History of Aotearoa and New Zealand|
Date: Tue, 24 Jun 97 08:30:12 CDT
From: rich@pencil (Rich Winkel)
Subject: New Zealand Rainforest Spared By Court Decision
/** headlines: 180.0 **/
** Topic: New Zealand Rainforest Spared By Court Decision **
** Written 4:03 PM Jun 23, 1997 by econet in cdp:headlines **
/* Written 12:10 PM Jun 21, 1997 by ENVIRO@salata.com in alt.save.the.earth */
/* ---------- "E-Link: New Zealand's Buller Forest" ---------- */
This news story is from the Environment News Service:
New Zealand's Buller Forest saved
From Environment News Service (ENS)
20 June 1997
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, June 20, 1997 (ENS) - Conservationists have
welcomed a Court of Appeal decision that has saved old growth rimu forests
on New Zealand's west coast. "The Court of Appeal's decision on the West
Coast Forests case is a blessing for native forests and their wildlife,"
said Eugenie Sage, Forest and Bird Protection Society spokesperson.
In February, protesters from Native Forest Action occupied the forests just
north of the Paparoa National Park in a bid to halt the clearfelling in the
centuries old rainforest in the Buller River area on New Zealand's South
The Court of Appeal last week dismissed an appeal by West Coast Resource
Interests against the High Court's September 1995 decision that the Crown
had not breached the West Coast Accord. West Coast Resource Interests
sought 166,000 cubic metres of podocarp evergreen trees annually from South
Westland and $425 million in damages from the Crown for alleged breaches of
the Accord. In dismissing the appeal, the Court of Appeal upheld the High
Court's decision that the Accord is a contract.
"Timberlands (a state owned logging company) has argued repeatedly that the
(West Coast) Accord obliges it to continue its highly destructive native
forest logging until 2006 in Buller," said Sage. "The Court of Appeal says
that this section of the Accord is only a recital which summarises
Government policy and is not part of the Accord contract, and so is not
binding on the Crown.
"The decision means Timberlands' major argument for logging disappears. The
West Coast Accord does not require the company to keep felling native
forests in Buller," Sage said. "There is no excuse now for Government
permitting a state owned logging company to interpret the Accord for its
own ends and continue to destroy these forests."
The Forest and Bird Protection Society was a signatory to the West Coast
Accord and accepted the concept of "community viability." The Accord
allowed clearfelling until pine plantations were ready for logging.
Forest and Bird Deputy President Bill Gilbertson said that the Buller
milling industry has now switched to pine and the local communities'
economic viability is not in jeopardy.
Gilbertson said that one of the most galling things about the Buller rimu
logging was that there is no need for it. "We can make our coffee tables
and furniture out of plantation woods and save our rainforests."
More than half of the native timber cut in New Zealand comes from
Timberlands' Buller clearfelling.