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Protests planned if Govt extends Coast logging

Native Forest Action
www.nfa.org.nz
Media Release

Sunday 7 May 2000

Protests planned if Government extends West Coast native logging

Native Forest Action has confirmed over the weekend that they are prepared to go back into the trees and take other direct action if the government allows ongoing logging of West Coast native forests. Native Forest Action held a national meeting in Picton this weekend planning responses to calls by some Ministers to continue logging.

"We are ready to protest in the treetops of the threatened South Westland and Buller forests if the government backs away from its promise to stop the logging," spokesperson Dean Baigent-Mercer said. "New Zealanders voted in a government to end all Timberlands' native logging once and for all and we are determined to hold them to that promise."

"Ending the logging was a major election issue and the Government's credibility would be at stake if this native logging is allowed to continue beyond the end of the government's financial year (30 June 2000)"

Mr Baigent-Mercer said that the government is being furiously lobbied by Timberlands' allies in the furniture industry. "The public should notice that they have stopped claiming the logging is needed for West Coast jobs. So few jobs are affected that the logging lobby has shifted to arguing that the timber is needed for furniture jobs in other regions."

"The facade of job loss is no longer an issue. There is no excuse for dragging out the logging damage to these forests."

"Okarito and Saltwater forests near Franz Josef, and Orikaka forest in the Buller deserve world heritage and National Park status. The government would be mad to allow further logging in future national parks and world heritage areas. "

For more information contact: Dean Baigent-Mercer phone: 04-545-6040 or 04-548-3745


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