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Timberlands Contract Repudiation by Labour Urged

Environment and Conservation Organisations of New Zealand Inc P O Box 11-057, Wellington, eco@reddfish.co.nz, Tel (04)385-7545

Media Release - Sunday 29 August, 1999 Wellington

Timberlands Contract Repudiation by Labour Urged

The national summit of environmental organisations today called upon the Labour Party to announce its policy on West Coast logging and to repudiate in advance any contractual arrangements the National led government might enter into with Timberlands West Coast.

"Any delay by Labour in repudiating any such contracts might encourage the state owned enterprise's subcontractors to seek future compensation," says ECO, whose member organisations met this weekend in Wellington.

Chairperson Stephen Blyth said today "Three generations of conservationists from many different walks of life and from a wide range of organisations pledged with a toast, to see the end of Timberland's logging of rimu forests and to prevent the beech scheme getting underway.

"The weekend meeting heard of the decades of work protecting forests by distinguished ECO conservationists Dame Miriam Dell ONZ, Bob Fantl, and Dr Ian Prior. We honoured that work.

Mr Blyth said the meeting called for immediate protection from logging of the West Coast forests and the rejection of government plans to allow the export of indigenous logs and wood chips.

The delegates deplored the tactics of Timberlands West Coast and their PR company Shandwick of intimidating environmentalists and churning out letters designed to appear to be written by West Coasters.

"Conservation Minister Nick Smith, who spoke to the delegates, seemed to be far more angry at the book "Secrets and Lies" than we have ever seen him at the loss of rimu forest or destruction to the marine environment at Spirits Bay", said Stephen Blyth.

"It is a disgrace that he is trying to normalize and legitimate the Shandwick - Timberlands underhand tactics." Mr Blyth concluded.

(ENDS)

For further information contact Stephen Blyth, (04) 383-5727


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