27 May 2010

Trade Me site maintains kwila sales

3:13 pm on 27 May 2010

A New Zealand internite site being asked to ban all listings of furniture made out of kwila wood from West Papua says authorities have assured it there's no problem.

Trade Me in Wellington was picketed today by rainforest activists urging the site to stop selling kwila timber and furniture.

A spokesperson for the site, Paul Ford, says it has been told by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries that the kwila wood has not been sourced illegally.

He says 75 per cent of kwila being sold on the site is used wood and that in the past six weeks, about 350 items of kwila furniture were sold.

Mr Ford says Trade Me will not be banning its kwila listings as urged by New Zealand and West Papua rainforest activists.

"Kwila's not illegal, it's not on the endangered species list and we've received one complaint. And as I say we're keen to get our members views and get their sentiments on whether they think that's a move we should make."

Paul Ford.

A spokesperson for the the Indonesian Human Rights Commiteee, Maire Leadbetter, says West Papua is being stripped of its rainforests because of the huge demand for kwila in places like New Zealand.