• Maurice Williamson
Local Government

The cutting rights to the exotic plantation forest in the Hunua ranges are to be transferred from the Auckland Regional Council (ARC) to the Auckland Regional Services Trust (ARST) as the law requires Minister of Local Government, Hon Maurice Williamson announced today.

"It is quite clear from advice received by my predecessor, from departmental advisers and the Crown Law Office, that I am legally bound to proceed with the transfer," said the Minister.

"If I were to decline to proceed, as some people have suggested, I would be breaking the law-and I am certainly not about to do that.

"As to whether the ARC should have a separate revenue stream, such as a forestry company, to finance the purchase of additional regional parks, that is an entirely separate matter.

"However, if as an outcome of the 'Pathways for Auckland' process legislation is introduced, I feel sure the future ownership of the cutting rights or the proceeds from their sale will be re-examined and I'm happy to let the select committee consider that proposition on its merits" Mr Williamson said.