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Mark Inglis Should Be Applauded

Wednesday 9 Jan 2002

The incessant whining by environmental extremists over air access to National Parks has taken an unbelievable turn with criticism of the Mt Cook helicopter pick-up of Mark Inglis, ACT Conservation Spokesman MP Gerry Eckhoff said today.

"Virtually all New Zealanders applaud Mr Inglis' courage and tenacity in scaling Mt Cook. A safe journey home in a helicopter would be begrudged only by those mean-spirited individuals who seem to dominate the Forest and Bird Society.

"It is very clear the president of Forest and Bird, Dr McSweeney, would exclude anyone who can afford to experience the increasingly popular activities of heli-skiing and the like, solely so he can enjoy his own particular form of recreation.

"It should be remembered that pilots need to experience exercises like the pick-up of Mark Inglis to hone their considerable skills for rescues.

"National Parks are created for the enjoyment of all New Zealanders, which includes those fortunate enough to be able to afford the use of a helicopter if they so choose.

"It is entirely regrettable that Dr McSweeny's outburst will be taken as representative of all Forest and Bird members, which of course is not the case.

"The puritans like Dr McSweeney still have well over a third of New Zealand in which they can find peace and solitude to enjoy a "natural experience".

Ends

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