Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

An Open Letter to Shane Jones, Minister of Forestry


Dear Minister Jones,

Firstly, let me introduce myself. My name is Adrian. I am an employee in the forestry industry, a Future Forester, a graduate of Canterbury University and, albeit very small, a forest owner.

Since starting out in the forestry industry 4 years ago I have been lucky enough to experience your leadership first-hand and hear your passionate encouragement of the forest industry and forest owners within it. During this time, I’ve been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to speak at the beehive and describe the amazing opportunities for people involved with forestry. For me the forestry industry represents a world of incredible opportunities, amazing people and is an industry that I am extremely proud to be a part of.

Last year I was honoured to be invited to speak directly with His Royal Highness Prince Charles about our industry. During this meeting I gave explicit support for the opportunities you are providing farmers and landowners under the One Billion Trees Programme. I described how amazing it was to see these rural landowners committing to forestry with the support of the Government and our Minister Shane Jones leading at the helm.

Suffice to say I was shocked when I heard your interview with Heather Du Plessis-Allan earlier this week. Shocked at the comments uttered with such disregard for our country’s forest owners. In utter shock that you, the Minister of Forestry, our Government representative would speak in such derogatory terms about the forest owners. Forest owners that you have been actively encouraging to expand their investment in New Zealand. Investment that has directly led to job creation, economic growth and most important investment that is actively combating climate change.

I agree with you that there are immense benefits to New Zealand through ensuring consistent supply for our domestic processors. Stable supply for our sawmills stimulates job creation, provides opportunities for kiwi companies and has multiple benefits for our economy. Forest Owners Association President Phil Taylor hit the nail on the head when describing these amazing opportunities and I cannot reiterate the importance of this comment enough… ”Shane Jones is talking about creating new jobs. We’d love to see those, but not if we fail to protect current ones.”.

The suggestions you made in this interview were brilliant from a political perspective. To suggest that you want to look after kiwis’ interests by potentially imposing regulations to our “international forest investor” forest owners sounds great. A headline that is easily digested and is adequately palatable for the average kiwi. However, in my opinion these suggestions are not putting New Zealand first. In fact, I’d describe these comments as putting Shane Jones first…. New Zealand second.

To suggest that impositions that impact a forest owner’s profitability would only be detrimental to international forest investors is utterly ridiculous. Its common knowledge that 40 percent of the currently harvestable trees are owned by small scale owners. Small scale owners such as mum and dad investors, farmers, lifestyle properties, hunting blocks, or in my case a group of 10 friends who purchased a small forest for building mountain bike tracks in. Any negative impacts would be equally be felt by these small-scale forest owners.

Farm Forestry Association President Hamish Levack echoes these concerns. He correctly suggests that if the government introduced compulsory acquisition at low prices for instance, that most farm foresters would choose to not harvest at a loss and would shut up their woodlots. The impact on these farmers would be a direct loss of income through their incapacity to harvest. These are the same farmers that have been feeding our country, the same farmers who have been supporting New Zealand as essential workers during the level 4 lockdown and the same farmers who you have been promoting should invest and grow more forestry through the One Billion Trees programme. The same sentiment goes for the 40 percent of the New Zealand forest estate which is growing commercial forests on land owned by iwi. Any regulatory outcome that negatively impacts New Zealand forest owners will in turn be negatively impacting Maori and our country’s farmers. This outcome is most certainly not putting New Zealand’s interests first.

During my time in the industry I have been willingly positioned on both sides of this fence; both managing log supply for a domestic processor and working for a management company that represents small scale forest owners. In my opinion the solution we should be aiming for is not of segregation of the industry. This strategy will not bring forth the desired outcomes for anyone. It is more important now than ever for forest owners, domestic processors, and exporters to work together for the betterment of New Zealand.

Shane, I urge you to look for a solution to support the forestry industry as a whole. A solution that supports all parts of the sector as opposed to using the threat of a regulatory stick for certain participants. A solution that facilitates growth for the New Zealand economy and supports job creation and opportunities for all parts of the industry I adore. A solution that continues to support the growth of our country’s forest area. A solution that does indeed put New Zealand first.

