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Greens Call For Imported Timber To Be Certified

Greens Call For All Imported Timber To Be Certified

Green Party Forestry Spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street MP today called upon the Government to ban the importation of all timber and timber products not certified as sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council.

"It is hypocritical for New Zealand to save its old growth indigenous forests while at the same time importing timber which has been unsustainably logged from elsewhere in the world," said Mr Ewen-Street.

"The Green Party are hoping that all parties in parliament would support legislation to act promptly on this."

The issue has gained prominence because of revelations that timber being used for the Beehive renovations was unsustainably harvested from African rainforests.

Mr Ewen-Street said the Greens wrote to the General Manager of Parliamentary Services on March 9 to clarify which woods were being used in the Beehive refurbishments. [Copies of this letter are available on request.]

"Parliament needs to set an example by using plantation or certified, sustainably managed timber in the Beehive refurbishment instead of aiding the devastation of precious African rainforests," he said.

Mr Ewen-Street said the real issue was not whether the the timber was native or exotic. The issue was about how the timber was grown and harvested.

"Sustainable options include New Zealand plantation grown exotic timbers such as macrocarpa, Tasmanian blackwood, or eucalypts; or New Zealand natives grown under a sustainable management regime; or imported timbers grown under a Forest Certification regime.

"This will happen automatically if we pass legislation to ensure all imported wood is certified as being sustainably grown and harvested," he said.

Ends

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