Time for Change in NZ Wood Industry
Time for change in the New Zealand wood industry
The NZ Wood Processors and Manufacturers' Association (WPMA) congratulates The NZ Labour Party, NZ First and The Green Party on successfully joining together to form the next government.
Mr Brian Stanley, Chair of WPMA, notes that, "this is a very important result for the NZ wood processing and manufacturing sector. The coalition parties have campaigned vigorously in this election on the need of our sector and the communities depending on it for jobs to get a much fairer deal. I thank them for this and agree with the incoming government that neo-liberal policies do not sit well with this industry. As I have said on many occasions, the 30 years or so since privatisation of the NZ forestry sector and our exposure to (so-called) global free markets has, in fact, resulted in sector decline, high losses of jobs and contributed to regional economic deterioration."
WPMA contends that current markets are not working because NZ wood processors and manufacturers face unfair competition from overseas rivals who get government subsidies. Mr Stanley says that he is heartened by the coalition's desire to see the NZ wood industry thrive by remedying these grossly unfair trading conditions. "We must stop NZ logs being siphoned off overseas to manufacturers receiving government handouts at the cost of jobs in our regions and our ability to add value. We look forward to working closely with the new government to urgently bring about these much needed changes."