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Hysterical Reaction Predictable - NFA

Native Forest Action

Media Release

Saturday 11 September 1999

Hysterical Reaction Predictable And Unsubstantiated - NFA

Native Forest Action today shrugged off the hysterical reaction to yesterdays announcement that Labour would end West Coast native logging if it wins the election.

"The hysterical reaction from Jim Sutton and Damien O'Connor over Labour's policy decision to end Timberlands' West Coast native forest logging is totally predictable because they have long been a small anti-conservation clique in the Labour caucus," said Dean Baigent-Mercer spokesperson for Native Forest Action, "Despite their tantrums, public opinion is overwhelmingly in support of this unnecessary rainforest logging ending".

"Contrary to recent media depiction, messages of celebration and appreciation have been flowing into conservation groups from all over the country - including the West Coast - thrilled with Labour's decision".

"The claim by the Furniture Association of NZ that the end of Timberlands' native logging will result in 4,000 job losses is ridiculous and totally unsubstanciated. The Furniture Association of NZ have been cultivated as lobbying allies by Timberlands and their PR company Shandwick over the past 5 months to lobby Labour as a third party".

"Last year Timberlands claimed that an end to their logging would end in 100 job losses, then 200, then 500. A few months ago, along with the Furniture Association of NZ, the story had changed again: this time 2,000 job losses. And now 4,000. We strongly suspect these figures are unsubstanciated and are being used to whip up hysteria and anti-Labour feeling".

"New Zealand has many plantations of specialist timbers such as eucalyptus, macrocarpa, black walnut, and douglas fir which have been under-used awaiting the day when native logging is phased back".

"Voters finally have a clear choice: if National/ACT win the election West Coast native logging will expand; if opposition parties win, the logging will end".

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