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Boosting Innovation And Investment Will Unlock Future Of Forestry And Wood Processing

Increasing New Zealand’ onshore wood processing capability and investing in developing our domestic woody biomass industry are two target areas that will drive sector growth, create jobs, and reduce emissions across the economy, Forestry Minister Stuart Nash says.

The Minister of Forestry launched the draft Forestry and Wood Processing Industry Transformation Plan at the Canterbury West Coast Wood Council Awards in Christchurch this evening.

“This plan is an important part of the Government’s work to build a high-wage, low-emissions economy. Through partnering with industry, Māori and unions, we can add significant value to the sector by processing logs domestically rather than sending them off-shore for other countries to extract value from.

“We need to move from a commodity resource producer to creating high value, low carbon products and jobs for Kiwis – all of which are vital to our ongoing economic recovery.”

“This roadmap will lead to a future where high-rise buildings are built with engineered wood, where our planes, trains and boats are powered with fuel derived from wood, and a range of products, such as pharmaceuticals, are also produced from our forests.

“The ITP is the first strategy dedicated to boosting the forestry and wood processing sector in over a decade. It responds to some long-standing challenges by seeking to increase domestic wood processing and diversify our production forests and exports. This will drive the production of new low emissions products and energy sources to underpin and support our transition to net zero emissions by 2050.”

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“This plan proposes a range of actions, including the Crown leading the way in researching and supporting alternative species including helping nurseries increase supply and lower costs, exploring how Government can co-invest in new sawmills to process lower grades of log, and establishing a presence in key overseas markets to increase demand for our wood products.

“We have the expertise, skills and knowledge here in New Zealand to transform the sector, maximise the potential of our forest estate to reduce emissions, create new wood products and biofuels, and to build a strong exporting economy and environmental suitability for future generations.

“This is a significant step forward for forestry and wood processing in New Zealand. The plan launched today recognises how pivotal the sector will be in our future, so it’s important New Zealanders have their say on this plan,” Stuart Nash said.

Consultation opens from 19 August and runs until 30 September 2022.

More information on the ITP and the consultation process is available at https://www.mpi.govt.nz/forestry/forest-industry-and-workforce/forestry-and-wood-processing-industry-transformation-plan/

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