May 08, 2018
New start for forestry
Forestry Minister Shane Jones hopes his new agency will be what it takes to get the Government's billion trees strategy over the line.
Te Uru Rakau, the New Zealand Forestry Agency, will be launched in Rotorua on Friday.
He says much of New Zealand's plantation forests are now owned by foreign investors or the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, and a substantial percentage of the underlying land is owned by iwi and hapu.
Expanding forestry on Maori land will require a rare blend of skill.
"You need the patience of Job to work through the issues Maori landowners have, not of their own making in many cases, we need to attract foreign capital and we need to boost the science so the fibre and products associated with trees represent jobs and value added," Mr Jones says.
He says successive governments have been asleep at the wheel for two decades as millions of unprocessed logs flowed offshore.
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