18 Aug 2008

Plan to get illegally felled timber off world market

6:12 am on 18 August 2008

Forestry groups and environmentalists have joined forces to try to prevent illegally logged timber being brought into the country.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry says $250 million a year is lost to New Zealand prices being depressed when illegally logged cheap timber floods the international market from countries such as in South East Asia.

Forest Owners Association chief executive David Rhodes says the timber industry and environmental groups want a system that can prove imported furniture, decking and fire logs have been legally logged.

Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jim Anderton says there is a will among countries in South East Asia and the Pacific to develop a system to identify sustainably logged timber.