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Copeland: Are Labour governments anti-forestry?

Friday, 17 February 2006

Copeland: Are Labour governments anti-forestry?

United Future MP and forestry spokesperson Gordon Copeland today expressed his deep disappointment at the news that major players in the industry have broken off discussions with Government on the need to provide more incentives for new forest plantings.

"This latest development follows a long term trend of a poor relationship between the forestry sector and successive Labour Governments," said Mr Copeland.

"If you track forest plantings all the way back to 1920, you will find that they go into decline every time the nation elects a Labour Government.

"This is true for the Lange-led Government in the late 1980s and even the Michael Savage-led Government in the 1930s. You just have to wonder why the trend continues under the Clark-led Government?

"Are Labour Governments ever going to learn, or simply repeat the mistakes of the past?

"All of this represents a tragedy for the nation.

"New Zealand not only has a vast forestry potential, but new plantings are also essential if we are to survive our commitment to the Kyoto Climate Change Protocol, without completely wrecking the New Zealand economy.

"New forests create carbon sinks. They soak up nitrates. They are an indispensable element of our Climate Change Policy and everyone appears to understand that except the Government and its climate change advisors.

"This issue could become an Achilles heel for the Government and it needs to be sorted and sorted fast," said Mr Copeland.


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