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Greens Protest Native Logging And Woodchip Exports

Greens protest at parliament over native logging and woodchip exports

"Jobs not Chips" is the message on the large banner Green Party members will hold up in the grounds of parliament from 10.30am today in opposition to the Forest Amendment Bill.

Hearings on the bill, which reverses a ban on native woodchip exports and allows SOE Timberlands to unsustainably log a further 23,000 native trees from largely pristine forests on the West Coast, commence at 10.15am in Room G.006.

Public submissions are overwhelmingly opposed to Timberlands being allowed to continue destroying untouched forests such as the 6,400 ha Orikaka Forest, which is home to the great spotted kiwi, kaka, parakeets and other threatened species.

"The Green Party is totally opposed to the destructive features of the Forest Amendment Bill," said Co-Leader Rod Donald.

"While we support the Government's efforts to conserve the forests which come under the SILNA Act the rest of the bill represents a major step backwards for conservation in New Zealand."

The Green Party is already in touch with Green Parties overseas to point out the hypocrisy between the Government's new "100% Pure New Zealand" campaign and the destruction Timberlands is causing to the biodiversity of the West Coast.

"We will turn the tourism campaign into an international embarrassment if National refuses to stop the logging of pristine old growth forests on the Coast.

"If the Government is serious about promoting New Zealand as "clean and green" it would provide the West Coast with a regional development strategy which creates jobs that don't depend on destroying the environment," he said.

Rod Donald will be attending the Select Committee hearing which also meets in Christchurch on Friday.

ENDS

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