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Forest industry forum promotes regional growth


Forest industry forum promotes regional growth

Around 150 participants are expected at a forest industry forum in Whangarei tomorrow (10/10/02) organised by the New Zealand Forest Owners Association (NZFOA) and the New Zealand Forest Industries Council (NZFIC).

NZFOA chief executive Rob McLagan said the forum would focus on the future development of wood fibre processing in New Zealand. “This is a good time to take stock of progress with the Wood Processing Strategy – the joint industry/government partnership that aims to chart a way forward for the industry.”

He says New Zealand’s wood harvest is expected to increase from 20 million cubic metres a per year to nearly 40 million cubic metres by 2015. The Wood Processing Strategy aims to attract $3 billion new investment by 2010 to enable the additional harvest to be processed in New Zealand.

Minister of Forestry, Hon Jim Sutton, will address the forum along with NZFIC chair Devon McLean, Northland Regional Council chair Mark Farnsworth, Northport CEO Ken Crean and chair of the Northland Forestry Reference Group, Derek Colebrook.

NZFIC chief executive Stephen Jacobi said choosing Whangarei for the venue was intentional.

“It is in the regions that we are likely to see the greatest growth in the industry as we turn the ‘wall of wood’ into a ‘wave of opportunity’.

“Northland, like the East Coast, poses particular challenges for the development of infrastructure necessary to maximise the benefits of industry growth.”

Following discussions at the forum, participants will have the opportunity to visit the Carter Holt Harvey laminated veneer lumber plant which came into operation last year and the new installations of the Whangarei port which will be officially opened next week.

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