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Copeland calls for banning of imported timber

Copeland calls for banning of imported timber

The news that January’s trade deficit was New Zealand’s worst month since 1986 indicates that it is time for New Zealand to get real about import substitution, according to United Future’s forestry spokesperson, Gordon Copeland.

“Last year for example we spent $284 million importing into this country so-called “special purpose timber” and very few of these imports are from verifiable sustainable sources.

“At the same time we insist that our own indigenous (privately owned) timber industry mills and markets only against high level sustainability criteria. This is a complete mismatch which does nothing for world conservation, utilises scarce overseas funds, and makes much of our sustainable indigenous timber industry uneconomic.

“Government must act immediately on two fronts. Firstly, by banning the importation of timber into New Zealand unless it is sourced on a verifiable sustainable basis and secondly, adopt and promote the use of indigenous timbers extracted on a verifiable and sustainable basis.

“Let’s for once exercise some common sense and create a level playing field to favour our own forest owners,” said Mr Copeland.

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