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Domestic Log Price Gives Sawmills Chance to Thrive


Domestic Log Price Gives Sawmills Chance to Thrive

New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters is calling for a log price to be set to end the regional devastation that has occurred with so many sawmill closures.

“In the past decade nationwide more than 20 big sawmills, and many smaller ones, have closed with the loss of more than 1700 jobs,” he says.

Mr Peters was speaking at North Pine Sawmill, Waipu, which has many workers from the Northland electorate.

“The value of log exports has tripled in the past decade.

“It is the export log price that is killing local industry, with Kiwi sawmills unable to buy logs for processing.

“A set log price for Kiwi firms will arrest the decline of sawmills.

“The domino effect from sawmills continuing to operate is huge. It is estimated that between 2.2 and 5.8 jobs are created outside the industry for every one fulltime forestry or timber processing worker.

“The set price on logs will also allow New Zealand to keep its capacity as a log processor, which has been built up over many decades.

“At present New Zealand relies on a few countries to buy logs. If these markets dry up, and we have saved our sawmilling industry, we still have the ability to turn logs into products for use domestically and for export.

“Towns have been hit with a sledgehammer as sawmills have closed.

“It is time to come up with a measure that will give what should be an asset in the Northland economy a chance to thrive.”

ends


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