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Forestry Commodity Levy – Study Commissioned

22 January 2004
Media Release for Immediate Use

Forestry Industry Commodity Levy – Study Commissioned

Forest industry organisations have commissioned international forestry experts, Jaakko Poyry to undertake a study of the issues surrounding a commodity levy for the New Zealand forestry industry.

New Zealand Forest Industries Council (NZFIC) Chief Executive Stephen Jacobi said the study would be prepared on the basis of consultation with the industry and had been commissioned by NZFIC together with the New Zealand Forest Owners Association (NZFOA) and the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association (NZFFA). The consultation would identify attitudes and opinions of stakeholders in the sector relating to the possible introduction of a levy under the Commodity Levies Act to promote the development of the industry.

“This is just the first step in what could develop into an extensive process over the next 12 to 18 months. The industry organisations are very keen to understand the level of industry commitment to a compulsory levy, and also to understand how industry participants see such a levy being implemented, governed and managed.

“The Jaakko Poyry report will be completed by the end of March of this year, and presuming a positive response from the industry, a detailed levy proposal will then be prepared which we will take through the widest possible consultation with industry and other stakeholders,” Mr Jacobi said.

“If the industry is broadly in accord with the proposal, the next step would be an industry-wide referendum which could be undertaken in the first half of 2005. No levy will be implemented without the clear support of potential levy players. We are absolutely clear on that ,” he said.

Mr Jacobi said the forestry industry in New Zealand had no current commitment to a centralised programme of funding for “industry good activities” such as research and development and market development but increased funding for these activities was vital if the industry was to meet its bold vision for future development.

“New Zealand’s forest estate is a significant revenue generator within the economy and with production value predicted to quadruple to $NZ20 billion by 2025, it is critical that there is a united approach within the sector. ” he said.

“Jaakko Poyry is an international forestry consultancy company with wide experience in this field. They have recently completed a similar industry report for the Australian forestry sector, and the industry organisations selected Jaakko Poyry to undertake the New Zealand study after a competitive process.” Mr Jacobi said.

John Pettengill from Jaakko Poyry’s Auckland office will co-ordinate the consultation programme.

ENDS

About Forestry

NZFIC represents and promotes the interests of all sectors involved in the New Zealand forest industry. Membership comprises forestry companies and industry associations who collectively own and manage a sustainable, planted production forest resource of 1.8 million hectares.
New Zealand forestry directly employs 25,000 people, accounts for 4 percent of GDP, has annual sales of more than $5 billion and is the country’s third largest export earner at $3.5 billion annually. Through its Wood Processing Strategy and Vision 2025, the industry aims to become New Zealand’s largest export sector, directly employ 60,000 people, contribute 14 percent of GDP and record an annual turnover of $20 billion.

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