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Don't Force Offer On Bloody-Minded West Coast

Native Forest Action
Media Release
Sunday 30 April 2000

DON'T FORCE BLOODY-MINDED WEST COAST MAYORS TO ACCEPT $100M SAYS NATIVE FOREST ACTION

If the West Coast mayors turn down the government's $100 million development offer tomorrow, the government should simply give this money to conservation instead, says Native Forest Action. The group says there is no point in forcing public money on reluctant West Coasters when there other projects and other regions that would gladly welcome the money.

The mayors are due to give their answer to government officials tomorrow on whether they want the $100 million.

Native Forest Action spokesperson Dean Baigent-Mercer said that there was a good chance West Coast mayors would refuse the government's offer. "They are so fixated with fighting a lost battle to retain native logging that they may well petulantly refuse the $100 million. In that case their decision should be accepted and the money can go to rehabilitating the Timberlands native forests and other urgent conservation work."

"Native Forest Action ran a nation-wide petition urging the government to give the Coasters a generous development package in exchange for ending native logging. Ordinary West Coasters deserve that. But if the mayors are bloodly minded and refuse the offer, they should have to live with the consequences."

Mr Baigent-Mercer said said New Zealanders must be getting tired of hearing Coasters complaining about the end of native logging. "By next year less than ten full-time jobs will rely on native logging whereas the West Coast pine forests support nearly 500 jobs. It's hard to understand why they are so obsessed with logging the native forests."

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

-ends-


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