Wood Processing Mill Closures in New Zealand
Statement from the Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association of New Zealand (WPMA).
24 January 2020
The WPMA deeply regrets the announcement of intent of closure of another wood processing mill in New Zealand and the loss of yet more jobs in the regions. The government is fully aware that the demise of wood processing firms is being caused by a highly distorted domestic market for logs. The prices for logs in New Zealand have been driven up to unprecedented levels over recent years by foreign buyers operating on subsidies provided by their own countries. These subsidies enable foreign buyers to artificially inflate prices here, effectively capturing the domestic log market by creating some of the highest softwood log prices in the world. The fact that this grossly unfair market is occurring under NZ’s Free Trade Agreements with these countries should be extremely concerning to all New Zealanders. The WPMA, yet again, urges the NZ Government to take immediate action to halt these unfair trading conditions and prevent the loss of jobs and community to what is thoroughly unethical trade. Continued government inaction will inevitably lead to further loss of wood processing jobs to blatantly unfair trade and dash hopes of building a future bio-economy around NZ’s forestry sector.