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Greens applaud judge's comments

21 March 2000

Greens applaud judge's comments

Green co-leader Rod Donald has said the actions of two members of Native Forest Action were today vindicated by the comments of a judge during their trial in Auckland.

Native Forest Action activists Bridget Gibb and Steve Abel appeared in the Auckland District Court today, charged with unlawful interference with a helicopter after locking themselves to a logging helicopter to try and prevent Timberlands lifting ancient rimu logs out of native forests in 1999.

The pair pleaded guilty to the charges and Judge Kerr convicted them on the charges. However he told the activists: "You can wear your conviction like a badge of courage," and he dismissed the $6,000 reparations sought by the helicopter harvesting company.

Mr Donald welcomed the judge's comment and said he agreed with them fully.

"These people were putting themselves on the line to represent public opinion in the most direct way," he said.

"Their actions to try and prevent logging of ancient rainforest are clearly in line with the new government's policy. The actions of these people were brave and part of an incredible campaign to inform people about the destruction of rare, publicly-owned forests.

"I applaud the judge for noting this and for publicly acknowledging the bravery and commitment of their actions."


Rod Donald MP: 025 507 183, 04 470 6660 Jonathan Hill (press secretary) 021 110 1133

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