Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Illegally logged timber to get the chop

Jim Anderton

31 October, 2008
Illegally logged timber to get the chop

The New Zealand Government is taking a stand against illegal logging by introducing a new requirement for retailers to clearly display whether they have information about the legality of their kwila/merbau timber and timber products, Forestry Minister Jim Anderton announced today.

The new scheme will require all retailers and merchants of products made from kwila (also known as merbau) - a tropical hardwood tree species native to South East Asia and the Pacific Islands - to clearly indicate at the point of sale whether they have information about the legality of such products from a New Zealand Government-recognised verification scheme.

Kwila/merbau is most often imported for use in decking or as outdoor furniture.

Jim Anderton said illegal logging had devastating effects, environmentally, socially and financially.

Illegally-logged timber could depress the world price for timber, affecting New Zealand exports.

Illegal logging also had hugely damaging effects on the environment and communities in countries where it was taking place. New Zealand wanted to ensure the measures it took tackled the cause of the problems in those countries, and that was why he had met with Government representatives from affected countries over the past few months, Jim Anderton said.

"By introducing the scheme, New Zealand is playing its part as a responsible global citizen and demonstrating that illegal logging will not be tolerated by international communities over the long term."

He said that 13 percent of all sawn timber imported into New Zealand may be illegally logged. Kwila/merbau has been targeted for this new labelling requirement because it is estimated to comprise over 80 percent of that potentially suspiciously-sourced imported timber.

"The mandatory labelling scheme will help raise consumer awareness of illegal logging and, more specifically, the legality issues associated with kwila/merbau. I am confident that both retailers and consumers will support the scheme and use their purchasing power to buy kwila/merbau products that come with information about their legality."

Before introducing the scheme, the Government will consult with industry and other stakeholders in order to develop practical standards and procedures. This will almost certainly mean that the scheme will be finally introduced in 2009/10. From that time, all kwila/merbau timber and timber products sold must indicate whether they are accompanied by documentation from a government-recognised certification or verification scheme to substantiate their legality.

A public awareness campaign will also be implemented to assist consumers make informed choices.

The labelling scheme is part of a number of actions being taken by the Government to address this important issue. More information on the scheme and other government initiatives to stop illegal logging is available from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry website:


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Juggling Covid, And France’s Trump-like Populist

It is the age-old Covid problem. How to balance the needs for firms (and schools) to re-open against the need to protect public health. In the past, the balance has been struck by insisting that the best public health outcomes also deliver the best economic (and educational) outcomes. While that may still be objectively true, it is no longer a politically tenable position... More>>

Covid-19 & Education: NCEA And NZ Scholarship Exams To Proceed

NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams will proceed, including in areas where Alert Level 3 has been in place, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health have been working together to ensure exams can be managed in a safe way, so students have the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned... More>>


Ombudsman: Launches Investigation Into MIQ Booking System
The Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier is launching a broad investigation into the Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) booking system after receiving hundreds of complaints... More>>


National: Launches Back In Business Plan

Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins has today launched National’s detailed plan to save livelihoods and unleash our economy in the face of the huge damage being wrought by the extended Covid lockdown... More>>


Pay Cheque To Pay Cheque: Half A Million New Zealanders Have No Savings
New findings from the Consumer NZ sentiment tracker found that 15% of New Zealanders had no savings, and a further 27% were anxious about their level of savings and would like to have more tucked away... More>>

Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>

Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>




InfoPages News Channels