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Government Finished With Native Forest Logging

The Government is making history by getting out of the business of logging native forests, says Forestry Minister Pete Hodgson.

“Under previous governments, 130,000 hectares of Crown-owned indigenous forest were open to logging by state-owned Timberlands West Coast. Next Monday 1 April will see the complete transfer of this land to the Department of Conservation.”

“This Government has accepted its responsibility to protect these prime remnants of lowland indigenous forests as their owner on behalf of all New Zealanders,” Mr Hodgson said.

“As both Forestry Minister and Minister Responsible for Timberlands West Coast, I am very pleased at the rapid phase-out of the indigenous logging, which honours a promise made by both Labour and the Alliance at the 1999 election. ”

Timberlands West Coast is now becoming a viable exotics-only plantation forestry company. Production is increasing steadily to about 260,000 cubic metres next year, and a sustainable level of around 290,000 cubic metres in following years.

“The company is now focused on maximising the value and return on its 28,000 hectares of exotics,” Mr Hodgson said.

Ends

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