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Greens Congratulate Labour On Forest Policy

The Green Party has congratulated Labour on its indigenous forests policy announced today.

"We are delighted Labour has decided to stop National's beech scheme," said Green Party Co-Leader Rod Donald.

"Labour's commitment to halt all logging of Crown owned indigenous forests, which includes the Buller overcut and North Okarito, as soon as existing supply contracts are completed, is also to be applauded.

"Their position on indigenous forests is now virtually identical to the Green Party's policy.

"The Green Party has also been concerned to see that economic opportunities are created for West Coasters through a forward-looking regional development strategy based on conserving the environment, not destroying it.

"Labour is taking a positive step in this direction by proposing a West Coast economic development trust to manage the Coast's exotic forests.

"We are confident more jobs will be created by leaving the last of New Zealand's pristine lowland forests standing than by chopping them down.

"Despite ridiculous claims from politicians like National MP David Carter that the policy will 'destroy the West Coast', Timberlands beech scheme was never going to create significant jobs. Timberlands processes most of its timber off the Coast.

"Finally, the Green Party would like to welcome MP Pete Hodgson as Labour's new forestry spokesperson and look forward to working closely with him on developing the detail of this policy in the new government," Mr Donald said.


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