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Greens commend Labour policy, commitment a worry

The Green Party today commended the Labour Party for its conservation policy, but the Greens questioned Labour's commitment to put the policy into effect.

"There are a lot of positive initiatives in their policy, plenty for us to work with in the next Parliament," party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said.

But she said Labour's actions in the current Parliament did not inspire confidence.

"Labour has never campaigned strongly on the environment since the last election, and has voted with National on some key anti-environment bills. They voted to move control of marine management from government to the fishing industry, and also voted for the privatisation of South Island high country land.

"For a long time they were apologists for the genetic engineering industry, and they have refused to agree to a moratorium on applications for GE field trials. While Labour mentions a moratorium on commercial plantings, this is almost meaningless, as there are no applications for such plantings. It is significant that Labour is not calling for a moratorium on field trials, some of which have huge environmental implications. "Labour has said it will stop logging of publicly owned native forests by Timberlands West Coast, but only when logging contracts run out, in eight years time. The difference between their policy and ours will be 50,000 dead rimu trees. "Their positive environmental policies are hamstrung by their economic policies. Free trade, for example, is accelerating global warming and threatening our ecology and primary export industries, with a continuous stream of new pests from overseas," Ms Fitzsimons said.

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