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Broken promise set to clear-fell thousands of jobs

Tony Ryall

National's Timberlands Spokesman

15 May 2000

Broken promise set to clear-fell thousands of jobs

The Government has broken its pre-election promise to honour rimu contracts and thousands of New Zealanders will lose their jobs as a result, says National's Timberlands spokesman Tony Ryall.

"The Government has already knocked the timber industry to the ground by axing the beech scheme, now they are kicking them in the guts.

"The Government has welched on contracts. The Furniture Manufacturers Association says this means the end for jobs for about 4,000 New Zealanders directly and indirectly involved in furniture manufacturing. 628 of those are on the West Coast.

"In breaking their promise the Government is completely ignoring pleas from furniture manufacturers who aren't ready to cope with the change yet.

"Manufacturers and Coasters had some hope when Cullen and Anderton pledged to go in to bat for them but it is clear that the Prime Minister stamped her foot and got her way. This Government's arrogance is unfair to manufacturers and Coasters.

"New Zealand had the opportunity to be a world leader in sustainable forestry management instead we will force our manufacturers to source timber from unsustainably logged rainforest overseas. The Government should take their blinkers off and look at the wider impact of their policies," Mr Ryall said.

Ends




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