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Wood award recipient commended

Hon Jim Anderton

Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Biosecurity
Minister of Fisheries, Minister of Forestry
Associate Minister of Health
Associate Minister for Tertiary Education

Progressive Leader

30 November 2007 Media Statement

Wood award recipient commended

Forestry Minister Jim Anderton today applauded the awarding of a Canadian Wood Council "Wood Advocate - Wood Champion" award to Auckland University professor Pierre Quenneville.

The Canadian Wood Council, through its Wood Works! programme, has honoured Dr Pierre Quenneville of The University of Auckland's Faculty of Engineering for his long-time advocacy of timber in construction. Dr Quenneville lived in Canada before moving to New Zealand in July this year to become Auckland University's first Chair in Timber Design.

The award recognises more than two decades of work by Dr Quenneville in Canada to advance wood engineering, education and research. He has also campaigned for the use of timber in more construction projects, and his research into efficient bolted connections is helping to set international building standards.
Jim Anderton congratulated Dr Quenneville on his award.

"We are honoured to have a professor of his calibre now working in New Zealand."

Jim Anderton said the New Zealand Government was doing its bit to promote more use of wood in government-funded building projects by government departments and agencies.

From the third quarter of 2008, all government-funded project proposals for new buildings up to four storeys high shall require a build-in-wood option at the initial concept / request-for-proposals stage (with indicative sketches and price estimates). This will not prevent options using alternative materials.

This requirement will be a tendering rule (tendering rules are administered by the Ministry of Economic Development) that all government departments must apply. To comply with the requirement, departments have to seek at least one timber option to consider per project, unless it is manifestly obvious that a timber building would be inappropriate (e.g. for storing explosives).

The decision of which option to accept will be based on normal criteria such as fitness-for-purpose and value for money, with all options standing on their own merits.

Jim Anderton said Dr Quenneville had reported that Canadian government agencies and forestry representatives have expressed interest in this New Zealand government initiative.

"Requiring departments to consider building in wood opens a door for the New Zealand wood industry to promote its wares," Jim Anderton said.

Another Government initiative is a project to demonstrate how commercial-style buildings can be constructed with wood. It will provide partial funding to construct in wood up to two government buildings that would ordinarily be built in other materials. The buildings will be used as demonstration and education models.


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