7 Feb 2011

US group retracts NZ forestry claim

6:27 am on 7 February 2011

An American group which placed New Zealand second on a list of the worst countries for destroying native forest, says it made a mistake.

Conservation International has revised New Zealand's ranking to 22nd out of 34 countries, after the figures were queried by the New Zealand Institute of Forestry.

New Caledonia is now the second worst offender, behind Myanmar.

Institute president Andrew McEwen says he has asked Conservation International to apologise.

He says the error may have damaged New Zealand's reputation internationally and says it is disappointing that journalists and politicians failed to check the facts first.