Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Kiwi Battlers Hit By Rimu Timetable

15 May 2000




The seemingly unbridgeable gulf between the reality of commercial life for hundreds of small and medium New Zealand businesses and green ideology is highlighted by the decision to ban sustainable rimu logging in state owned forests on the West Coast within two years.

Stating this today, the President of the Furniture Association of New Zealand, Mr Tony Phillips, said the association had tried its hardest to explain to the Government the business realities that would flow from such a decision.

These are:
 Potential job losses totalling approximately 4000 around the country
 A drop in furniture export sales from the 1999 calendar year figure of $82.7 million
 A loss of foreign exchange savings through import substitution
 Further loss of confidence in the Government’s ability to understand the realities of doing business in New Zealand today.

“This is an industry of 12,000 people that is made up of hundreds of small businesses with less than 10 people. Approximately 1300 companies comprise firms with four employees or less. They might well be characterised as good Kiwi business battlers who are trying to make a living in towns and cities scattered throughout the country.”

“We have sought to explain to the Government in detail the difficulties they face in adjusting to such a decision. We have sought constructive dialogue, not confrontation. We have explained that we need five to eight years to adjust.

“We have told the Government that we believe it was not unreasonable for our members to have relied on Government assurances that under the West Coast Accord there was to be sufficient indigenous timber available for our industry in perpetuity from sustainably managed Crown forests.

“At every turn we have been frustrated. Suggestions were made that we had plenty of time to find alternative sources of timber for our industry. This line of approach conveniently forgot it was only six months ago the Government banned all West Coast beech logging that had been the alternative we were studying for rimu replacement.

“Then we were told there were plenty of alternative sources of various woods. The business reality is that these stands are scattered about the country and much of the wood is not suitable at this stage for many of our members because of processing difficulties. It takes considerable time to develop new processes for handling new types of wood; to develop top class designs appropriate for new woods; to accustom consumers to new types of wood-based furniture and to establish marketing campaigns for this.

“We are sympathetic to the Government’s general position on preservation of the native forest estate and have always supported sustainable management practices. We do not say that over time adjustments cannot be made by our industry. But we do say that it is extremely difficult, and probably impossible, for the industry to adjust at present levels of business within the time frame now set..

“It is fair to say we now expect the green lobby to go into overtime to justify the Government’s decision. We hope they will spare a thought for the small business Kiwi battlers hit by the decision.

“After all, there are 6.4 million hectares of native forests in New Zealand. of which some five million hectares are set aside in the conservation estate and are not available for timber production. The industry does not have a problem with this.

“But it does illustrate that the 25,000 cubic metres of rimu timber currently required by the industry is a drop in the bucket. Based on a conservative and sustainable harvesting level of one cubic metre per hectare per year this would involve only 0.4 percent of New Zealand’s total native forest area.” Ends.

For further information: Tony Phillips or Marcia Dunnett
President Executive Director,
Tel: (09) 274 8048 Tel: (04) 473-3000 (work)
Tel: (04) 233 8999 (pvt)

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

KiwiBailed: KiwiBuild Head Officially Resigns

The head of Kiwibuild, Stephen Barclay has officially resigned from the role. In a statement issued on his behalf, it was announced that he would step down from today [Friday].

Housing Minister Phil Twyford's office said he would not be commenting on Mr Barclay's resignation as it was an employment matter. Last month, Mr Twyford confirmed that Mr Barclay had not been at work for a number of weeks. More>>


Welfare Stats: Rise In Hardship Numbers Shows Income Inadequacy

The latest Ministry of Social Development quarterly report show that a record number of people have received hardship assistance from work and income, with an additional 40,000 hardship payments made between September and December 2018, compared to the previous quarter of the same year... More>>


DHBs "Prepared": Junior Doctors Strike Again

The needs of acute patients will be met during tomorrow's junior doctor strike, a DHB spokesperson says... Almost 3000 junior doctors are expected to walk off the job, which will affect all DHBs apart from West Coast District Health Board. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On MBIE’s Social Media Scam

Given the ambit of MBIE’s work, almost any form of social activity could qualify as being part of MBIE’s brief, so the privacy threats posed by this training programme are extensive. The current oversight safeguards seem threadbare to non-existent. More>>


JusTrade: New Campaign For A 21th Century Trade Agenda

‘Critique is no longer enough. If anything is to really change, we need to step away from the existing framework and take a first-principles approach to rethinking what will work for the 21st century.’ More>>


Gordon Campbell: Thompson + Clark Are The Tip Of The Iceberg

How can we tell where and how any lines are being drawn? Oversight is not exactly robust. If it were, Thompson + Clark would have been out of contention for state security work ten years ago. More>>

Trainers: Taratahi Institute of Agriculture In Interim Liquidation

Taratahi employ 250 staff and this year has provided education to over 2500 students. Taratahi owns and manages 8 farms throughout the country. More>>


IPCA Report: Complaints About Deputy Commissioner Wallace Haumaha

The Authority has found that DC Haumaha acted improperly by approaching staff and others to provide information to support him to refute the allegations about his 2016 conduct, or solicited other staff to do so on his behalf... More>>





InfoPages News Channels