Yours sincerely,

Adrian Loo

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The George Floyd Protests

Poverty, discrimination and repeated acts of police brutality all help to explain the rage being expressed on the streets of American cities right now after the death of George Floyd but there is a more immediate cause as well: Decades of research on police shootings and brutality reveal that officers with a history of shooting civilians, for example, are much more likely to do so in the future compared to other officers... More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Twitter Wars, And The Muller Muddles

Whatever the failings of our own politicians, spare a kind thought for the majority of Americans who did not vote for Donald Trump. Sure, it was depressing this week to watch Todd Muller clinging for dear life to his talking points on Q&A, ... More>>

ALSO:

Green Party: Statement On The Death Of George Floyd

“Today and every day we stand in solidarity with George Floyd’s family, friends and community who feel pain and fear about his untimely death at the hands of Minneapolis police”, said Green Party Co-leader and Māori Development spokesperson Marama ... More>>

ALSO:


Government: Freshwater Package Backed By Comprehensive Economic Analysis

Decisions on the Action for Healthy Waterways package are supported by comprehensive environmental and economic impact analysis by leading New Zealand research institutes, universities, and private sector firms. More>>

ALSO:

National: "Todd Muller Announces Shape Of Next Government"

National Party Leader Todd Muller has announced the line-up of the next Government. “New Zealand is facing perhaps the toughest time that almost anyone alive can remember. “We are borrowing tens of billions of dollars to get us through this crisis. There ... More>>

ALSO:

Lockdown Rules: Government Must Explain Why We’re Still At Level 2

The Government needs to explain to New Zealanders why it won’t consider a move to Alert Level 1 for another week, Leader of the Opposition Todd Muller says.
“Kiwis have made enormous sacrifices to flatten the curve, but if their efforts still aren’t enough to move to Level 1 then the Government must explain why.... More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On National’s Day Of Reckoning

Congratulations. You are one of the 55 members of the National caucus being called together tomorrow to choose who will lead you to either (a) catastrophic or (b) honourable defeat on September 19, thereby saving some (but not all) of the jobs currently on the line. Good luck. Your decision process starts NOW... More>>

ALSO:


Budget 2020: Jobs Budget To Get Economy Moving Again

Investments to both save and create jobs in Budget 2020 mean unemployment can be back to pre COVID-19 levels within two years and could see the economy growing again as early as next year. More>>

ALSO:

Government: Queen's Birthday Honours List 2020

The New Zealand Order of Merit The Queen has been pleased, on the occasion of the celebration of Her Majesty's Birthday, to make the following appointments to The New Zealand Order of Merit: DNZM To be Dames Companion of the said Order: Distinguished ... More>>

Government: Support For Arts And Music Sector Recovery

A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: New Zealand Joins Global Search For COVID-19 Vaccine

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods, and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, which will enable New Zealand scientists to contribute to global research efforts ... More>>

ALSO:

The Dig: Steady State Economics: We’ve Got Some (systems) Thinking To Do

In this time of impending economic and ecological crises, we urgently need to aim for a sustainable or ‘steady state’ economy. In order to get there, we will need to adopt a ‘systems-thinking’ outlook taking into account the interconnections of our complex world.

In short, we’ve got some systems thinking to do... More>>

ALSO:

Election 2020: Parties Get Into gear

The Green Party is pleased to reveal its candidate list for the upcoming election. With a mix of familiar faces and fresh new talent, this exceptional group of candidates are ready to lead the Greens back into Government. Using the most democratic list ... More>>

ALSO:

Insight Into Regenerative Agriculture In New Zealand

There is a fast growing movement in New Zealand that has been happening out in paddocks, fields, gardens and hill country across the nation. It is a movement that holds the promise to reshape our productive land use industries towards systems that work with the natural environment to regenerate the land. The movement is that of regenerative agriculture. More>>

ALSO:

Covid-19: Tracer App Released To Support Contact Tracing

The Ministry of Health has today formally released the NZ COVID Tracer app to support contact tracing in New Zealand. Kiwis who download the app will create a digital diary of the places they visit by scanning QR codes displayed at the entrances to ... More>>

ALSO:


Govt: Deep Concern At Hong Kong National Security Legislation
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong.... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels