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Conservationists Ready To Fight Government Again

Native Forest Action
Media Release
1 May 2000

CONSERVATIONISTS READY TO FIGHT GOVERNMENT OVER WEST COAST LOGGING (AGAIN)

New Zealanders will have been cheated if the Government gives $120 million of public money to West Coasters and then allows rimu logging to continue, says Native Forest Action. The group is preparing campaign plans to fight the government over the issue if required.

"We are pleased for the Coasters if they get a good development settlement, but the whole point of the $120 million payment is to stop the logging," spokesperson Dean Baigent Mercer said. "We can't believe that the government may give them the money and the logging too!"

"Jim Anderton is talking about allowing logging to continue in the best of Timberlands forests: the dense rimu forests of North Okarito and Saltwater. Conservationists are prepared to fight this logging week by week right through to the next election if the government allows it to continue."

"Frankly we are disgusted that both Mr Cullen and Mr Anderton are advocating breaking their respective parties' election promises on West Coast logging. This is hardly impressive only months after the election."

"Until recently Timberlands had to pay the PR company Shandwick to promote its controversial logging, now the deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister have volunteered to be the pro-logging voices."

"We trust that other members of the coalition government will see sense and that when the West Coasters receive the $120 million, the rest of the country will see these priceless forests protected."

Native Forest Action will hold a national meeting this weekend to plan actions for if the government approves further logging.

For further information contact: Dean Baigent-Mercer national spokesperson for Native Forest Action Phone: 04-383-5168


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