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Labour's Forestry Policy Shocking Double Standard

Labour is being challenged to explain why it has one forestry policy for the people of the West Coast and another for Maori.

ACT Deputy Leader Hon Ken Shirley said from Greymouth today that following their announcement to pull the rug out from under the West Coast, Labour must tell New Zealanders why they are continuing to support the logging of indigenous forest from land covered by the South Island Landless Natives Act.

"In some cases this forest is being clear felled with impunity. There is no management programme in place for this forest. In some cases it is just being plundered.

"Labour has stamped on the world leading Timberlands Beech scheme that is sustainable and environmentally sound and yet the Party will continue to let forest covered by the South Island Landless Natives Act be clear felled. This is a shocking double standard.

"Labour's justification for allowing the continued harvest from the SILNA forests is the historic agreement between Maori and the Crown. Yet Labour has trashed the West Coast Accord that is a legally binding contract between the Crown and the people of the West Coast.

"ACT believes we must have one law for all.

"As the people here on the West Coast get to grips with the full impact of Labour's policy they have been dealt another blow by the arrogance of the Party in the policy's fine print.

"Labour's policy states that if they became Government they would not honour or pay any compensation from the time their forestry policy was announced.

"Here is an opposition party announcing policy and indicating that if they became Government they would retrospectively legislate and break contracts back to the announcement of their policy in opposition. This is a constitutional outrage that I'm sure would invite action in the High Court.

"Labour's double standard and arrogance has sealed their fate with the people of the West Coast," said Hon Ken Shirley.


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