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It's Not Easy Being Green

It's Not Easy Being Green

Taxpayers have forked out $24,000 since 2003 to the Forest & Bird Society to spray with chemicals condemned by the Greens, ACT New Zealand MP Deborah Coddington revealed today.

"Confidential contracts, obtained under the Official Information Act, show the Conservation Department is paying the Dunedin branch of Forest & Bird $12,000 annually, for five years, to kill weeds at Otanomomo Scientific Reserve, with herbicides including Roundup and Escort," Miss Coddington said.

"In June 2000, Green MP Sue Kedgley condemned the Wellington City Council for 'sneaking' these same herbicides into its spraying programme. Ms Kedgley said these herbicides were damaging to the environment and human health, and she had formed an action group called RARE - Residents Against Roundup and Escort.

"Yet here we have Conservation Minister Chris Carter, whose department comes down heavily on any private individual suspected of damaging the environment, happily paying out thousands of taxpayers' dollars for these herbicides to be used in a scientific reserve.

"There's an irony here that probably escapes the Minister. Mr Carter should be embarrassed that Parliament's supposed watchdog for the environment, the Greens, is vehemently opposed to the use of chemicals he supports.

"And it shouldn't take ACT to discover this information. Maybe the Greens are too preoccupied with banning cars, taxing takeaway food, legalising cannabis, spending the Cullen Fund, and freeing suspect refugees, to worry any more about the New Zealand environment.

"Perhaps it's time the Greens woke up to the fact that they do not have a monopoly on preserving our beautiful native bush.

"It's not easy being green, but ACT has the best policies for protecting the environment: honour private property rights," Miss Coddington said.

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