29 Feb 2016

Peters wants guaranteed wood supplies in NZ

6:41 am on 29 February 2016

New Zealand needs to find a way to guarantee wood supplies for local timber processors, says Northland MP Winston Peters.

Winston Peters on the bridge at Parliament.

Winston Peters Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Northland sawmillers say their industry is being undermined by overseas companies which are buying entire forests and exporting them as logs.

Mr Peters said that had already caused shortages in some grades of wood and it was putting Northland businesses and jobs at risk.

He said other countries such as Canada insisted that the needs of their processing industries were served before logs could be exported.

The Timber Industry Federation said it was not keen on the idea of regulation but it was concerned about the growth in log exports and forests being felled before maturity.

Director Trevor Hing said the market had been distorted by the fact that foreign buyers did not pay GST on logs, while local sawmills did - and removing that advantage would help level the playing field.

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