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Disaster Around Corner as Foreign Owners Clean Out Forests

Rt Hon Winston Peters

New Zealand First Leader

Member of Parliament for Northland
16 AUGUST 2016

Disaster Around Corner as Foreign Owners Clean Out Forests

New Zealand First is warning again that the forestry industry is heading for disaster.

“While New Zealand’s forests are being cleaned out mostly by foreign owners other nations, including China, are locking up their forests,” says New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“One of our greatest former state assets – trees – are being felled too early, not enough new trees are being planted and raw logs are leaving ports when it is processed products we should be exporting.

“Mismanagement of the industry and turning a blind eye to the plunder of our trees will go down as one of the great failures of the Key government.

“Each month they tick off land and forestry blocks to foreign buyers – now eight of the top 10 forest companies are foreign controlled.

“The way things are going in the coming years, exotic forests planted by people of foresight through the 1980s and early 1990s will be gone.

“From December 2001 to March 2015 the total area of new forest area planted plummeted from 33,674 hectares down to 3051 hectares.

“In the next five years China, our biggest market for logs, will fully stop the commercial harvest in their government owned forests thereby locking up 70.5 million hectares because they have over-harvested,” says Mr Peters.

Speech to Wood Processors and Manufacturers’ Association, July 2016


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