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Rally to support Sandra Lee's Reefton decision

Monday 27 August 2001

MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Rally to support Sandra Lee's Reefton decision

A public rally will be held in Parliament Grounds tomorrow, Tuesday, 28 August, from 1pm to support Conservation Minister, Sandra Lee, and her decision not to approve the proposed GRD Macraes' Reefton goldmine. Messages of support for the Minister sent from around the country, including from West Coast writer Keri Hulme, will be read out at the rally.

The rally will be held between 1-2pm before a group of West Coasters arrives to protest at Parliament against the mining decision.

The organisers of the rally want to show the Government that many New Zealanders believe in protecting the conservation park from destructive activities such as large-scale mining.

"The West Coast recently received $120 million of public money to help it develop new forms of employment following the end of logging native forests. We are sure that West Coast people are capable of finding more constructive ventures than digging a huge, polluting hole in the middle of the Victoria Conservation Park," said spokesperson, Cath Wallace. "We do not understand why some West Coast spokespeople are acting as though the region's future relies on backing a destructive foreign mining company. There are good and sustainable employment alternatives which do not threaten large-scale pollution and destruction of conservation land."

"We congratulate Sandra Lee. She has the support of many New Zealanders for the decision she made and for opposing any proposals for an amended mine in that area."

The organisers have timed the rally to avoid conflict with the visiting West Coast protesters.

TIMING: 1.00pm -1.15pm Rally assembles 1.30pm Speeches followed by a presentation to the Minister's representative.

For more information please contact: Jessica Wilson (04) 934 2108 Cath Wallace (04) 389 1696 or (04) 463 5713 Eric Pyle (04) 385 7374 (work); 025 227 8420 (mobile); e.pyle@wn.forest-bird.org.nz

Christine Andricksen Secretary to Conservation Manager Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand Inc Central Office 172 Taranaki Street PO Box 631 WELLINGTON

Ph: 04 385-7374 Fax: 04 385-7373 e-mail: c.andricksen@wn.forest-bird.org.nz www.forest-bird.org.nz


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