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Forestry a profitable sector, despite closures

Hon Jim Anderton

Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Biosecurity
Minister of Fisheries, Minister of Forestry
Associate Minister of Health
Associate Minister for Tertiary Education
16 October 2008

Media Statement

Forestry a profitable sector, despite closures

Forestry and wood processing is still a profitable business for many companies, even though some were rationalising, Forestry Minister Jim Anderton said today.

Jim Anderton said the closure of two Carter Holt Harvey mills, at Putararu and Mt Maunganui, were hard on the local communities and workers at the mills. "My sympathies are with those workers and their families."

However, he said the mill closures there were not symptoms of an industry failing.

"There are areas such as the East Coast where forestry and wood processing companies are thriving."

Jim Anderton said some rationalization was on the cards for the industry, as there were a number of older plants with less efficient equipment.

"Banks are taking a long-term view of the cyclical nature of primary industry businesses. The Government has already guaranteed bank deposits and therefore is assisting banks to continue to finance business development.

"This Government has created 380,000 extra jobs over the past eight years - at a rate of 1000 a week - particularly in the regions. These mill closures are stressful for people, but they are in a better position to get new jobs than they would have been 10 years' ago."


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