Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Illegally logged timber to get the chop

Hon Jim Anderton

31 October 2008

Media Statement

Illegally logged timber to get the chop

The New Zealand Government is taking a stand against illegal logging by introducing a new requirement for retailers to clearly display whether they have information about the legality of their kwila/merbau timber and timber products, Forestry Minister Jim Anderton announced today.

The new scheme will require all retailers and merchants of products made from kwila (also known as merbau) a tropical hardwood tree species native to South East Asia and the Pacific Islands to clearly indicate at the point of sale whether they have information about the legality of such products from a New Zealand Government-recognised verification scheme.

Kwila/merbau is most often imported for use in decking or as outdoor furniture.

Jim Anderton said illegal logging had devastating effects, environmentally, socially and financially.

Illegally-logged timber could depress the world price for timber, affecting New Zealand exports.

Illegal logging also had hugely damaging effects on the environment and communities in countries where it was taking place. New Zealand wanted to ensure the measures it took tackled the cause of the problems in those countries, and that was why he had met with Government representatives from affected countries over the past few months, Jim Anderton said.

"By introducing the scheme, New Zealand is playing its part as a responsible global citizen and demonstrating that illegal logging will not be tolerated by international communities over the long term."

He said that 13 percent of all sawn timber imported into New Zealand may be illegally logged. Kwila/merbau has been targeted for this new labelling requirement because it is estimated to comprise over 80 percent of that potentially suspiciously-sourced imported timber.

"The mandatory labelling scheme will help raise consumer awareness of illegal logging and, more specifically, the legality issues associated with kwila/merbau. I am confident that both retailers and consumers will support the scheme and use their purchasing power to buy kwila/merbau products that come with information about their legality."

Before introducing the scheme, the Government will consult with industry and other stakeholders in order to develop practical standards and procedures. This will almost certainly mean that the scheme will be finally introduced in 2009/10. From that time, all kwila/merbau timber and timber products sold must indicate whether they are accompanied by documentation from a government-recognised certification or verification scheme to substantiate their legality.

A public awareness campaign will also be implemented to assist consumers make informed choices.

The labelling scheme is part of a number of actions being taken by the Government to address this important issue. More information on the scheme and other government initiatives to stop illegal logging is available from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry website:


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>




Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>


Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>


Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>


(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>






Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election