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New Zealand companies dominate Austimber 2004

Media Statement April 2004

New Zealand companies dominate Austimber 2004

New Zealand companies which sell their technology products or services to the forestry sector are innovative and well-received overseas, Forestry Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Mr Sutton said New Zealand had guest nation status at the Austimber 2004 forestry trade show in Albury, Australia.

"With 35 New Zealand companies present on our stand at Australia's largest wood technology show - held every four years - New Zealand dominated the event.

"Early indications are that New Zealand companies have notched up somewhere in excess of $30 million in firm orders or prospective sales, with all of the participants having achieved some sort of success. This is an outstanding result, as it is not usual for companies at a trade show to write a lot of business at the show it is usually concluded in the weeks and months following an event such as this.

"Not only did we have this outstanding result but Forest Research, our national provider of technology solutions and research services to the forest and wood products sector in New Zealand, was judged the best stand of the around 200 exhibitors."

Mr Sutton said that he had the pleasure of presenting the World Forestry Day Award for 2004, sponsored by the forestry industry fraternal organisation Hoo Hoo International.

"This award is to recognise people, especially the quiet achievers, who have made innovative or outstanding contributions to the forest industries.

The award attracted regional nominations from South Africa, all of the states of Australia and New Zealand. I was delighted to be able to present the award to Dr Wink Sutton ONZM, who has spanned nearly 50 years of work in the forestry sector in New Zealand including numerous achievements in the areas of plantation management, silviculture , timber utilisation and the promotion of the New Zealand industry.

"My visit also enabled me to have very fruitful discussions with a number of key ofw forestry sector organisations including the Forest and Wood Products Research Development Corporation , the Chief Executive in Australia of Forest Research and the Australia CSIRO Division of Forestry and Forestry Products , the inaugural Chairman of the new forestry industry organisation A3P - which brings together the Plantation Timber Association of Australia and the Australian Paper Industry Council and the National Association of Australian Forest Industries. These latter two organisations will effectively represent the whole Australian industry, with A3-p representing 80% of the $14 billion Australia sector."

Mr Sutton said it was clear that the New Zealand and Australian industries face many of the same issues and are both looking at prospects and their future in the global market place.

"The initiatives which are now being undertaken by our respective research, development and wood quality organisations in Australia and New Zealand to co-operate and collaborate offer great opportunities to build on our collective expertise and develop world leading technologies and processes that will ensure the future of our forestry sectors .

"My discussions with all these industry leaders suggested that despite the competition between our two softwood industries, here is increasing recognition from the key players in both markets ?that there are great benefits to be derived from the two countries working together more closely at all levels to secure the future of our wood in both the domestic and international markets."

ENDS

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