June 27, 2014
Opportunity for Maori from storm
Labour’s Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene says jobs and economic development were at the top of his mind when he crossed the floor last night with fellow West Coaster Damien O’Conner to vote in favour of a Government Bill.
The MPs had permission from Party Leader David Cunliffe to vote for the bill allowing the salvaging of wind blown logs off conservation land over the next five years.
Mr Tirikatene says they tried to make some improvements to the bill and make it more focused on West Coasters, but the Government wouldn’t bend.
He says Maori on the coast see opportunities in the 20,000 hectares of forest blown over in April’s cyclone.
"Maori are engaged in all levels of the forestry sector, whether it’s whanau workers, whether it’s the landowners. I’m happy with the position I took and I’m grateful for the tautoko we got from our colleagues and our leader," he says.
Mr Tirikatene expects most of the logs will be taken out by helicopter, given the remoteness of the forests that were blown over.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH RINO TIRIKATENE CLICK ON THE LINK
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