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Is That A Promise Mr Anderton?

Is That A Promise Mr Anderton?

"Jim Anderton's reaction to his ticking off from the forestry sector is nothing short of incredible," says National Party Commerce and Forestry spokesman Brian Connell.

"His behaviour has been petulant as he speaks of withdrawing support from our third biggest export earner. This reeks of the worst type of schoolyard bullying!

"Mr Anderton's insistence on a do it my way or else! approach highlights his inability to either listen or to build empathy with an industry that is experiencing its hardest times in decades," Mr Connell says.

"The Minister believes only he understands that the forestry industry needs greater diversity and value across their sales platforms. Industry executives have been working to this end for years but, unlike Mr Anderton, they live in the real world.

"Some of our biggest customers are in Asian markets and they are demanding logs, not finished products. Diversifying takes time and in the meantime our timber industry has to stay in business.

"Mr Anderton would do better to listen and learn rather than sitting on high and barking instructions to an industry of which it is plain he knows very little. "Following his recent warning that he'll disengage from forestry if the industry keeps revealing problems with his approach, Mr Anderton might be saddened to know how many key players are hoping that this threat is a promise.

"Even his much-vaunted meeting of forestry officials seems set to be no more than a gathering of the faithful rather than a genuine attempt to open dialogue with the industry.

Mr Connell says anyone in the industry who wanted a genuinely open-minded and even-handed discussion were welcome to contact his National Party office directly.

"National understands the importance of removing the shackles from our exporters," says Mr Connell.

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