Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Forest owners still willing to talk to government

17 June 2005

Forest owners still willing to talk to government

Their carbon credits have been nationalised and investment in new plantings has almost dried up. But forest owners are still willing to talk to the government they say is causing their industry so much harm.

"Plantation forests offer one of the best opportunities for New Zealand to meet its greenhouse gas targets with least disruption to our standard of living and to the health of the economy," says NZ Forest Owners Association president Peter Berg.

"But that opportunity is being missed because of the way the government's Kyoto policies deal with forestry. They are totally divorced from commercial reality."He says the forest industry doesn't question the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Its argument is with the policies adopted by government to deal with the problem."For several years we have been saying the government's climate change policies, as they relate to forestry, are seriously flawed. It was inevitable, especially at a time of poor log prices, that they would lead to a decline in new plantings and higher deforestation."

Mr Berg says the serious deterioration in New Zealand's carbon balance, acknowledged yesterday by climate change minister Pete Hodgson, should be seen as a opportunity for a re-think. "The emissions blow-out is potentially one of the most biggest financial disasters in New Zealand history. It's larger than the Air New Zealand bail-out, and up there with the big corporate crashes of the 1980s."

However, he says the situation is not irreversible. With the right policies * which forest owners believe must inevitably include financial incentives for forest owners to increase plantings * New Zealand can get back on track.But Mr Berg says that if the government keeps going down the deforestation penalty path, and continues to treat privately-owned forests as if they were Crown chattels, the blow-out will only get bigger.

His association is keen to restart talks with minister Hodgson, in the hope that forestry can play its important part in helping the country meet its greenhouse gas emission targets. New Zealand, he says, needs to have a sound and robust strategy to address these issues, just as they have in Australia.

"However, the minister has declined to talk and has made it clear his Kyoto policies are set in stone."By nationalising the carbon soaked up by our commercial forests, the government is not only discouraging people from investing in the industry, it is actively encouraging them to cut them down and convert to other land uses."

The effect of this approach, which is based on a very limited appreciation of the opportunity offered by forestry, is now plain to see.

We are experiencing the lowest rate of new forest plantings for years, and possibly since tree planting first began in New Zealand more than 100 years ago."We hope that even at this late hour, the minister will adopt a more positive and conciliatory approach to the industry's request for a constructive dialogue. Not to do so will inevitably see even greater uncertainty and more deforestation to the detriment of all New Zealanders."

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Watch This Space: Mahia Rocket Lab Launch Site Officially Opened

Economic Development Minster Steven Joyce today opened New Zealand’s first orbital launch site, Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, on the Mahia Peninsula on the North Island’s east coast. More>>

Earlier:

Marketing Rocks!
Ig Nobel Award Winners Assess The Personality Of Rocks

A Massey University marketing lecturer has received the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize for economics for a research project that asked university students to describe the “brand personalities” of three rocks. More>>

ALSO:

Nurofen Promotion: Reckitt Benckiser To Plead Guilty To Misleading Ads

Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) intends to plead guilty to charges of misleading consumers over the way it promoted a range of Nurofen products, the Commerce Commission says. More>>

ALSO:

Half A Billion Accounts, Including Xtra: Yahoo Confirms Huge Data Breach

The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. More>>

ALSO:

Rural Branches: Westpac To Close 19 Branches, ANZ Looks At 7

Westpac confirms it will close nineteen branches across the country; ANZ closes its Ngaruawahia branch and is consulting on plans to close six more branches; The bank workers union says many of its members are nervous about their futures and asking ... More>>

Interest Rates: RBNZ's Wheeler Keeps OCR At 2%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2 percent and said more easing will be needed to get inflation back within the target band. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news