18 Dec 2009

Record low forest plantings expected to cause future dip

9:08 am on 18 December 2009

The Forest Owners Association says record low levels of new forest plantings will cause problems with future wood supply.

Figures issued by the Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry show the total area of forest in New Zealand has reduced by nearly 14,000 hectares and new plantings amount to less than 1000 hectares.

Association chairman Peter Berg says uncertainty about the emissions trading scheme and high land prices have stopped investment in planting.

He says the industry will struggle for a wood supply if it does not get back into planting over the next few years.

However, Forestry Minister David Carter says the Government is moving quickly to restore confidence in the industry so there can be a turnaround in planting figures.