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


Call for foresters to vote on levy order

The Chair of the Forest Growers Levy Trust, Geoff Thompson, says a positive vote in the current levy referendum is vital to maintain the support of government funding for the industry.

Forest owners are currently voting whether to renew the Commodity Levies Act Order which expires later this year after operating for the past six years.

Voting closes this Saturday, April 20th.

Geoff Thompson says feedback from forest owners has been enthusiastic in support of renewing the order.

“We’ve run meetings and conducted a formal survey of farm foresters’ opinions on how they regard the investment we’ve put mostly into forest research, but also harvest mechanisation, safety, industry recruitment, forest health and biosecurity. That feedback has been pretty keen.
All we need now is the vote to support that enthusiasm.”

Geoff Thompson says he is well aware of recent lack of support in other industries for a levy.

“For our part we’ve worked hard to make sure potential levy payers know how the levy money has worked to benefit them. We’ve been transparent and gone to great lengths to get the message out there. We even broadcast a ten-week television series to inform farm foresters of the levy work progress.”

“However, unlike most other levy funded organisations in the primary sector, the forest industry doesn’t know who most of the levy payers are until they sell their harvest once every few decades. Most industries have levy payers who contribute at least once a year and so there is a direct line of communications from then on.”

Geoff Thompson says foresters need to know that not only is the levy invested in ways to help secure higher returns and lower costs at harvest, but that the levy is often paired up with government or other investment.

He says the just announced partnership of levy funds with government support is a $29 million example.

Te Mahi Ngahere i te Ao Hurihuri – Forestry Work in the Modern Age Partnership is a project to bring automation and robot technology into tree felling and log handling, which anticipates saving harvest and transport supply chain costs by nearly $10 a tonne by 2030.

“This is a hugely important project which will benefit small scale woodlot owners by offsetting the size of their forests by clever use of technology. I would hate to see such development in our industry jeopardised by a small turnout of voters.”

Eligibility to vote is restricted to anyone who owns at least four hectares of trees planted at least ten years ago.

Geoff Thompson says this restriction is because those who would be paying the levy are the ones who have the right to vote for it.

“The voter needs to have trees old enough to mature for harvest sometime in the next six years of the new levy order,” Geoff Thompson says.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Mishandling Of The Alleged Sexual Assault

The focus of Labour’s alleged sexual assault scandal has now shifted from the party organisation to the Beehive... This is now a crisis of Beehive management and response, not something occurring at a distance within the party organisation.

Presumably, the QC appointed to clarify what happened will eventually shed light on key issues. Such as: on what date prior to the publication of the original Spinoff article did the party hierarchy/PM’s office/PM’s press secretary realise they were dealing with a sexual assault allegation, and what did they do about it at that point? More>>


'History Rectified': Rua Kēnana To Be Pardoned

An official pardon for Tūhoe prophet and leader Rua Kēnana is one step closer after the Te Pire kia Unuhia te Hara kai Runga i a Rua Kēnana: Rua Kēnana Pardon Bill was read in Parliament for the first time today. More>>


Mental Health: Initial Mental Health And Wellbeing Commission Appointed

The Government has announced details of the initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission which will play a key role in driving better mental health in New Zealand. More>>


people outside the meeting house at WaitangiEducation: NZ History To Be Taught In All Schools

“We have listened carefully to the growing calls from New Zealanders to know more about our own history and identity. With this in mind it makes sense for the National Curriculum to make clear the expectation that our history is part of the local curriculum and marau ā kura in every school and kura,” Jacinda Ardern said. More>>


Sexual Assault Claims Mishandled: Labour Party President Resigns

Jacinda Ardern: “This morning I was provided some of the correspondence from complainants written to the party several months ago. It confirms that the allegations made were extremely serious, that the process caused complainants additional distress, and that ultimately, in my view, the party was never equipped to appropriately deal with the issue…" More>>


Budget Process: Wellbeing To Be Enshrined In Law

Legislation has been introduced in Parliament to ensure every Government considers the wellbeing of New Zealanders when creating future budgets. More>>

National In China: Bridges Praises CCP, Meets Law Enforcement Head

A recent trip to China has raised questions over who the Opposition leader Simon Bridges met with and why... Anne-Marie Brady, a Canterbury University professor and expert on Chinese politics, has described Guo Shengkun as the leader of the Chinese secret police. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The SIS/GCSB’s Compliance With Torture

Torture is a crime under international law. New Zealand has signed (a) the UN convention against torture and (b) formal agreements about how armed conflict should be conducted. That’s the legal backdrop to the fascinating report released this week by the SIS Inspector-General.


New Strategy: Suicide Prevention Office To Drive Prevention Action

The Government has announced a Suicide Prevention Office will be established to coordinate action already underway to reduce New Zealand’s historically high rate of suicide. More>>





InfoPages News Channels