INDEPENDENT NEWS

Coast Council Website Regurgitates Timberlands' PR

Published: Thu 28 Oct 1999 08:38 AM
New West Coast Council Website Regurgitates Timberlands' Pr
The launch of a website by the Westland District Council yesterday goes further to exaggerate the myth that the West Coast needs Timberlands, say Native Forest Action.
"Timberlands is getting more for their propaganda dollar by the Westland District Council using ratepayers money to regurgitate their main PR lines in a new website" said Dean Baigent-Mercer spokesperson for Native Forest Action today.
"Rather than looking at West Coast native forests holistically and focusing on conservation, eco-tourism, logging and introduced predators, the website's bias concerns logging, supporting the myth that the West Coast will collapse without Timberlands' native forest logging. Employment figures are used to emotionally blackmail the unsuspecting browser to think a large number of jobs are reliant on logging native forests".
Last weedend Timberlands Manager of Planning Kit Richards was quoted in the Press (see 'Forest Grump', Press, 23/10/99) stating that no logging jobs would be lost when the Buller 'overcut' and beech scheme logging end, "..increased [pine] production should absorb any jobs lost".
"We don't have to make a choice between jobs and standing rainforests. In fact some West Coast sawmills are so desparate for pine that they are importing it from outside the West Coast. At the same time, Timberlands is exporting some of the best grade rimu and pine away from the West Coast. Perhaps the Westland District Council are out of touch with these issues."
"The term 'sustainable' is misleading and should not be used to describe any of Timberlands logging. Nothing has been proved to be sustainable, nor will it".
"The information is totally biased towards the dinosaur idea of native forest logging and makes no attempt to project potential jobs possibilities in conservation or tourism and the flow-on effects when the forests are protected. The website could also have been sensibly used to lobby for more conservation spending on their back doorstep".
ends
For more information contact: Dean Baigent-Mercer Native Forest Action spokesperson 04-383-5168

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