29 September 2023  

Forest owners welcome National's forest policy but hold reservations on planting restrictions

The Forest Owners Association generally welcomes the National Party forestry policy announcement that National wants to give certainty and support to the forestry and wood processing industry clearly recognising its economic and environmental advantages. 

FOA President, Grant Dodson says National has realised both the economic potential of forestry in the next few years, as well as its environmental benefits. 

“Environmentally friendly wood products, such as more timber high-rise buildings and biofuels, are the way of the future, but also the realisation of the huge carbon sequestration capacity of exotic forests.” 

FOA welcomes in particular National’s undertaking to review the charges to run the Emissions Trading Scheme, significant cost increases which the current government announced this week. 

Rotorua candidate Todd McClay told a forest industry meeting in Rotorua yesterday that the estimated $14 million a year charges ‘seem excessive’. 

The FOA argues these admin costs should not be paid by foresters, but instead the emitters who are responsible for the emissions in the first place. 

FOA President, Grant Dodson, says there is no guarantee that a National government will meaningfully reduce the charges, but it is a clear indication National says it appreciates the industry. 

“Another indication is National stating that it will ‘reverse the regressive policy introduced by the Labour Party to require council consents for all new forestry planting.’” 

But Grant Dodson says there are still serious issues with National’s policy as previously announced, around restrictions on planting farmland. 

“We are deeply disappointed National continues its policy to overly restrict farm conversions to forestry and these investments ability to earn carbon credits. This jeopardises the other good things in the policy.” 

“Restricting the amount of land a farmer can convert, and still earn credits, and pushing forestry plantings onto rougher class hill country, is inconsistent with where National says it is going and makes it harder to establish large scale forest investments that can be harvested safely.” 

“All these promises and concerns are not very relevant though unless there is a dedicated Forestry Minister in the cabinet of the incoming government. Forestry as one of New Zealand’s largest exporters is far too crucial and important to be left to languish as a bit part under a Primary Industry Minister,” Grand Dodson says.

Media contact: 

NZFOA president, Grant Dodson

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mobile: 027 654 6554

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Related Links

Careers in Forestry - training and career information

Commodity Levy - information relating to the levy

Planted Forests Portal - key statistics

IRIS - Incident Reporting Information System

Rare species - managing rare species in plantation forests

Log Transport Safety Council - to report incidents of log truck driver behaviour (good and bad)

FISC - The safety body for the forestry sector.