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Native Forest Action Vow To Keep Challenging Nats

Native Forest Action
Media Release
Monday 1 November 1999


"National and ACT have gone against the public will by consistantly backing West Coast native forest logging and Timberlands. Election time is when the public gets to make politicians face up to their actions and we intend continuing to express our views", said Native Forest Action spokesperson Dean Baigent-Mercer.

"Yesterday's action taken against Native Forest Action members by National Party MPs was violent and offensive. This is not the kind of behaviour we expect from our elected representatives when faced with fair questions as to the future logging of our native beech and rimu forests."

"For three years the Government has determindly gone against public opinion in sanctioning further native forest logging, during which time we have promised to make it an election issue. Yesterday's heckling was carrying out this promise. Native Forest Action has asked five times in the past three years to meet with Ministers responsible for Timberlands - initally Jenny Shipley, and more recently, Tony Ryall. Both have outright bluntly and arrogantly refused."

"The assult on Native Forest Action members is symptomatic of how National has handled the native forest logging issue - by condoning and colluding with state logger Timberlands to bully those who disagree with the logging into silence."

"National should be embarressed at its part in Timberlands' public relations campaign. It is our right to remind voters that Jenny Shipley has been aggressively backing Timberlands native forest logging for the past three years. We intend to make this known throughout the election campaign, and will continue to do so at any appropriate opportunity."

- For further information contact: Dean Baigent-Mercer Native Forest Action national spokesperson 04-383-5168 or 025-2085-288 or Neil Abel who has laid an assult complaint with police against MP and junior Government Whip Gerry Brownlee on 09-378-1634

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