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Gorse gets Government protection

Gorse gets Government protection

Kiwis who are now bracing for cold showers should be shuddering at Government policies that give gorse greater protection than our power supply, according to National Party Energy spokesman Gerry Brownlee.

"The fundamentalist policies of the Labour Government are denying people at the top of the South Island a real opportunity for economic growth," says Mr Brownlee.

He's referring to the Conservation Minister's decision to turn down a 60-megawatt power station near Greymouth known as the Dobson Hydro scheme.

"Chris Carter's described the area that would be flooded as an 'important ecological area', although he has yet to visit the site.

"The National Party has visited the area, finding that much of it was milled in the 1960's and gorse is now more of a feature than any native tree that I saw," says Mr Brownlee.

"I brought back some of that gorse to table in Parliament today, because the National Party finds it outrageous that the Conservation Minister puts a greater value on gorse than on a secure energy supply.

"The Government has allowed this crisis to develop in spite of the market's (and National's) best attempts to warn officials last year.

"Even the most recent attempts to fix the problem are only superficial, because the Labour Government is not brave enough to make the big decisions that could allow New Zealand to keep the lights on," Mr Brownlee says.

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