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Forest Owners Pledge Support In Budget Measures To Assist Economic Recovery

The Forest Owners Association says it’s keen to work with government and with the rest of the primary industries to implement government investment aimed at reviving the economy after the COVID-19 crisis.

The President, Phil Taylor, says forestry will have an important role in both employment for exports, and in supporting domestic processing.

“Forestry has a lead role in New Zealand’s economic recovery. We are on track to be earning $7b a year in export receipts and we are a major employer, especially in regional New Zealand.”

“We are keen that the $500 million to support the primary sector announced in the Budget will include the forest industry. We will be a major contributor in using our trees in the fight against climate change over the next few years, and there is the need to integrate all land uses in this huge challenge.”

“The Budget allocation of $43.4 million for ‘Rebuilding Forestry Emissions Trading Scheme’ appears also to represent a major step in making the ETS a real instrument for this purpose.”

“There are other areas of the Budget announced today that we are interested in too, such as loans to boost research and development, a spend on improving rail services and ports, both of which are important for log transport and export.”

“We’ve noted free trades’ training for our increasingly mechanised industry, improved access for Maori into training, and a boost to Trade and Enterprise for helping access into overseas markets. A larger spend on biosecurity is another investment which will further protect the rural landscape across a range of land use.”

“Another important announcement is the $5 billion for building 8,000 new homes. We hope there are government efforts to ensure the use of timber as much as possible. This would reduce the use of carbon emitting steel and concrete and really help our domestic processing industry and we would really support this.”

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