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What's Good For Airways Should Be Good For Rimu

BLUEGREENS
advising the National Party on environment, culture and heritage issues

15 May, 2000

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WHAT'S GOOD FOR AIRWAYS CORPORATION SHOULD BE GOOD ALSO FOR RIMU LOGGING ON WEST COAST

An appeal has been made to Prime Minister Helen Clark to be consistent in her responses to management practices of two State Owned Enterprises, Airways Corporation and Timberlands West Coast. "If the Prime Minister can say that conflicting evidence justifies an independent review of what's going at Airways, there are demonstrably sufficient conflicts in claims about the long term effects of sustainable logging of West Coast beech and rimu to support a similar call for an independent review, " said Terry Dunleavy, national convener of Bluegreens, the organisation that advises the National Party on environmental, cultural and heritage issues.

The Cabinet decision on rimu logging has created a short but valuable breathing space in which New Zealanders should be given the opportunity to sort out scientific-based fact from emotive rhetoric.

"There has never been any suggestion, except possibly from the wildest of greenies, that sustainable logging poses any threat to the long term health of our native forest taonga," said Mr Dunleavy. "What's at stake here is the credibility of sustainability. On one hand, green radicals cry doom and gloom. On the other, academics, scientists and forestry experts claim they can prove that carefully managed selective logging will sustain and enhance not just the native trees, but also the birds and benign wildlife which live in the native forests.

"In the particular case of rimu, every New Zealander is affected, firstly by having to pay the taxation which will fund the compensation to West Coasters, secondly, by facing a severe reduction in the availability of rimu for manufacture of furniture.

"This is not a matter that can be settled by so-called 'value judgements' of politicians, of whatever hue. What it needs is an independent review of the facts, as well as the claims and counter-claims, with the aim of establishing whether sustainability can be achieved, and, if so, to what degree," said Mr Dunleavy.

ends 314 words Contact details: National Convenor: Terry Dunleavy MBE, JP Tel (09) 486 3859 - Fax (09) 486 2341 - Mobile 025 836688 - Email: terry@winezeal.co.nz


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