFA claims this was a CIA-style deception intended to mislead a suspected spy."

"It was a mistake on our part to have said that if people looked at the e-mail it would say it was addressed to John Dronfield," Mr Russell said."

The paper wrote, "He was surprised to learn that opposing lobby group Coast Action Network had called on Labour to sue for defamation over the contents of the e-mail."

"That 's interesting .... well I hadn't thought of that possibility .... I don't think it is likely that Labour would go along with that."

"When asked why not, Mr Russell said: "We didn't expect the wider public or political parties to take it seriously, we were quite surprised when Act came out saying that they believed this had happened, we didn't think it would go any further than John Dronfield and Timberlands."

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