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Government Strings Strangle West Coast

The Government wants to further strangle the West Coast with what ACT is describing as the ‘underhanded and unfair’ strings it has now attached to the $100 million offered in exchange for the region’s native timber logging industry.

The Government’s attempts to control the $100 million has angered ACT’s Forestry Spokesman Ken Shirley who says the Government is continuing its lies and deceit on the Coast. “Given this Government’s history of reneging on agreements with the people of the West Coast, what confidence can Coasters have that any conditions they sign up to today will be honoured by the Government tomorrow?

“The Government hastily came up with this money to try to shut Coasters up. They sold the $100 million on the basis that it was money for Coasters to be run by Coasters. Jim Anderton is now telling coasters that in fact he’ll be running the fund and they can take it or leave it.

“The Mayors of the Coast are right to be offended by the Government’s sudden dictate that there will be special Maori appointments to the Trust that will administer the money and job preference for Maori. These conditions have never been mentioned before. They are unfair and underhanded.

“It is an affront to the Maori community who are rightly rejecting Jim Anderton’s patronising and separatist conditions.

“The Mayors are still waiting for answers to the questions they put to Jim Anderton and Michael Cullen at their first meeting weeks ago. The Government has ignored those questions and has instead imposed their own conditions on the money.

“Jim Anderton is still refusing to say whether the Government will honour the existing rimu contracts. Knowing the blind ideology that is driving this Government I fear they are about to pull those contracts as well.

“The arrogance with which Jim Anderton is treating the Mayors and people of the West Coast is sickening. Having taken the livelihoods of Coasters he has no right to sit in Wellington dictating these outrageous conditions.

“Jim Anderton should remember that he and his Labour colleagues put the Coast into this dire situation. He cannot now sit in Wellington and tell Coasters that they should be grateful for the crumbs he is throwing them,” said Hon Ken Shirley.
ENDS

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