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National MP continues to defy Brash over forestry

Hon Chris Carter
Minister of Conservation

7 September 2005 Media Statement

National MP continues to defy Brash over forestry


National MP Brian Connell is defying his leader over National's forestry policy by continuing to promote the logging of native conservation forests, Conservation Minister Chris Carter said today.

"Mr Connell wrote a column yesterday in his local newspaper, the Ashburton Courier, in which he reasserts his position on logging publicly-owned conservation forests, despite National's leader Don Brash flip flopping on the party's policy and ruling out such logging last week," Mr Carter said.

Mr Connell wrote: My comments regarding the sustainable selective logging of native timber including from the South island West Coast caused some controversy. This was unfortunate, as New Zealanders need to have a debate about whether we use our natural resources. Presently we are engaging in environmental hypocrisy.

He went on to say: My proposition is simple. There is demand for this type of product [native timber] in New Zealand so I argue that we meet this demand by using our own native timbers on a carefully selected basis rather than watch them wither and die.

"It's quite obvious Mr Connell is continuing to promote the logging of public conservation forests on the West Coast in defiance of Don Brash, a man Mr Connell accused of making stupid decisions earlier this year," Mr Carter said.

"There are clearly bitter splits in National's ranks, and a deep seated desire by many in National to ransack conservation land as a sop to their political mates.

"Mr Connell appears to have little or no understanding of the difficulties of logging New Zealand's native beech trees. He completely ignores the fact that only about a third of the native forests on private land that could be harvested are being harvested because it is uneconomic to do so," Mr Carter said.

ENDS

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