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Labour Ignored Warnings About Logging Contracts

Claims by Labour that they did not know contracts for future native forest logging were being negotiated shows the party failed to heed a number of warnings from a number of organisations that this was occurring.

Labour said this week they were unaware that contracts were being negotiated for future logging of native timber on the West Coast. It has been announced that nine contracts have been signed to secure the logging 58,000 cubic meters of native timber per year.

As these media releases from Scoop’s archives show, Labour was explicitly warned that these contracts were being negotiated and that they could force the hand of future governments.

In these releases, some before Labour even launched their forest policy, organisations were urging Labour to repudiate these contracts before they were signed. They did not do this.

These releases show the number of warnings that Labour have failed to heed:

29 August - 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. See… Scoop: Timberlands Contract Repudiation by Labour Urged.

30 August - Contracts signed between now and the election for the sale of beech timber from Timberlands' West Coast forests could tie the hands of the next government, says Green Party Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons. See… Scoop: Greens Challenge Labour On Beech Scheme Stance.

17 September - New Timberlands West Coast contracts are aimed at forcing the next Government into logging native forests, Green Party Co-Leader Rod Donald said today. See… Scoop: Timberlands' Deals Aimed At Forcing Govt. Hand

20 September - At its national meeting of core activists last weekend on Matiu/Somes Island, Native Forest Action firmly decided to target the sawmillers Westco Lagan of Timberlands’ rimu. This is in response to last week’s announcement that Timberlands had signed contracts… See… Scoop: Logging Target Extended To Westco Lagan.

21 September - Labour is still telling two stories about logging native forests on the West Coast, Green Party Co-Leader Rod Donald said today. See… Scoop: Labour Two-Faced Over Timberlands?

These are just a sample of a number of warnings Labour received that these contracts were being negotiated.


ends

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