New Zealand First is backing West Coast Tasman MP Damien O’Connor in his fight with Environment Minister Sandra Lee, and
her decision to unilaterally veto a mining venture on the West Coast
“Mr O’Connor is doing exactly what he was elected to do, that is to serve the needs of his electorate,” said New Zealand
First Leader Rt. Hon Winston Peters.
“The Prime Minister’s silence is deafening. Miss Clark seems to put the political needs of the Alliance ahead of her own
party and the birthplace of the Labour Party.
“This is the second time that Damien O’Connor has stood up to Miss Clark, the last time being in 1999 over logging. On
that occasion Labour betrayed the Coast to pay off the Alliance, and we hope they don’t do that again.
“Even if the Government seems to regard the Coast as an acceptable loss, we do not feel the same way. No other region in
New Zealand has ever come under such direct economic attack from any Government. It is as if they have some sort of
vendetta against the Coast.
“We are appalled that Sandra Lee has put the advice of environmentalists in her office above the facts, and above the
needs of the Coast.
“This is yet another example of the Cabinet’s contempt for the Labour Caucus. We know that other members of that caucus
are against this decision, just as they are against Cabinet’s war on the New Zealand Defence Force, but they are
powerless to speak out,” concluded Mr Peters.