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Progress on West Coast Package Welcomed

Hon Jim Anderton
Deputy Prime Minister

News release

4 February 2000

Progress on West Coast Package Welcomed

Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton and Finance Minister Michael Cullen today welcomed progress in establishing a new regional development strategy for the West Coast.

"Negotiations are still in the very early stages but we are confident an agreement will be pulled together within the next few months," they said.

The Ministers were commenting on the results of an officials' delegation to the West Coast this week for preliminary discussions on a West Coast development package and a suitable vehicle to manage it.

Assets under discussion include cutting rights to the exotic forests managed by Timberlands West Coast and income from the resource levies and royalties now paid to the Crown.

"The aim is to assist the West Coast in developing a viable economic base consistent with the Government's decision to end indigenous forestry on land with significant conservation values," the Ministers said.

The delegation comprised Cathy Casey, a policy advisor to Mr Anderton, Chris Mackenzie from Dr Cullen's office and officials from Commerce and Treasury. They met with senior representatives from the West Coast Regional Council and the Buller, Grey and Westland District Councils.

ends

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