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Act Foolishly Reveals Link With Timberlands -NFA

The Act Party have made fools of themselves by publicising a Native Forest Action email and claiming it embarrasses the government.

The e-mail released by ACT today had in fact been sent to just one individual in December last year, as an attempt by Native Forest Action to flush out the "Timberlands spy" on their mailing list.

"Late last year NFA realised that someone on their mailing list was passing on its internal newsletters to Timberlands, NFA national co-ordinator Nick Young said. "We checked the mailing list and noticed that the Timberlands employee Jon Dronfield, who oversaw beech forest logging, had got his name onto the list. "

To flush him out and see where Timberlands was passing information, we wrote a hoax newsletter to him with the false, but tantalising, suggestion that we were being funded by the Labour Party"."

Meanwhile, hundreds of real NFA newsletters were sent to our genuine supporters. "We have of course never received any money from Labour or any other political party - but Timberlands and ACT fell for the trick and in doing so revealed their political complicity".

"We challenge Ken Shirley to show journalists his "leaked e-mail". They will see it was originally sent to John Dronfield, the only person who received it.

Timberlands obviously took the bait and handed the email onto ACT in an attempt to distract attention from Kit Richards' current email crisis."

"Ken Shirley's press release demonstrates two things: it is another example of Timberlands orchestrating a campaign against Labour and its policy of ending the logging of publicly owned native forests.

ACT was happy to be a tool in Timberlands' campaign. More important, this reveals that even after Kit Richards being censured for his political activities, Timberlands staff were feeding out information that they hoped would embarrass the Prime Minister, Helen Clark."

Timberlands' John Dronfield is pictured with general manager of planning, Kit Richards, in an article in The Press, 23 October 1999.

Appended 1. Fake newsletter sent to John Dronfield (Timberlands West Coast) 2. Real newsletter sent to genuine supporters

For further information, contact: Nick Young National Co-ordinatior Native Forest Action Ph 03/545-6040

-------------------------------------------------------------------------- -- ------------------- FAKE VERSION SENT ONLY TO JON DRONFIELD OF TIMBERLANDS WEST COAST

Native Forest Action Newsletter It's been a little while since the last newsletter and a lot has happened.

The past few months have been a rather tense waiting game but the future of our native forests now looks hopeful! The change in government, with its strong green influence, definitely looks like good news for the West Coast native forests.

We've had a very busy last few months: having input to party policies on the forests before the elections and then making sure that the logging issue had a high profile during the election campaign: protesting in National, ACT and NZ First Party rallies, postering, stickering etc. We have taken every opportunity to highlight the native logging issue and the fact that it was the National government that was responsible. The National Party campaign-launch was disrupted by NFA protesters, Jenny Shipley was publicly heckled by protesters in a cloud of 'symbolic sawdust', in Nelson the 'Jennycide' anti-logging poster was printed on the front page of the newspaper, and on the West Coast Shipley was presented with a dead Kereru as a 'symbol of her government's hypocritical stance on conservation'. I think we achieved our objective very well.

As always, we rely on the generous support from all of you to keep NFA going but we could not have maintained a high profile throughout that period without financial support from the Labour Party. Now that they are in government, we need your help more than ever for our campaign work in the last stages of ending the logging. Please include us on your Christmas present list - we need donations now more than ever!

Things are still developing daily, but as it stands today, it looks very certain that the beech logging will be canned. The 'beech scheme' has now been put forward four times in various forms and has been opposed by four generations of conservationists. Hopefully this will be the last time.

The new government's policy is to end all native logging on crown land in return for an economic development package for the West Coast region. But they also said that they will honour all native timber supply contracts signed before the policy announcement. Predictably, Timberlands immediately piped up and said that it had a number of rimu supply contracts signed with Westco Lagan in August that would have to be honoured. Then a short time later they gleefully announced that they also had eight major beech supply contracts. The latter were immediately rejected by the Labour Party as a sham, but the rimu contracts are another matter. If honoured they equate to 8 years more rimu logging - 27,000 m3 in 2000 and 10,000 m3 for the following years (i.e. 17.000 m3 Orikaka over-cut in the first year plus 10,000 m3 sustained yield mostly from Okarito and Saltwater). The best rimu forests would suffer most.

However, the most recent development is that the Green party has released information showing that Timberlands in fact learned of Labour's caucus decision on Tuesday September 7th and then rushed around signing up contracts before the policy was announced on Friday September 10th. In the words of Pete Hodgeson "what the Timberlands board of directors said did not completely coincide with the truth". The company signed six agreements to supply native logs for up to eight years in two days. Labour's policy was to honour existing contracts at the time their policy was announced. The biggest supply deals are said to have been signed on the Thursday afternoon just hours before the policy was announced at 9 am the next morning.

This means that there should be no legal obligation for the government to honour the rimu contracts!

So, Native Forest Action will be working very hard over the next few weeks to make sure that these contracts are overturned and there is a complete stop to native logging on Crown land in the very near future. Also to ensure that the West Coast receives the economic development package it's been promised.

