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Another major election promise kept

18 October 2000
Media Statement

Another major election promise kept

Deputy Alliance leader Sandra Lee says the coalition government has kept a major promise to end the unsustainable logging of Crown-managed West Coast indigenous forest, with the passing of the Forests (West Coast Accord) Bill today.

"We were voted into office last year because New Zealanders wanted a new set of priorities and values from their Government, and we have taken heed of that," Ms Lee said.

She said the conservation policies of the Labour and Alliance parties were well-publicised before the last election.

"People who voted for change were aware they also voted in effect to retain the West Coast indigenous forests," Ms Lee said. "Those forests are an important part of New Zealand's remaining lowland forests that now stand at less than seven percent of our original rainforests."

She said the preservation of the West Coast indigenous forests was consistent with the Government's record $187m Biodiversity Strategy funding in the June Budget, to tackle the country's most pervasive problem: the loss of New Zealand's unique indigenous plants and animals.

"Long-term job creation within this nation, and on the West Coast in particular, can not be based on the tearing down of what remains of our indigenous forests, " she said. "What's needed are long term sustainable regional development initiatives that are appropriate to the new century we live in."

Ms Lee said the 1986 West Coast Accord had had its day. She said she was pleased to learn that the region was now considering a raft of constructive proposals for using the $120m adjustment package paid out by the Government.


ENDS

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