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Timberlands’ Board should be fired

Media Release Native Forest Action Friday 17 March 2000

Timberlands’ Board should be fired

Native Forest Action is calling for the government to fire Timberlands' Board of Directors after they re-employed Kit Richards as a consultant following his resignation in January amidst political pressure. Native Forest Action believes the example of Mr Richards re-employment shows there is institutional defiance and contempt of the government's wishes to end native forest logging by the state-owned company.

"Kit Richards let it slip in an interview with Kim Hill this morning that he is working as a consultant on matters which include continuing his old work to get Forest Stewardship Certification for native logging," said Native Forest Action national spokesperson Dean Baigent-Mercer.

"The problem is that the government has repeatedly asserted that they intend to halt all Timberlands' native forest logging, moving quickly after the election to stop the beech logging scheme proceeding. Yet it is this very work on the beech forest logging scheme that Kit Richards is being hired to continue work on as a consultant to Timberlands."

"Why is Kit Richards being paid to finish off his old project on the Forest Stewartship Certification (FSC) – a process which is an attempt to give credibility for native logging – when the shareholding minister has publicly told Timberlands that all their native logging is going to cease?"

"Forest Stewardship Certification applying to Timberlands' native logging has been rejected by all major New Zealand environmental groups because it is seen an device for justifying the continued of logging of native forests which should not be logged.”

"Timberlands' Board of Directors should be fired immediately because re-hiring Kit Richards based on his statement to Kim Hill, is the next stage of Timberlands' political fight to maintain native logging. This attitude of contempt expands beyond Kit Richards' personal views to that of the Timberlands Board. It is a company that needs to taken under control.”

“Another example of Timberlands' contempt for government policy is their speeding up of rimu logging in Orikaka Forest in the Buller Gorge.”

For more information contact: Dean Baigent-Mercer 04-383-5168


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