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Greens say Timberlands' head must roll

27 January 2000

Greens say Timberlands' head must roll

The Green Party is urging the Government to call for the sacking of a top Timberlands'executive, after he incited a pro-logging group to subvert the Government's native forest policy.

In a message written on 19th December to a pro-logging email group and released today by Forest and Bird, Timberlands' General Planning Manager Kit Richards calls for members of the group"to put real heat on Clark and Hodgson personally". "Unless their fingers are burnt, they are not going to change," he continues.

In his email, Kit Richards says the best chance to overturn the government's policy is to "hammer" Environment Minister Marian Hobbs, and refers to Prime Minister Helen Clark as "dyed-in-the-wool Forest and Bird".

Green Party Co-Leader Rod Donald said he believed it was totally unacceptable for public servants to be actively involved in a campaign to overturn Government policy.

"It is absolutely intolerable that they are attacking the Prime Minister, the Minister for the Environment and the Minister in charge of Timberlands, Pete Hodgson, in this way," he said.

"Helen Clark, Pete Hodgson and Marian Hobbs cannot retain their authority if they allow Kit Richards to remain on the public payroll," said Mr Donald.

"This is just the latest example of Timberlands attempting to manipulate the government rather than administering government policy as a state-owned enterprise should."

Mr Donald called for a thorough overhaul of the Timberlands management.

"The Government should not tolerate a state owned enterprise that is actively hostile," he said.

"Helen Clark, Pete Hodgson and Marian Hobbs should determine the government's policy on native forests, not Kit Richards and his pro-logging friends," Rod Donald said.

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