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Labour backing forestry to grow

Jacinda Ardern

Leader of the Opposition

MP for Mt Albert

MEDIA STATEMENT
7 September 2017

Labour backing forestry to grow

Labour will establish a new Forestry Service in Rotorua, to help grow the forestry sector and provide stability for investment in processing and manufacturing wood onshore, rather than exporting raw logs, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.

“Forestry is our third largest export sector, but there has been a dramatic switch away from processing to exporting raw logs. While 3,000 jobs in wood processing and manufacturing have been lost since 2008, raw log exports have tripled.

“I grew up in the forestry town of Murupara, and I know the importance of this industry for many communities.

“Foresters and manufacturers have told us there is a lack of a strategy and coordination. Sawmills don’t have a dependable supply of logs, which stops them from investing in more capacity. That’s made it impossible for forestry to achieve its target of lifting exports to $12b by 2022.

“Labour wants to bring the Government’s wood policy to the heart of forestry country by establishing a New Zealand Forest Service in Rotorua, replacing functions currently carried out in Wellington. It will be responsible for implementing a National Forestry Strategy, growing its own commercial forests as appropriate for the strategy, and helping other land owners who want to convert to forestry.

“A Labour government will have first preference for using wood in new building projects, including KiwiBuild.

“We want to grow the wood sector, create more jobs and keep more of the value-chain here in New Zealand. Expanding the area under forest is also an important step in tackling climate change.

“Labour will back our forestry sector to be a driver of economic growth and create opportunity in regional New Zealand. Let’s do this,” says Jacinda Ardern.

http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1709/Growing_our_forestry_factsheet.pdf


ends

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2017 General Election - Preliminary Count

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