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Wanganui Logging Situation Farcical Says NZ First

7 December 2004

Wanganui Logging Situation Farcical Says NZ First

New Zealand First conservation spokesperson Edwin Perry says the situation regarding rimu logging in the Taunoka Conservation Area near Wanganui has become farcical.

“It combines DoCs blatant inaction and incompetence over several years with a bunch of radical Maori who just want their faces on TV, a logger with clear legal rights, and a celebrity Mayor caught in the middle with a district plan,” said Mr Perry.

“The reality is that the Minister could have solved this issue by either buying back the logging rights or by changing the law to prevent any further logging and paying compensation.

“Activist Ken Mair’s motivation is more about profile for the Maori party than any genuine concern about rimu. When the cameras turn up, he is right there pushing his face in front of them, but he seems to have forgotten that local Maori had the chance to buy back these logging rights first, before Mr Bergman, and chose not to.

“Wanganui Mayor Michael Laws has taken the right path in ‘applying the law’ and is quite right to note that DoC has had the capacity since 1987 to acquire the logging rights.

“The Conservation Minister should worry less about the Civil Union Bill and more about his own portfolio and resolve this issue expeditiously. After all it was his department which created this unhappy mess,” concluded Mr Perry.

ENDS

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