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Extension To West Coast Logging Deplored

ENVIRONMENT AND CONSERVATION ORGANISATIONS of NZ Inc. Level 2, 126 Vivian St, Wellington, New Zealand PO Box 11-057, Wellington Phone/Fax 64-4-385-7545 Email: eco@reddfish.co.nz

Media release Tuesday 16 May 2000

EXTENSION TO WEST COAST LOGGING DEPLORED

Monday’s announcement by the Government that logging of crown-owned indigenous forests on the West Coast will continue until 31 March 2002 is a deplorable sacrifice of forests to vote buying, says Cath Wallace, spokesperson for the Environment and Conservation Organisations of NZ (ECO).

"The need for an early ending to logging of crown owned native forest was a test of the Government’s environmental credentials", said Cath Wallace.

"The Government has reneged on its core election promise of swiftly halting native forest logging. What is worse, is that as well as allowing two more years of destruction of rimu forests, the government is paying a staggering $120 million bribe to the furniture manufacturers and West Coasters."

"Michael Cullen and Jim Anderton seem to have lost both their compass for fiscal sense and for environmental responsibility."

"We can thank Helen Clark and Pete Hodgson for ensuring that the rimu contracts did not go on for 8 years which is a mercy, but the government has been conned into providing a massive payment to the West Coast which gets to keep using the chain saws. Anyone who inspects the figures closely can see there will be no real job losses."

"The ‘compensation package’ is a nonsense. It is a waste of both the native forest and taxpayer money –native forests are being irreparably damaged and the money could have been better spent on pressing social and education needs as well as environmental needs."

For further information contact Cath Wallace (04)463-5713 (w) or (04)389-1696 (h).


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