ACT Deputy Leader Hon Ken Shirley today told a meeting a public meeting in Westport that if Helen Clark thinks that
Labour's forestry policy is the right thing for the West Coast she should have fronted up to the people of the West
Coast to explain why.
"It's clear from Helen Clark's refusal to meet the people of the West Coast that she hasn't got the courage of her
"The people of the West Coast asked her to visit before she made her decision to renege on her promise to them. She
didn't. They have asked her to come since Labour's disastrous policy was announced. She hasn't. Instead she has stayed
in Auckland at the other end of the country.
"She has treated the people of the West Coast, the historic heartland of the Labour Party, with utter contempt.
"The insulting package that Labour has put to the people of the West Coast is exactly the same package put forward by
Native Forest Action despite Cullen's denials.
"In fact, if we look further, Eugenie Sage who has lead the campaign against the Timberlands beech scheme, was a close
confident and personal advisor to Helen Clark. It's very clear that that group has captured Helen Clark.
"The people of the West Coast deserve to hear from Helen Clark why Labour says that their 'values' are wrong.
"If Helen Clark decided that she wasn't willing to face the people affected by her decision to renege on the Accord then
she shouldn't have done it.
"New Zealanders and the people of the West Coast expect political leaders to have the courage to face to the people that
"Helen Clark clearly hasn't got what it takes," said Hon Ken Shirley. ENDS