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Forestry Advisory Group looks at the issues

13 October 2006

Indigenous Forestry Advisory Group looks at the issues

Minister of Forestry, Jim Anderton chaired the inaugural meeting of the Indigenous Forestry Advisory Group in Christchurch last night. He said at the conclusion of the meeting that it signalled a very positive beginning for managing a sustainable timber industry in some privately-owned New Zealand forests.

“There is no doubt that the imported timber industry has made it harder to get a local industry going here. We have indigenous timber in New Zealand that can ensure a long-term industry and that can be managed as a sustainable resource. Many wood products and timbers imported from South-East Asia and Russia are not from sustainably harvested forests,” Jim Anderton said.

“Rimu is one of New Zealand’s well-known native timbers which has been used in housing and furniture, but is declining as a resource. Red and silver beech trees are examples of high-value wood which have great potential. They can be harvested on a sustainable basis and the trees regenerate quickly.

“One of the key issues of the talks was the need to manage our forests. They are under threat from pests and an active management strategy will help get programmes in place to deal with the risks on the forests from pest incursions.

“A sustainable timber industry will generate funds to enable a more ‘hands-on’ role for the owners of these forests.

“There has been opposition to felling native timbers but we are focussed on sustainability and an education campaign that looks at the multiple roles of forests. It is time to be ‘ethically focussed’ on buying and using sustainable wood products and timbers grown in New Zealand rather than just buying on price,” Jim Anderton said today.

ENDS

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