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

MEDIA RELEASE
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.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Ombudsman’s Verdict On Paula Rebstock And Ian Rennie

Unfortunately, the brave and damning report by Ombudsman Ron Paterson on the “flawed” and “unfair” inquiry conducted by Dame Paula Rebstock into events at MFAT pulls back the veil on a far wider issue. More>>

ALSO:

Charities' Report: Stressed Families - Overstretched Services

“Like so many of the whānau and families they serve social service organisations are under huge financial stress. The support demanded from desperate people in communities is far outreaching the resources available.” More>>

ALSO:

Detention: Wellingtonians Protest Treatment Of Refugees

Peace Action Wellington (PAW) and around 50 Wellingtonians blockaded the Australian High Commission, creating a symbolic detention centre to protest the Australian Government's policy of mandatory offshore detention for refugees and asylum seekers. More>>

ALSO:

Diver's Alarums: Breach Means Training Provider Must Repay $1.47 Million

The New Zealand School of Outdoor Studies is to repay $1.47 million (GST-exclusive) to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) following an investigation which showed that some student enrolments between 2009 -2014 could not be validated and that courses were under-delivered against their agreement with the TEC. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Government Plans Suggest Bulk Funding Return

Plans by the Government to return to bulk funding are likely to see increased class sizes and schools most in need missing out on much-needed resources, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Interim Report: Auckland Looks Long Term To Pay-Per-Km Road Pricing

Aucklanders can expect to be paying variable rates per kilometre to travel on the city's most congested roads under an emerging transport strategy being formulated by the government and the Auckland Council. More>>

ALSO:

Despite Promises: Government Extends Iraq Deployment

Cabinet has agreed to extend New Zealand’s contribution to the joint New Zealand-Australia mission to train Iraqi Security Forces until November 2018. More>>

ALSO:

On The 'Terrorism' Card:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news