4 Nov 2014

Leaders want forestry owners accountable

7:08 am on 4 November 2014

Recommendations suggesting safety improvements to the forestry sector do not go far enough, according to the Iwi Leaders Group.

The Independent Forestry Safety Review Panel released its findings on Friday, calling for a shake-up of the sector. There have been 32 deaths since 2008.

It recommended that the creation of a Forestry Leaders Action Group comprising government, industry and workers oversee the changes. The group is to include a Māori representative and be set up within three months.

A principal adviser to the Iwi Leader's Group, Chris Karamea Insley, said members support the certification and training ideas.

However, he believed the panel has shied away from pointing the finger at the people who own and manage forests and have singled out contractors and workers.

Mr Insley said he is not convinced there would be a reduction in the death and accident rate until a more holistic approach was adopted.

He supported the idea of having a Maori representative on the safety group, as Maori work in the sector and many iwi and hapu are becoming involved in the forestry sector after receiving Treaty settlements.

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