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Greens congratulate Westland District Council

16 March 2001

Greens congratulate Westland District Council

The Green Party has congratulated the Westland District Council on its decision yesterday to adopt a strategic initiative to protect and restore the damaged natural environment.

The Council initiative aims to halt degradation and predation of indigenous species, restore sustainable biodiversity, defend and protect Westland's natural environment and develop eco-tourism to create jobs.

"I think it is fantastic that the Council has opted to go Green after years of fighting the Conservation movement," said Green Party co-leader Rod Donald.

"It's music to our ears to hear Westland District Mayor John Drylie say 'the days of relying on gold, coal and timber to prop up the Westland economy were now gone'."

Mr Donald said the future of the West Coast clearly lies in caring for the environment - both for its own sake and as the source of sustainable business opportunities.

"We also support Mr Drylie's call for new ventures to be owned and run by local people. It is vital that the wealth created on the Coast benefits Coasters and we have high hopes that the West Coast Development Package will do just that," said Mr Donald.

"The Greens are delighted that the Council has adopted a conservation ethic for the new millenium.

"Our only disappointment with this announcement has been the decision to withdraw the reference to agricultural impacts, however this is a concern which the whole country has to face up to, especially the impact of dairying."

ENDS

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