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Timberlands' Tresspass Order Against Green MP

Press Release

15 August 1999

Timberlands' trespass order against Green Party MP "outrageous"

GREEN MP Rod Donald has labelled as "outrageous" the trespass order taken against him last week by state owned enterprise Timberlands.

The S.O.E has banned Mr Donald from its West Coast Orikaka and Maruia forests after the MP and 50 Green Party members dug up a Timberlands forestry road at Maruia and planted beech trees on it during Conservation Week.

"This unprecedented step against an MP is a pre-emptive strike by Timberlands to suppress dissent over their destruction of Orikaka Forest," Mr Donald said. "It's also a misuse of the Trespass Act as I have never been near Orikaka Forest."

However, Mr Donald said he not did discount entering Orikaka "to highlight the vandalism Timberland is wreaking there".

"If it means breaking the law to expose the fact Timberlands is destroying a pristine, old-growth forest - home to 26 native wildlife species, eight of which are threatened - in pursuit of greedy profit, so be it."

Mr Donald has said that the digging up of the forestry road during Conservation Week marked the start of a summer of direct action against Timberlands.

"We will continue until we become part of a new Government in November when putting an end to logging in Orikaka will be high on our post-election agenda."

Mr Donald said the trespass order was contrary to Timberlands' deed of appointment with the Crown which required Timberlands to "permit public use of the indigenous forest lands for recreational puposes" (clause 4.2.3, page 9). He planned taking legal advice over the standing of the notice.

He said Timberlands chief executive Dave Hilliard had been to the recent, controversial Masters of Business conference.

"Judging by Timberlands' approach to me, Dave Hilliard may have have learnt something from the talk given by U.S army general Stormin' Norman Schwartzkopf but I won't be cowed by their bully-boy activities."

* For Super 8 video footage, or photos and slides, of the direct action in Maruia Forest, contact Rod Donald. Or visit the Green Party website at www.greens.org.nz to view a range of photos of the action.

* For a copy of the Timberlands trespass letter and notice of trespass, contact Rod Donald.

ENDS


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