Labour delivers economic death blow to West Coast
"Labour has delivered an economic death blow to the West Coast with its announcement that it plans to shut down indigenous forestry operations on Crown land," says Associate Minister of Forestry, David Carter.
Mr Carter today praised the integrity of Jim Sutton, who resigned as Labour's forestry spokesperson following the decision.
"I admire Jim Sutton's integrity. I now predict Damien O'Connor will leave the Labour Party and stand as an independent. Mr O'Connor like Mr Sutton will not stomach the arrogance this Labour Party is displaying towards Coasters."
"This decision will effectively destroy the West Coast. Labour wants to shut down the existing 200 forestry jobs and the further 200 jobs Government predicts will be created soon by new forestry operations. They want to shut up the West Coast and throw away the key, and leave these people to suffer a slow economic death."
"West Coasters don't want economic development funds, they want real jobs which have been provided by the forestry industry. They also want a future!"
"The resignation of Jim Sutton is proof the Labour Party has deserted rural New Zealand. When their very experienced agriculture and forestry spokesperson can no longer stomach Labour's policy, there is something seriously wrong with the party and the direction they are taking."
Mr Carter said today's announcement by Mr Sutton was the beginning of the end for the Labour Party in rural New Zealand.