Furniture Manufacturers Face Crisis Of Supply
FURNITURE MANUFACTURERS FACE CRISIS OF SUPPLY
New Zealand First Leader and Member for Tauranga, Rt Hon Winston Peters, today warned of a fast-looming crisis in the furniture manufacturing industry as a result of the Government’s political muddling over the recent Westcoast timber cutting saga.
“That the furniture industry is now facing a shortage of suitable timber, of such proportion as to cause the loss of jobs in the industry should come as no surprise,” said Mr Peters.
“In the weeks leading to the Government’s decision to halt logging of native timbers, and throughout the 1999 election, I warned repeatedly of the down stream consequences and potential for job losses such a decision would cause. It gives me no pleasure to say to the Government I told you so, but that is none the less the inescapable fact, he said.
In a recent letter to the Furniture Association of New Zealand, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Economic and Regional Development, Jim Anderton wrote, “Our inquires suggest a possible shortfall of perhaps 15 to 20,000 cubic metres in the round in the coming year.”
“I suspect this is an underestimation of the shortfall and this irreplaceable loss of supply of specialist timbers, will translate into hundreds of lost jobs in the industry and for what reason, asked Mr Peters, so the Greens can feel smug and satisfied?
“This is a scandalous situation, the responsibility for which lies fairly and squarely at the feet of Government, in particular the Minister for Economic and Regional Development for failing to have met his first responsibility, jobs for New Zealanders,” said Mr Peters.