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Labour MPs to support West Coast timber Bill

Labour MPs to support West Coast timber Bill

Labour’s MP for West Coast Tasman Damien O’Connor and Labour’s MP for Te Tai Tonga Rino Tirikatene will vote for the West Coast Windblown Timber Bill in their capacities as local MPs.

Damien O’Connor says: “While I am disappointed Conservation Minister Nick Smith will not amend the legislation to guarantee West Coasters get much needed jobs and revenue, I still believe this timber should be utilised.

“The West Coast lost almost 1000 well-paid jobs after the National Government ran Solid Energy into the ground by forcing it to increase debt and pay out dividends at a time when coal prices were unsustainably high. This almost crippled the company and the West Coast community along with it.

“Rather than giving genuine support to our communities by backing my amendments, the Government is playing petty politics.

Labour Leader David Cunliffe says he understands Damien and Rino’s position.

“Damien and Rino are acting as local MPs and as such the Labour caucus and I support them,” David Cunliffe says.


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