Sutton Resigns As Labour Forestry Spokesperson
Aoraki Labour MP Jim Sutton announced today that he had resigned as the Party's forestry spokesperson, in light of the adoption of a policy of ending all production forestry from Crown owned indigenous forest.
"As a long-term and committed advocate of sustainable resource management - with the concept of sustainability embracing social and economic as well as environmental elements - I have no choice but to resign. I could not promote the new policy with either sincerity or conviction."
Mr Sutton said he believed the West Coast Accord, as understood by all signatories at the time, committed the Crown to make the Crown-owned indigenous forest not set aside for National Parks or reserves available in perpetuity for sustainable production. He regarded the Accord as having at least the moral force of contract, and even though its strict terms had already been breached by the National Government, he could not support a unilateral decision to lock the forest up. A sustainable management policy for indigenous forest was recently unanimously endorsed by Labour's Primary Industries Council, the party's rural wing.