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Regional council sells forest cutting rights

Regional council sells forest cutting rights

Cutting rights for Greater Wellington Regional Council’s metropolitan and Wairarapa reserve forests have been sold to US-based forestry company Resource Management Service LLC (RMS).

While GWRC will continue to own the land, RMS will hold cutting rights for the forests for at least 60 years. The company submitted the best tender based on price and quality. However the final price will depend on a stock take of the forests on 30 June.

“This is an excellent result for the region", said GW chair Fran Wilde. "The agreement provides certainty over the harvesting of our forests and sale funds significantly in excess of the council’s forestry debt. The money will be used to repay forestry debt and for purposes yet to be determined by the council.

“We’ve also secured agreement with RMS on high standards of health and safety for the workers involved in harvesting. This was an important issue for us in view of the current debate on forestry practices in New Zealand. We also wanted Wellingtonians to be able to continue to use our forests and as a result of the contract, recreational activities will continue in our forests in accordance with the council’s parks network plan, with forest harvesting on weekends and public holidays continuing to be restricted. Strong environmental protection provisions are also included in the contract.”

GWRC endorsed the sale of cutting rights to RMS at its meeting this morning and the contract will run for 60 years from 1 July 2014. It can be extended to 90 years halfway through the contract at the discretion of the council.

“We chose RMS because of the depth of its intensive forestry experience and the resources and capability of its proposed forestry manager PF Olsen. This combination resulted in RMS having the highest quality score of all tenderers, with quality accounting for 30% of the tender evaluation. We are very confident in our choice of partner and we look forward to working with them in the future,” says Fran Wilde.

ENDS

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