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Feds Backs Coasters Fight Against Grandstanding

24 November 1999
PR128/99

FEDERATED FARMERS BACKS COASTERS FIGHT AGAINST POLITICAL GRANDSTANDING

Federated Farmers' West Coast members has joined with the Coast Action Network (CAN) to ask that political parties stop using the West Coast in order to appeal to urban Auckland voters.

Vice President Tom Lambie said that Federated Farmers and CAN were asking for politicians and political parties to "stop using the West Coast as a prop for political grandstanding".

"The West Coast signed the Accord and committed themselves to sustainable forestry. Coasters need to develop robust and durable industries, not have to rely on a handful of politician's promises about regional development, now and in to the future."

"Coasters should also be very wary of any Government's attempts to pick winning industries. Past history has shown governments are much better at picking losers."

"The West Coast communities rely on a unique mix of natural resources for the maintenance of their social and economic fabric. Politicians from other parts of the country fly in to make a statement about the West Coast's future, then leave for their own electorates and secure jobs."

"The tragedy is that the people of the West Coast are well advanced in developing sustainable land management systems that would put the rest of New Zealand to shame. Sustainable management there simply means harvesting one tree per hectare per year by helicopter extraction."

"Environmental ideals are costing Coasters' jobs and futures, as new businesses avoid the area, and established industries prepare for a decline."

"Businesses must be given every chance to develop the infrastructure needed to secure an environmentally sustainable future for the West Coast."

"Political grandstanding is only getting in the way of much-needed development," concluded Mr Lambie.

ENDS For further information: Tom Lambie 026-113-161 John Clayton 03-732-3843


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