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Timber industry gets toxic treatment from Govt

Timber industry gets toxic treatment from Government

The blanket chemical treatment of all timbers as proposed by the Building Industry Authority (BIA) is an absolute over reaction, says National Forestry Spokesman Brian Connell.

"Labour and the BIA are making up for their past inaction over their 'Leaky homes' debacle by ramming through a raft of changes which threaten the Douglas Fir industry and will result in hundreds of workers out of jobs when mills are forced to close their doors.

"The chemical treatment of Douglas Fir is simply not necessary, nor is it necessary for the treatment of other hardwood species.

"National supports the BIA's call for chemical treatment of Pinus Radiata but only where this timber has the potential to become exposed to water.

"Treating timber in itself is not a cure for lack of weathertightness - it simply puts the problem off for 20 years or so. Concentration on quality construction (eaves) and appropriate building standards are the only guarantee the Kiwi homeowner can count on.

"What I find particularly appalling is that the BIA knew the potential impact on the Douglas Fir industry, yet it still insisted on chemical treatment. Ninety percent of submitters on the Weathertightness inquiry, many of whom are industry experts, told the BIA that this was redundant.

"Not only will the cost of these changes put home ownership beyond the reach of many hard-working Kiwis, but this blanket approach to chemical treatment threatens the international reputation of New Zealand timbers," Mr Connell said.

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