Commitment To Re-Establishing Forestry Service

05 September 2017

New Zealand First believes there is insufficient planning for the future of the forestry industry, the Northland Member of Parliament and New Zealand First Leader, Rt Hon Winston Peters said today.

Mr Peters visited Mt Pokaka Timber Products in Northland.

He outlined the New Zealand First priorities:

• We want to ensure continuity of supply for both the domestic and export industries.

• We want to ensure jobs are kept here in Northland and other regions and that they increase in numbers.

• We don’t want all the add-on value of our raw logs being lost overseas.

• We want that add-on value maximised here in New Zealand.

• Northland has over 150,000 hectares of production forest area - the third largest standing volume and the fifth largest area in New Zealand.

• It employs well over 2,000 Northlanders so is highly important to us.

• We believe it could be double that and more but not on this government’s ‘flog it off no questions asked’ approach.

• We plan to have Annual Allowable Cuts under quota to avoid depletion of plantation forestry.

• We do not plan to tax raw logs being exported but we can put restrictions on their export by making exporters apply for permits on a year-by-year basis.

• More replanting must begin and the best way to ramp up plantings stems from greater returns.

“That is why we intend splitting forestry from MPI to re-establish the NZ Forestry Service as a practical, get things done department.”

Mr Peters also pointed out that forestry is critical to New Zealand’s reduction in its carbon footprint.