Forestry Crisis Needs Addressing

New Zealand First is so concerned about the future viability of forestry in New Zealand we will host a “Forestry Round Table” in Whangarei tomorrow.

“At present our forests are being plundered,” says New Zealand First Leader and Northland Member of Parliament, Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“For example, in Northland trees as young as 16 years are being felled in the region when they should be 25 years old at least with 28 being the ideal.

“Sawmillers and wood processors are being shut out trying to access logs as heavily subsidised foreign companies buy them up and ship them out.

“Whole forests are rapidly disappearing while replanting is lagging behind.

“We have to face up to these realities or one of New Zealand’s most important sectors faces a disastrous future.

“New Zealand First wants a minimum domestic log price; restrictions on foreign ownership of our forests; a replanting programme and the re-establishment of a National Forest Service.

“Unlike the government we understand the forestry industry must ensure employment and business opportunities in provincial New Zealand, while forests act as carbon sinks and provide a sustainable source of exotic timber.

“New Zealand First has a vision for our forestry industry and its future – the government has none,” says Mr Peters.