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Forestry policy will get NZ planting again

Shane Ardern MP
National Party Forestry Spokesman

24 September 2008

National’s forestry policy will get NZ planting again


National will reverse nine long years of neglect of the forestry sector and provide the industry with the tools to ensure it once again plays a significant role in the country’s economic development, says National’s Forestry spokesman, Shane Ardern.

“A critical part of National’s policy will be to get New Zealand planting again. New Zealand planted more trees than it felled every year from 1951 to 2003, building a forestry resource of 1.9 million hectares of trees. But in the past four years, deforestation has run out of control. In 2007, a shocking 35% of felled forests were not replanted. This deforestation is a direct consequence of Labour’s disastrous forestry and climate change policies which have alienated and divided the forestry industry.”

Mr Ardern says National will:

• Establish a forestry offset scheme, subject to a full assessment of the costs of such a scheme.

• Negotiate to include offset schemes for plantation forests in international climate change agreements.

• Support the Afforestation Grant Scheme to encourage tree-planting in small forests and farms.

• Streamline and simplify the processes of the Resource Management Act to reduce delays, uncertainties, and costs.

National will re-engage with the forestry sector by:

• Refining the Forest Industry Development Agenda (FIDA) consistent with the priorities identified by and agreed to by government and industry.

• Supporting the wood and forestry promotional programme NZ Wood.

• Encouraging research and development in the timber industry.

National supports sustainable timber, and we want to ensure that all exported and imported timber comes from sustainable forestry.

We will:

• Work with the timber industry and importers to ensure independent audit processes certify that all imported and exported timber comes from sustainable forests. Such processes should be sufficiently flexible to support:

- A choice of certification for domestic timber producers.
- Retailer-led initiatives that promote sustainable timber products.

• Ensure that New Zealand demonstrates a commitment to sustainable forest management.

“National plans to revitalise the forestry industry after nine long years of neglect by this Labour Government. We will reverse Labour’s legacy of massive deforestation and get New Zealand planting again. National will re-engage with foresters and forestry owners, encourage sustainable timber products, and help our forestry industry become a significant player in New Zealand’s economic development once more.”

ENDS

For policy and background documents visit:

http://national.org.nz/files/2008/forestry.pdf

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