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Forest industry welcomes SI Ports Decision

9 April 2001
Joint media statement from the Forest Industries Council and the Forest Owners Association

Forest industry welcomes South Island Ports Decision

The Forest Industries Council and the Forest Owners Association today welcomed the Mediator’s Report on the South Island ports issue.

The Mediator found that key claims made by the New Zealand Waterfront Workers Union were not supported by the facts. The report noted that loading contracts to Mainland were awarded on the basis of new technology and work methods, which indicate an ability to improve stowage of logs, and therefore cut shipping costs.

“The outcome of this dispute is vital for all New Zealand exporters. The sort of innovation displayed by Mainland is central to New Zealand’s ability to compete internationally,” according to James Griffiths, CEO of the Forest Industries Council, and Rob McLagan, CEO of the Forest Owners’ Association.

“The closed shop approach of the NZWWU runs counter to innovation and competitiveness, which most people now understand are vital to New Zealand’s exporting success.”

Mr McLagan and Mr Griffiths said that for the forest industry, the decision to protect the continuation of competitive ports is essential.

“For the forest industry, competitive ports mean we will be able to take advantage of the very significant export opportunities we are facing.

“New Zealand’s expanding wood harvest and forest products manufacturing sector will provide extensive job creation opportunities in regional New Zealand, as long as key costs, such as port and freight, can remain internationally competitive.

“The dispute should never have happened. It has cost the New Zealand taxpayer and threatened our standing as an exporting country”.

Ends


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