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National Backs The Forestry Industry

16 July 2002

National Backs The Forestry Industry

"National recognises the forestry industry's contribution to the economy as well as its ability to contribute to New Zealand's future economic growth," says National's Forestry spokesman Phil Heatley.

Mr Heatley made these comments when releasing National's Forestry policy on a visit to the West Coast today.

"By the year 2025, New Zealand's forestry sector will be producing three times the current timber volumes. National's primary aim is to create a climate of enterprise in which industries like forestry can flourish.

"A National Government will get alongside the industry and continue to develop partnerships to implement solutions over key strategic issues affecting forestry such as climate change, roading, genetic modification, research and settling forestry related Treaty claims.

"We will ensure a 'one-stop-shop' consent process for sustainable forest management by amending and harmonising the RMA and the Forests Act. National will also urgently work with SILNA owners to bring their forests under the Forests Act sustainable management regime at the earliest possible date."

Mr Heatley says National will also address other laws and regulations that impose unnecessarily high business and compliance costs. This includes such things as reducing taxes, reviewing the Health and Safety in Employment Act, reintroducing competition to the accident insurance market and limiting local government activities to minimise rating burdens.

"National intends leading a change of attitude in the education and careers advice so that opportunities offered in the forestry sector are positive advocated. We will also progress the Centre of Excellence concept for training and education in wood processing industries.

"The main aim of National's Forestry policy is to help maximise the industry's current and future contribution to New Zealand's economy," Mr Heatley says.

Ends

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