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Okarito Declaration Is Unmitigated Cheek

Commitment with someone else's money is shallow posturing. The Okarito Declaration is a high sounding commitment but in no way does it offer practical protection as claimed by Dr McSweeney, ACT Conservation Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff said.

"In one swoop, Dr McSweeney and his co-conspirators have appealed to the almost universal desire among New Zealanders to see nature conserved, while snatching at their wallets and calling for monopoly rights on West Coast tourism.

"Only net benefit conservation can save our natural capital for future generations and that means sustainable commercial activities that pay their way and fund the pest control that is absolutely critical to it.

"This declaration's `stand alone' attitude not only rests on unscientific preservationist propaganda but it puts its hand out for taxpayer support of existing `approved' tourism businesses.

"They promoted tourism as an alternative to sustainable management when they opposed the timberlands project. Then having got their way they go on to say: commerce - but just enough for us. The taxpayer must fund the rest of the job of saving our natural heritage.

It is an unmitigated cheek!

"If Dr McSweeney believes his commercial business is sustainable in a world heritage area then clearly other commercial projects can do the same.

"The development of the West Coast is for West Coasters to control and they must not allow eco-fundamentalists and carpetbaggers from around New Zealand to dictate what happens on the Coast," Gerry Eckhoff said.


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