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Greens push Labour to re-negotiate rimu contracts

Greens will push Labour to re-negotiate rimu contracts

Greens will push Labour to re-negotiate West Coast rimu logging contracts

Labour should not back down from re-negotiating an end to West Coast rimu logging contracts when it forms the new Government, the Green Party says.

Labour deputy leader Michael Cullen has been reported today saying he had advice that rimu logging contracts signed this year by Timberlands were enforceable.

However, Green Party Co-Leader Rod Donald said that the Greens would be pressing Labour to re-negotiate the contracts.

"We don't accept that another 24,000 ancient rimu trees have to be logged. This is one of the key issues we will want to discuss with Labour after the election in order to save the forests.

"Logging firms wanting ongoing government work would find it in their best interests to re-negotiate. With goodwill on both sides we can get acceptable contracts." Mr Donald said a new government should offer pine logs to compensate the loggers.

Logging firms would have to switch to pine in 2007 anyway when the contracts end, he said.

"The rimu trees are to be sacrificed because of some shonky contracts pushed through by Timberlands even though they knew the end was in sight for their logging programmes. Timberlands' directors must be called to account."

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