The West Coast Accord was expunged yesterday in the worst ever abuse of constitutional power in the history of the New
Zealand Parliament and the one person who should have spoken out for the West Coast was silent, National MP Nick Smith
"Damien O'Connor is paid to advocate in Parliament for the people of the West Coast. He conveniently absented himself
for the three days of intense debate on the committee stages and third reading. No issue is of greater importance to the
West Coast in this term of Parliament but when his people needed him, he was silent.
"The silence of Justice Minister Phil Goff was also telling. His signature appears in the Accord document on behalf of
the Crown. He once proudly boasted his role in the Accord on his curriculum vitae. His absence and refusal to speak in
any part of the debate shows how embarrassed he is at the Government's actions. If you can't trust the Minister of
Justice's signature in this Government, whose signature can you trust?
"Labour dumped on its birthplace yesterday and its betrayal will never be forgotten. The worst aspect of the whole
debate is that the policy to end sustainable logging was based on a myth. Damien O'Connor missed the one opportunity he
had to destroy the myth. The people of the West Coast will not forgive him for wimping out when this Bill passed its
critical stage," Dr Smith said.
A printable formatted copy of this press release will be available on http://www.national.org.nz along with an archive
of previous releases.