Timber support promise
Promises the next Labour government will boost the forestry industry could mean good news for Tokoroa.
Labour leader David Cunliffe announced new policies at the ForestWood Conference 2014 to support the industry’s journey from volume to value.
Among the game- changing ideas were plans to encourage companies to invest in new technology by offering tax deferrals.
Cunliffe also suggested suspensory loans to promote new forest planting and a pro-wood government procurement policy for government-funded buildings up to four storeys high to boost the domestic market.
‘‘Everytime we send a log off a wharf we export jobs,’’ he said.
He said National just ‘‘cruise along’’ with no clear plan for the economy.
‘‘ Labour’s economic upgrade will lead to better jobs and higher wages.’’
Cunliffe said estimates show the policies will cost the Government $30 million in the first year and this will increase to $50m.
‘‘ That’s based on initiatives such as the tax credits we are offering but it depends how many people take them up.’’
He said that will be offset by the higher levels of taxation as companies make more money and the predicted lower levels of unemployment.
Kinleith Mill stands to benefit by most of these changes, he said, including improved predictability of wood supply.
‘‘We consulted carefully with the industry – we know that the benefits will flow through to communities.’’
When asked why such moves haven’t been employed to date he said: ‘‘The current government is asleep at the wheel. I don’t think it’s their business to engage in a long-term industry development strategy where as we think it should be at the heart of what we do.
‘‘The current government might be happy to see how timber goes off shore as rural logs but we’re not.’’