Forest-sawmill contract secures jobs

Wednesday 6 Jun 2018

Unprecedented agreement between forest owner and local sawmill secures Northland jobs - In an unprecedented move, representatives from China Forestry Group NZ and Waipapa Pine late last week entered into a long-term supply agreement that will see jobs for Kiwis protected and economic development promoted in Northland. The agreement was signed at the Waipapa Pine sawmill in the presence of the Forestry Minister, the Hon Shane Jones.

The new agreement gives Waipapa Pine Ltd the assurance that China Forestry Group NZ will support the sawmill with stable log supply and pricing throughout 2018.

Today’s contract with Waipapa Pine Ltd is in line with China Forestry Group’s global drive to stabilise the forestry supply chain. Traditionally, sudden price fluctuations are potentially devastating to contractors at every step of the process. With more predictability in the supply chain, China Forestry Group NZ believes that the balance between supply and demand can be managed, benefiting all participants along the way.

Blueprint for future cooperation - The agreement between China Forestry Group NZ and Waipapa Pine closely ties into the New Zealand Forestry Minister’s stated strategy of wanting forest owners and domestic processors to work together on projects that add value in New Zealand and export markets.

“This Government is keen to attract high quality overseas investment that brings genuine benefits to New Zealand. I’m pleased to see the agreement that has been made between these two parties, which will ensure security of supply for Waipapa Pine and jobs for local workers.” said Mr Jones.

Waipapa Pine director Shane Horan said the stewardship being shown by China Forestry Group NZ is symbolic of the step-change many foreign investors are hoping to make in New Zealand.

“I trust this agreement will help change the perception some people have about a lack of commitment from foreign investors to adding value to production in New Zealand,” said Mr Horan. “For forestry in New Zealand to prosper, we need foreign investment, so it is vital to forge strategic relationships with the right kind of investors.”

New agreement ensures ongoing supply - The agreement between China Forestry Group NZ and Waipapa Pine secures ongoing employment for the more than 100 people who work at the company's two sites in Northland – the sawmill in Kerikeri and the timber processing plant in Whangarei.

Waipapa Pine director Shane Horan said the assurance of long-term supply benefits the sawmill, its staff and customers. “It’s also good for forestry contractors, as more sustainable harvesting provides regular employment,” said Mr Horan.

China Forestry Group NZ’s chief operating officer, Steve Walker, said his company is committed to sustaining and growing local employment in and around Northland.

“The supply agreement we have put in place today is proof of our long-term commitment to this community and this region. Hopefully, this is the start of lasting relationship between China Forestry Group NZ and Waipapa Pine.”

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