New Zealand Government

06/14/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/13/2024 16:06

Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership

Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government's plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector.

"This government will drive investment to unlock the industry's economic potential for growth," Mr McClay says.

"Forestry's success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand's economy, boosting our GDP and providing regional jobs in a highly productive sector.

The Government's vision to grow the forestry sector includes:

  1. Spurring economic growth through jobs and exports;
  2. Delivering low emission solutions and products;
  3. Supporting land use resilience, adaptation, biodiversity & social benefits; and
  4. Providing carbon removals to support climate goals.

The Government will be introducing a package of initiatives during the course of this parliamentary term to support industry growth and to deliver positive outcomes across the forestry and wood processing value chain.

"This includes working with the industry to increase onshore wood processing, opening new and improving access to existing trading markets, supporting sensible planting, easing burdensome regulations, enabling and supporting the development of new and innovative wood products, adjusting investment settings and supporting New Zealand's climate change goals.

"Nearly 60 per cent of New Zealand's harvest is exported. Increasing our domestic processing, will grow the economy, create more regional jobs and help us double our exports by value in 10 years.

"Alongside domestic reforms, the Government is working to expand access to overseas markets for producers to export high-quality wood products, also by addressing non-tariff barriers. This will provide the market certainty wood processors need to expand and innovate."

The Government is also considering how to get the balance right for New Zealand's wider forestry system.

"It is important to ensure there is sufficient pipeline of logs to support domestic wood processing as well as encouraging the planting of new trees on suitable land to meet our international climate change commitments," says Mr McClay.

An independent review of the operational costs of the forestry component in the ETS was launched earlier this year and will be followed up with a separate assessment of cost recovery fees to be considered for the 2024/25 financial year.

"We want to ensure the ETS is cost-effective and efficient for participants.

"We are also working swiftly to remove unnecessary regulatory burden on forest businesses, recently announcing the repeal of legislation requiring the registration of log traders and forestry advisers. This will remove the pressures of unnecessary costs on forest businesses."