INDEPENDENT NEWS

PM Puts Cart First, Horse Second

Published: Thu 12 Dec 2002 02:07 PM
PM Puts Cart First, Horse Second
Thursday 12 Dec 2002 Gerry Eckhoff Press Releases -- Rural
Prime Minister Helen Clark is putting the cart before the horse in visiting the US for the premiere of a documentary in which she features, ACT New Zealand Rural Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff said today.
"The documentary, which the PM will use as a vehicle to promote New Zealand tourism, shows a non-indigenous Helen Clark enjoying such places as Fiordland - which will, no doubt, be promoted as part of the New Zealand experience," Mr Eckhoff said.
"Fiordland, however, is one such place where visitor numbers should be capped, according to the Conservation Department. This shows that DoC should be removed from the tourism industry, leaving the way open for private operators to provide the experiences visitors seek, and contributing to the upkeep of our forests.
"The need to charge tourists for care and protection of our national parks is recognised by all but those blinded by ideology, including DoC. And, while there is a clear need to build infrastructure in the `front' country, the Government will, instead, spend $350 million of taxpayers' money on back country huts - the Prime Minister, of course, is a very keen tramper.
"If anything positive were to come from this visit, it would be quickly destroyed by the Government's lack of expertise and inability to effectively management our national parks," Mr Eckhoff said.
ENDS
For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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