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Beech scheme "think big" disaster of the new millennium

Green Party Press Release  24 August 1999  

The Green Party has slammed the National Government's decision to proceed with a massive beech forest logging scheme on the West Coast just prior to the election.  

SOE Minister Tony Ryall announced today that the Government has accepted the conclusion of the Board of Timberlands West Coast that the sustainable   harvesting of the Crowns West Coast beech production forest is  commercially viable.  

"The National Government is demonstrating extraordinary arrogance in its  dying days by allowing Timberlands to rip the heart out of New Zealand's   last remaining lowland beech forests," said Green Party Co-Leader Rod   Donald.

"National's beech scheme will become the 'think big' disaster of the new  millennium. 

"The statement from Tony Ryall is long on rhetoric but short on detail. While claiming the scheme will both generate jobs and be profitable to the   Crown, no numbers are provided by the Minister.

"However the greatest tragedy with the beech scheme is that it will   destroy forests, 80 percent of which the Department of Conservation has  said deserve protection, just so the Government can look tough.  

"The decision to allow logging to proceed is even more extraordinary in  the light of the revelations contained in Nicky Hager's book about the way   Timberlands has master-minded a million-dollar public relations campaign  in favour of beech logging even though most scientific evidence and public  opinion opposes it.  

"The Government should be deeply embarrassed that it has been conned by  Timberlands but, instead, it has become their main apologist.  

"Claims that the trees will be harvested by helicopter ignores the fact  that a massive roading infrastructure will need to be created for   helicopter drop-off points. Talking about taking just one tree per  hectare per year might sound minimal but it means 100,000 trees over the  total forest area.  

"The National Government is determined to turn pristine old-growth forests  into timber farms. We will strongly encourage the Labour Party to stop   this scheme from proceeding," he said.

  Contact: Rod Donald on 04 470 6660 or 025 507 183

Forwarded by: Native Forest Network rep. Aotearoa/New Zealand
Email: Postal address: PO Box 2771, Christchurch Central Aotearoa/New Zealand NFN Southern Hemisphere website:; NFN Northern Hemisphere: For specific information on New Zealand forest campaigns check out the Native Forest Action website: NFN is a global autonomous collective that seeks to protect forests worldwide.

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