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Forest industry welcomes funds for roads

MEDIA RELEASE

For immediate use

10 October 2002

Forest industry welcomes funds for roads

The New Zealand Forest Industry Council (NZFIC) has welcomed today’s announcement by transport minister Paul Swain that Transfund New Zealand should put more money into roading in the regions.

Mr Swain has directed Transfund to provide 100 per cent funding for land transport projects in East Cape and Northland regions in an effort to cope with the wall of wood due to be harvested there soon.

Speaking at the Forest Industry Forum in Whangarei today, NZFIC chair Devon McLean said this was great news for the industry, and also for the regions concerned.

“This funding will provide much needed improvements in roading standards to cater for the huge increase in wood harvest, and will go a long way to facilitate the development of the forest industry in those regions,” he said.

The direction applies to the allocation of the $30 million earmarked for transport-related regional development projects announced in February’s ‘Moving Forward’ package.

Transfund, which usually funds half a project’s cost, must now provide 100 per cent funding for regional development roads, and alternatives to roading, to six councils in the East Cape and Northland regions.

Today’s Forest Industry Forum in Whangarei, which attracted 150 participants, focused on the Wood Processing Strategy, and future issues relating to further processing of wood fibre in New Zealand – much of which will come from the Northland and East Cape regions.

[Ends]

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