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Govt. and Preservationists Team up to Misrepresent

Media Release – 7 February 2000.

Government and Preservationists Team up to Misrepresent
The Timberlands Issue

“The Prime Minister and Minister of Forestry needs to get better conservation advice than can be offered by Forest & Bird and the Native Forest Action preservation groups” says Mr Chris Perley, a forestry consultant and member of a ‘Conservation Through Sustainable Use” group.

It was Emails amongst this group that led the Prime Minister to seek the resignation of a top Timberlands manager recently.

“Friday’s launch of separate press releases from Labour, the Greens and NFA at the same time shows their collaboration. It is the second time that the co-ordination has been achieved by simultaneous releases between Government, the Greens and the preservationists - the first was when they shot themselves in the foot by attacking Kit Richards” said Mr Perley.

“We wonder, if the goal is genuinely to support biodiversity, why did NFA and F&B and not other conservationists like us have access to this suppressed report before they sent out their press releases on Friday ? More importantly, why don't our journalists
ask these sorts of questions?” said Mr Perley.

“The preservationists have a well-oiled and experienced PR machine – and now they have captured the Government's resources as well to push their own restricted religious view of how conservation is to be achieved” said Mr Perley.

“The media fell for their ploy hook line and sinker last Friday. The information in the ‘suppressed’ report so ruthlessly unearthed by the government and preservationists was old news. No one disputes that the Timberland’s forests have high conservation values. That is precisely why the Timberlands revolutionary harvesting regime and ecological restoration through predator controls is so important a break through for conservation in New Zealand. It would have protected and even enhanced the considerable ecological values remaining in those forests” said Dr Moller, a conservation scientist from Otago University and another member of the ‘Conservation through Sustainable Use’ lobby group.

“We need better investigative journalism to prevent the preservationists and government using these ploys to try to divert New Zealand away from the essential goal – to find an ecologically sustainable future for humans on this planet” said Dr Moller.

“A mixture of conservation approaches is desperately needed in New Zealand. ‘Preservation for Intrinsic value’ has its place, but so too does ‘Conservation Through Sustainable Use’ said Dr Moller.

“The debate will not progress while the government and extreme preservation groups continue to misrepresent this debate as though it is between use and conservation. Really it is between two different but complementary ways of achieving conservation. We need better media investigation to get that message through” says Mr Perley.


… ENDS


Chris Perley is a Dunedin-based forest and natural resource consultant with qualifications in forestry science, agricultural science, and philosophy. He has a background as a practising forester and a policy analyst, with special interests in sustainable land management, environmental philosophy and ecological economics.
Contact Chris Perley on Ph 03 453 4948 or 025 880977.


Dr Henrik Moller has 22 years of experience researching conservation ecology and management, and 10 years of research in the beech forests like those proposed for ecologically sustainable management by Timberlands. He teaches conservation biology at the University of Otago and works in a voluntary capacity for the IUCN for its Sustainable Use Initiative. Contact Dr Moller on 03 4797991, 03 473 0024, or 025 2268688.

Note to Journalists: We also released a statement on Friday (4th) that challenged the contents of the labour, Greens and NFA releases. It apparently was not used. It provides added information on this topic and should be in your office somewhere. Contact us if you would like another copy.

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