Industry leaders commend Minister on choices

Wednesday 16 May 2018

 
Forest Owners Association president Peter Weir says the advisory group just announced by Shane Jones has the right mix of forest industry background and experience to take the industry forward into potentially vast expansion in the decades ahead.

“Government by itself can’t achieve planting an extra half million hectares of trees in the next ten years, and all segments of the industry have to work together to reach that target. It is clear that Shane Jones appreciates this.”

In particular, Peter Weir says the appointment of Warren Parker as the group’s chair will provide leadership with his crucial forest science, conservation and commercial experience.

“Dr Parker’s previous CEO role in Landcare Research and current chair of the Conservation Authority, will count just as much as his immediately previous position as CEO of the forest research body Scion. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the Minister’s Billion Tree plan, will entail both extensive conservation planting and indigenous tree planting.”

“Dr Parker will understand the costs and issues of this work. But he will also clearly comprehend the need for most, though certainly not all, of the trees to comprise current commercial species.”

“Radiata pines easily outperform indigenous trees with their quick carbon capture abilities, and, under the proposed carbon averaging in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme regime, such trees will provide early cashflow and a healthy economic return for landowners with no harvest liability. Douglas-fir and Redwood are also outstanding for long term carbon sequestration and income.”

Peter Weir says there is strong Maori representation on the advisory panel as well, which he says represents recognition of the growing and crucial participation of Maori as landowners and forest workers.

“Dr Charlotte Severne stands out as leading the way for iwi to develop their forest and associated land interests. She chairs the Lake Rotoarira Forest Trust which is a long way down the track to developing Maori forestry as a long term, sustainable, profitable and integrated land use.”

“Likewise, Gina Solomon’s experience as director of the QE II National Trust and her involvement with a leading example of community agreements on resource use, the Kaikoura Marine Guardians Te Korowai o Te o Karokura, will be a valuable contribution to the group’s work.”


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