How will forestry fare after the election?
FORESTRY COULD BE IN FOR SOME interesting times if there is a change of government this month.
Politicians from the main parties gave their views on the sector at the 2017 DANA Forestry Conference in Rotorua last month and one of the talking points was Labour’s proposal to carve a ‘new’ Forest Service out of the Ministry of Primary Industries and shift its headquarters from Wellington to Rotorua.
The party’s forestry spokesperson, Stuart Nash, says it would give forestry a bigger voice in government, along with a strategy written for the sector. He also backs a ‘wood first’ policy for government buildings.
New Zealand First’s Fletcher Tabutea supports the creation of the Rotorua-based new Forest Service, as well as the ‘wood first’ policy.
The Green Party’s Eugene Sage is a ‘wood first’ fan, too and agrees with the need for a national strategy for forestry, with an emphasis on planting more trees.
Geoff Simons, deputy leader of Gareth Morgan’s Opportunities Party, wants a capital gains tax that will advantage forestry by reducing high land prices, as well as a much higher price for carbon.
Rotorua’s National MP, Todd McClay, who is also the current Trade Minister, has promised to focus on non-trade barriers that make exporting timber and finished wood products hard for processors.