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O'Connor Hung Out To Dry By PM

ACT Conservation Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff said today that both West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O'Connor and the people of the Coast had been abandoned by Prime Minister Helen Clark over the refusal to allow extension of gold mining operations.

"Ms Clark has effectively sided with Alliance's Sandra Lee and abandoned her own party member Mr O'Connor. She's hung him out to dry. He's surplus to requirements.

"Ms Clark has joined forces with the chardonnay-drinking armchair ecologists. Never mind that the actions of her Government have just robbed the people of the West Cost of 200 jobs and up to $500 million in the next 15 years.

"This decision is a kick in the teeth for provincial New Zealand.

"Damien O'Connor's hand-wringing is no longer sufficient. If he is to retain any shred of credibility he must place his resignation before caucus and force a by-election.

"This would enable the people of the West Coast to demonstrate exactly what they think of this ridiculous decision from Sandra Lee ' backed by Helen Clark.

"ACT has already promised that when in Government we will reform the RMA. In addition, one of our first actions will be to repeal the Conservation Act and the role DoC has as an advocate. We simply can't afford to let sound economic opportunities be lost in the face of fundamental idealism," Gerry Eckhoff said.

Ends


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