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


Hope for timber industry under Labour

Liz Craig
Labour Candidate for Clutha Southland

Hope for timber industry under Labour

“The Balclutha timber workers who have lost their livelihoods today are the casualties of a Government which has no jobs strategy and is allowing regional New Zealand to wither,” said Liz Craig, Labour’s Candidate for Clutha Southland tonight. “This is a significant job loss to a community which needs hope. It will have a ripple effect across the South Otago economy and flies in the face of the government’s claims of a rockstar economy.

“The families affected by the closure of Southern Cross Timber’s Rosebank sawmill in Balclutha are not alone,” she said. “They join a growing number of families affected by failure to address systematic issues affecting our timber industry”.

“All over New Zealand the timber industry is under stress. The Government knows about the situation but has chosen not to take a strategic stance to develop this important industry”.

Otago and Southland contains 11.8% of New Zealand’s forest plantations, by far the largest area in the South Island and the second largest in the country. But the wood processing industry is being mishandled; worth $4.5 billion per annum half the exports are raw logs which are being processed offshore, providing no incentive for overseas owners to add value in New Zealand.

As global demand hikes up log prices, New Zealand’s wood processing industry is struggling. Otago-based Southern Cross Forest Products recently went into receivership, sparking concern of further job losses in the region.

“If New Zealand is to achieve higher value added processing the whole timber industry needs to be put on a firmer footing”.

Labour’s Forestry and Wood Products Industry Policy aims to create skilled, well-paid jobs by capturing a greater share of our resource value and keeping it at home.

The key elements of the policy are:

To encourage investment we will provide tax deferrals in the form of accelerated depreciation to encourage industry to invest in new technology and plant.

To boost innovation we will work with the industry and public science bodies to develop new products and technologies.

To support industry development we will introduce measures to rebalance away from sending more raw logs overseas to developing more and better production here. These include:

•A Pro-Wood government procurement policy for government-funded buildings up to four storeys high to boost the domestic market.

•Suspensory loans to encourage new forest planting.

•Forestry taskforces for long-term unemployed.

•Introduce legacy forest status to protect our indigenous forests.

“These are not empty promises. For too long the forestry industry has been neglected. We now have a strong set of policies to address the decline. Regional New Zealand needs a plan to deliver jobs and economic growth,” said Liz Craig.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news