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Rimu Decision Shows Govt Double Standards On Green

15 May 2000


NEWS RELEASE
For immediate use


RIMU DECISION SHOWS GOVT DOUBLE STANDARDS ON GREEN ISSUES


A decision by the Government today to halt sustainable rimu logging on the West Coast would show its double standards on green issues, the Ecologic Foundation said today.

“The clear-felling and heavy logging of native forest continues in other parts of New Zealand unabated,” said executive director of Ecologic, Guy Salmon. “Yet the Government continues to turn a blind eye to this destruction.”

“Instead, the Government has continued to pick on a soft target -its own State-Owned Enterprise, Timberlands West Coast.”

Mr Salmon said Timberlands’ efforts to establish careful, sustainable logging has never been the environmental tragedy portrayed by the Government.

“The real tragedy is the old-fashioned ransacking of native forest on Maori-owned lands in Southland and Otago, and on small private holdings elsewhere in the country.

“The Government has ignored this free-for-all to date, even though it continues as we speak.”

“In fact, the Government’s only reference to managing conservation on private land to date – the Bio-What? report issued in February – is a muddle-headed position that will probably make the situation even worse.”

Mr Salmon said the end of sustainable rimu logging on the West Coast would aggravate the situation on private land. “The demand for specialty native timbers in New Zealand is not going to go away. By cutting off the supply from a sustainable source, the Government will force up the price of native timber and encourage even more unsustainable logging on private land to meet the demand.”

“That is not the sort of environmental legacy the Labour/Alliance Government should want to leave the country.”


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Mr Salmon said the decision would also set the dangerous precedent of a Government penalising an organisation that set out to act sustainably.

“The key to New Zealand’s environmental future is achieving a balance between human aspirations and the need to respect and sustain natural ecosystems.

“Yet, in the most public way possible, the Government is putting down the only commercial enterprise that has really taken seriously the ethic of environmental sustainability. Its actions against Timberlands send out all the wrong messages to the community.”

The Ecologic Foundation, formerly the Maruia Society, was one of the signatories of the West Coast Forests Accord and is committed the concept of sustainability.


For more information, please contact Guy Salmon at 025-201 3033.

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