The long awaited NFA CD has been completed and is now available for purchase from the national office for $20.00 each. It includes 16 tracks from some great NZ artists including Mystery, Nina Lane, Decay Dance, Inunga Funga, Resonance and Steve Abel. It's a worthy addition to any CD collection and a fine Christmas present! We also have copies of the 'Secrets & Lies' book by Nicky Hager and Bob Burton that we are selling for $25.

All the best,

Nick Young National Co-ordinator Native Forest Action Inc.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------- -- ------------ REAL VERSION SENT TO ALL SUPPORTERS ON DATABASE

National Supporters Newsletter [Copied to email list]

It's been a little while since the last newsletter and a lot has happened. The past few months have been a rather tense waiting game but the future of our native forests now looks hopeful! The change in government, with its strong green influence, definitely looks like good news for the West Coast native forests. We have been very busy during the election campaign taking every opportunity to highlight the native logging issue and the fact that it was the National government that was responsible.

The National Party campaign-launch was disrupted by NFA protesters, Jenny Shipley was publicly heckled by protesters in a cloud of 'symbolic sawdust', in Nelson the 'Jennycide' anti-logging poster was printed on the front page of the newspaper, and on the West Coast Shipley was presented with a dead Kereru as a symbol of her government's hypocritical stance on conservation. I think we achieved our objective very well. The native logging definitely became an important election issue. Thank you all so much for your assistance.

Things are still developing daily, but as it stands today, it looks very certain that the beech logging will be canned. The 'beech scheme' has now been put forward four times in various forms and has been opposed by four generations of conservationists.

Hopefully this will be the last time. The new government's policy is to end all native logging on crown land in return for an economic development package for the West Coast region. But they also said that they will honour all native timber supply contracts signed before the policy announcement. Predictably, Timberlands immediately piped up and said that it had a number of rimu supply contracts signed with Westco Lagan in August that would have to be honoured. Then a short time later they gleefully announced that they also had eight major beech supply contracts.

The latter were immediately rejected by the Labour Party as a sham, but the rimu contracts are another matter. If honoured they equate to 8 years more rimu logging - 27,000 m3 in 2000 and 10,000 m3 for the following years (i.e. 17.000 m3 Orikaka over-cut in the first year plus 10,000 m3 sustained yield mostly from Okarito and Saltwater). The best rimu forests would suffer most.

However, the most recent development is that the Green party has released information showing that Timberlands in fact learned of Labour's caucus decision on Tuesday September 7th and then rushed around signing up contracts before the policy was announced on Friday September 10th. In the words of Pete Hodgeson "what the Timberlands board of directors said did not completely coincide with the truth". The company signed six agreements to supply native logs for up to eight years in two days. Labour's policy was to honour existing contracts at the time their policy was announced. The biggest supply deals are said to have been signed on the Thursday afternoon just hours before the policy was announced at 9 am the next morning. This means that there should be no legal obligation for the government to honour the rimu contracts!

So, Native Forest Action will be working very hard over the next few weeks to make sure that these contracts are overturned and there is a complete stop to native logging on Crown land in the very near future. Also to ensure that the West Coast receives the economic development package it's been promised.

It is refreshing to have a government that seem willing to listen to reason but it is important to keep the pressure on. Now is a good time to send encouraging letters to people like Helen Clark (fax: 04 4733579), Pete Hodgeson - minister of forestry (fax: 04 495 8449) and Jeanette Fitzsimons (Fax: 07-868 5526) At this point I would like to thank you all on behalf of Native Forest Action for your incredible support during our campaign over the last three years.

Without your letters of encouragement and donations we would not have been able to sustain our efforts.

It is becoming increasingly likely that we will see a desirable outcome in the near future but it is not over yet. We still have to keep the pressure on, and we still have to go to court to defend the actions of two of our number at the Westport airport helicopter action last summer.

The court date has now been set for March 6th next year. I have committed myself to another six months in the role of national co-ordinator and feel that there are is great deal that we as a group can achieve at this time. So, once again, I must plead with you all to please send us more donations. Our accounts have suffered over the last few months as everyone has been fully engaged in the election campaign. The long awaited NFA CD has been completed and is now available for purchase from the national office for $20.00 each.

It includes 16 tracks from some great NZ artists including Mystery, Nina Lane, Decay Dance, Inunga Funga, Resonance and Steve Abel. It's a worthy addition to any CD collection and a fine Christmas present! We also have copies of the 'Secrets & Lies' book by Nicky Hager and Bob Burton that we are selling for $25.

There is going to be a NFA fund-raising gig at the Berlins Hotel in the Buller Gorge, West Coast on Sunday 9th January next year. Salmonella Dub, Dooblong Tondra, Inunga Funga and Bunyip are all playing so, just quietly, it's going to ROCK!

Consider yourself formally invited. In another six months we will be reassessing the future direction of Native Forest Action. If the native logging is stopped on the West Coast some feel that it would be best to end on a high note and dissolve the group, while others (including myself) feel that there are plenty of areas in which a group such as Native Forest Action can continue to be very effective.

You as our supporters comprise a very important part of the organisation so please write to us and let us know what you think and whether you are interested in supporting us in spirit and financially once we have stopped the native logging on the West Coast.

All the best, Nick Young
National Co-ordinator Native Forest Action Inc.

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