His­tory made in the for­est in­dus­try

The Northland Age - - Local News -

In what was de­scribed as an un­prece­dented move, China Forestry Group NZ and Waipapa Pine last week en­tered into a long-term sup­ply agree­ment that will pro­tect New Zealan­ders’ jobs and pro­mote North­land’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

The agree­ment, signed at the Waipapa Pine sawmill in the pres­ence of Forestry Min­is­ter Shane Jones, gives Waipapa Pine Ltd the as­sur­ance that China Forestry Group NZ will sup­port the sawmill with sta­ble log sup­ply and pric­ing through­out 2018.

The con­tract was in line with CFGNZ’s global drive to sta­bilise the forestry sup­ply chain, aimed at avoid­ing po­ten­tially dev­as­tat­ing price fluc­tu­a­tions at each step in the process by manag­ing a bal­ance be­tween sup­ply and de­mand.

Mr Jones said the agree­ment tied closely into his de­sire for for­est own­ers and do­mes­tic pro­ces­sors to work to­gether to add value to do­mes­tic and ex­port mar­kets.

“This Govern­ment is keen to at­tract high-qual­ity overseas in­vest­ment that brings gen­uine ben­e­fits to New Zealand,” he said.

“I’m pleased to see the agree­ment that has been made be­tween these two par­ties, which will en­sure se­cu­rity of sup­ply for Waipapa Pine and jobs for lo­cal work­ers.”

Waipapa Pine di­rec­tor Shane Ho­ran said the stew­ard­ship shown by CFGNZ was sym­bolic of the step-change many for­eign in­vestors were hop­ing for in New Zealand.

“I trust this agree­ment will help change the per­cep­tion some peo­ple have about a lack of com­mit­ment from for­eign in­vestors to adding value to pro­duc­tion in New Zealand,” he said.

“For forestry in New Zealand to pros­per, we need for­eign in­vest­ment, so it is

"I’m pleased to see the agree­ment that has been made be­tween these two par­ties, which will en­sure se­cu­rity of sup­ply for Waipapa Pine and jobs for lo­cal work­ers."

Shane Jones, Forestry Min­is­ter

Justin Chen, gen­eral man­ager China Forestry Group NZ (left), Waipapa Pine CEO Shane Ho­ran, Forestry Min­is­ter Shane Jones and CFGNZ chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Steve Walker seal­ing a ma­jor forestry deal.

vi­tal to forge strate­gic re­la­tion­ships with the right kind of in­vestors.”

The agree­ment se­cured on­go­ing em­ploy­ment for the more than 100 peo­ple who worked for Waipapa Pine at its sawmill in Kerik­eri and tim­ber pro­cess­ing plant in Whanga¯rei, Mr Ho­ran say­ing the as­sur­ance of long-term sup­ply ben­e­fited the sawmill, its staff and cus­tomers.

It was also good for forestry con­trac­tors, be­cause more sus­tain­able

har­vest­ing pro­vided reg­u­lar em­ploy­ment.

CFGNZ’s chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, Steve Walker, said his com­pany was com­mit­ted to sus­tain­ing and grow­ing lo­cal em­ploy­ment in and around North­land.

“The sup­ply agree­ment we have put in place to­day is proof of our long-term com­mit­ment to this com­mu­nity and this re­gion. Hope­fully, this is the start of last­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween China Forestry Group NZ and Waipapa Pine,” he said.

The logs to be sup­plied to Waipapa Pine will pri­mar­ily be sourced from CFGNZ’s Wai­tangi for­est, which, along with other North­land forests owned by the group, was unique be­cause of the com­bi­na­tion of cul­tural, en­vi­ron­men­tal, so­cial and eco­nomic fac­tors that ap­plied. The group had taken de­lib­er­ate steps to en­sure that all these as­pects were man­aged care­fully and with due re­spect.

Har­vest­ing would be lim­ited to the rate at which the forests were grow­ing, so the vol­ume of avail­able logs would re­main sta­ble.

“We have to ac­knowl­edge the ex­cel­lent work by our forestry man­ager, PF Olsen,” Mr Walker added.

The for­est was added to the Forestry Stew­ard­ship Coun­cil (FSC) regis­ter ear­lier this year, en­sur­ing its man­age­ment in ac­cor­dance with au­dited sus­tain­abil­ity prin­ci­ples. At the same time there was a fo­cus on pre­serv­ing wet­lands and pro­tect­ing the grow­ing kiwi pop­u­la­tion.

In recog­ni­tion of the cul­tural im­por­tance of the area, the group had en­gaged with lo­cal hapu¯ to con­sult and ad­vise them on how pro­tect cul­tur­ally sig­nif­i­cant ar­eas.

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