Coast Protest Because Govt Won't Front
It is a disgrace that hundreds of West Coasters have to travel to Wellington today to have their voices heard, a trip made necessary because the Government won't front in person on the West Coast, says National's Environment spokesperson Nick Smith.
"The Prime Minister has not once fronted to the people of the West Coast and the birthplace of Labour since she was elected 20 months ago. Other Ministers have also avoided fronting up for the decisions to stop mining and sustainable forestry.
"It is a sad day when ordinary New Zealanders are forced, at huge expense, to have to come to Parliament to have their voices heard.
"The decision by Sandra Lee is eco-fundamentalism at its worst. To lock up 0.14% of the least used Forest Park on the West Coast, land that had been previously mined and logged, and deny New Zealand of $500 million in exports and hundreds of jobs is a gross imbalance.
"Coasters are right to demand that the decision be overturned," Dr Smith said.