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Labour supports forests petition


Labour conservation spokesperson Jill Pettis has welcomed the launch of a new petition to save West Coast native forests on Crown land.

Encouraged by the success of her previous petitions, Susan Grimsdell has started a petition to "Save our Beautiful West Coast Forests".

In 1997, Susan Grimsdell collected in excess of 200,000 signatures to stop Government plans to build a $94 million parliamentary "palace". After strong public opposition, plans for the new building were halted and the Government considered a scheme to move the Beehive. Susan collected 30,000 signatures in one week to oppose the scheme and that plan was halted also.

"I am delighted that Susan has started a forests petition," Mrs Pettis said. "Labour's indigenous forests policy will halt the logging of native forests on Crown land so Susan's petition fits very comfortably with Labour policy. I am very supportive of it."

The petition has the support of the Body Shop, Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society and other conservation groups. Labour will support the petition by distributing it to Labour party organisations throughout New Zealand.

Over 10,000 people made submissions opposing the National Government's beech logging scheme when it was proposed in 1998. Yesterday in Parliament, Labour leader Helen Clark introduced a petition of over 5000 signatures, including many from the West Coast, opposing logging of West Coast native forests on Crown land.

"Now Susan Grimsdell has got a petition going to save West Coast native forests and I am wondering when the Government is going to get the message. A majority of New Zealanders do not want any more logging of native forest on Crown land" said Jill Pettis.

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