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Contractors Call On Super Fund To Buy Forests

11 November 2008

Forest Contractors Call On Super Fund To Buy Forests

The Forest Industry Contractors Association has today called on the NZ Superannuation Fund managers to add to their forests investment portfolio by bidding to purchase the New Zealand assets of Matariki Forests.

Government's superannuation fund, charged as it is with ensuring financial security for all aging New Zealanders needs to lift its investment in an industry with real long-term assets with solid growth prospects - that's what these New Zealand forest assets are. Anyone in international business will know that this particular asset class does not fit well now with a US-based real estate investment trust, but they are an excellent fit for a New Zealand based investor.

FICA chief executive John Stulen says "The previous government set a precedent buying back the Railways - buying back New Zealand's forests make good financial sense and excellent climate change sense now that emissions trading scheme is law. With National's pre-election promise to lift local investment by our Kiwisaver administrators and with many overseas superannuation fund managers so committed to having our forests in their portfolio - it is a no-brainer for the superannuation fund which belongs to our own people."

Mr Stulen added "Our industry needs Kiwi investors to make the most of the forest products export opportunities for our own people." This alignment of Kiwis making export decisions for other Kiwis in industry works really well in the farming sector - forestry can benefit more from having domestic investment for more win-win opportunities. Forestry in New Zealand is still in a growth phase, and forestry is already the second largest export earner, so now is the time for the investment to return home where it belongs."

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Matariki Forests owns the third largest forest estate comprising approximately 140,000 hectares of high quality radiata pine forest distributed throughout rural New Zealand.

John Stulen is chief executive of the Forest Industry Contractors Association, this industry body which represents the majority of forest contracting companies and rural-based workforce responsible for the sustainable forest tending and harvesting of the 1.8 million hectare plantation forest estate in New Zealand.


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