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Hands on support for forestry innovation

12 September 2005 Media release

Hands on support for forestry innovation gets results

Hands on government support for the forestry industry has been getting results for some time. The history of one of those partnerships is outlined in Piers MacLaren's new book, 'The Leading Edge: the originating history of Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) in New Zealand', being launched by Jim Anderton, Minister of Forestry and Progressive Leader, in Rangiora this evening.

"The government clearly has a role to play in lifting value in the forestry industry - and it is one that has worked well historically too. Piers MacLaren reminds us in his book that Norman Kirk played a crucial role in developing the wood processing industry in New Zealand. He ensured that the developers of MDF had the use of Canterbury forests for their supply of wood.

"Co-incidentally, I have inherited his electorate of Sydenham, now Wigram. And I too am a very keen supporter of adding as much value as possible to our forest production here in New Zealand.

"The history of MDF is a good example of the innovation of New Zealanders and how partnerships between businesses, communities and governments can genuinely benefit the country.

"MDF is part of the "whole tree" solution because it is made from logs and wood chips that are not much use for anything other than to be reconstituted into paper or panel products. Turning low value logs and chips into a high value product like MDF is truly "value-adding and we need to do this in every industry," Jim Anderton said.

www.beehive.govt.nz/anderton www.progressiveparty.org.nz

Full speech notes will be available on the above websites at 7pm this evening.

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