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Industry Welcomes Greens Acceptance of Harvest

1 MAY, 2000 NEWS RELEASE

INDUSTRY WELCOMES GREENS ACCEPTANCE OF SUSTAINABLE TIMBER HARVESTING

The Furniture Association of New Zealand welcomes statements from the Green Party that it is accepting of sustainable harvesting of indigenous forest resources the executive director of the federation, Marcia Dunnett, said today.

“We assume that in stating that the furniture industry should get its native timbers from sustainably managed private forests, rather than unsustainably managed public forests, the co-leader of the party, Rod Donald, is accepting of similar sustainable harvesting practices that are followed on both private and public land.

“Or does he believe that sustainable harvesting practices can only be sustainable if they are followed on private land?

A range of factors preclude the furniture industry from reliance on rimu and other native timber resources currently held by private interests in various widely scattered areas of the country. Continued access to the West Coast rimu estate in line with previous assurances is vital for the health and growth of the industry, and the future of the thousands of jobs directly and indirectly dependent on the industry’s business health.

“Mr Donald should be aware that the furniture making industry that uses indigenous wood is not centred in Auckland but is scattered throughout the country. He should also be aware that the industry supports special identification of furniture products to show that they have come from sustainably harvested forests, whether these forests are situated on private or public land.

“The survival of the industry and its $82.7 million worth of exports is hostage to the development of government policy on the harvesting of West Coast rimu.

“If Mr Donald can now accept that sustainable harvesting is sustainable where ever it is practised perhaps the efforts of the Minister of Forestry and senior Government colleagues to settle a policy that is in accord with past Government assurances can be settled to the satisfaction of all sides.”

Ends

For further information:

Furniture Association of New Zealand
Marcia Dunnett, Executive Director
Tel: (04) 473-3000 or after hours (04)-233-8997

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