20 Aug 2007

Campaign to end ANZ links with Malaysian company under way

3:16 pm on 20 August 2007

Pressure is being applied to the ANZ bank to sever its links with a Malaysian logging company, Rimbunan Hijau.

The Green Party in New Zealand staged a demonstration outside the ANZ bank in Wellington to protest against what it calls Rimbunan's unsustainable logging practices.

The party's co-leader, Dr Russel Norman, says the ANZ is the company's banker and provider of financial services but that should end because of its operations in countries like Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.

A report from the Solomon Islands' Central bank stated that the country's forests would be wiped out within six years while there's ongoing concerns about clear felling of forests in PNG.

Dr Norman says the ANZ should sever its links with Rimbunan which appears to be able to do what it wants.

"It's clear that the Papua New Guinea government is deeply corrupted and also that it's failing, essentially, in the more remote regions where the logging's happening. So, it's the logging companies themselves that actually seem to have the authority in those regions, rather than the PNG government."

Dr Russel Norman