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Timberlands Gets Final Order To End Native Logging

The Government has formally directed the state-owned enterprise Timberlands West Coast Ltd to stop its remaining native timber logging from 1 April 2002.

The Minister Responsible for Timberlands West Coast, Pete Hodgson, said shareholding Ministers had written to the company's board directing it to amend its statement of corporate intent.

The amended statement will exclude native timber logging and other management of the Crown’s West Coast native forests from Timberlands' business from 1 April 2002.

"This is another important step in keeping the Government's promise to end all logging of Crown-managed native forest as soon as practicable," Mr Hodgson said.

The directive follows consultation by shareholding ministers with the Timberlands board, which advised that the company would remain viable without native timber logging.

Timberlands expects to log 190,000 cubic metres of exotic timber in the current financial year, expanding to 290,000 cubic metres by 2003. Native timber logging is expected to total 11300 cubic metres in the year to March 2001.

"The advance notice of an end to Timberlands' native logging will bring a significant conservation gain while minimising the risk of job losses," Mr Hodgson said. "We have set out to keep our conservation promise while giving sawmills and the furniture industry time to adjust to the loss of Timberlands rimu."

Ministers are likely to make decisions early next year on the reallocation of Timberlands native forests. They could become conservation areas, reserves, additions to national parks, or unallocated Crown land.


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