Status for forestry and wood products for Level 4

Wednesday 25 Mar 2020

 
With now only a few hours from Alert Level 4 coming into effect in New Zealand, forestry, wood processing and manufacturing have not been classified as an essential business. The industry should therefore assume that you will be required to shut down by the deadline unless you have had a conversation or confirmation from Te Uru Rakau that you are an exception as you provide critical input to some of the sectors classified as essential services.

At a broad level what this is likely to mean is that forestry harvesting and silviculture operations and primary sawmills will need to shut down. Pulp and paper manufacturing will need to shut down non-essential elements in a way that allows for production to recommence easily while maintaining essential production. You should have spoken to Te Uru Rakau (Julie Collins or Jason Wilson) about what that might mean for you. Please find attached a link to the government announcement that sets this out at a high level.

Other forms of primary process should be shutting down in safe and appropriate way and allows for production to recommence easily. If that is not possible by the deadline for Alert Level 4 you need to let Te Uru Rakau know if you have not already.

Secondary processing of pallets and packaging material that supplies critical inputs to the pharmaceutical and food and beverage supply chain is likely to be classified as an essential part of the supply chain and will need to register on the attached site and meet the requirements set out for ensuring a safe environment for workers and prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

Plant nurseries will be able to maintain minimum activities to keep their capital stock and plants alive. They will need to register on the above site if they employ more than 5 people and meet the requirements set out for ensuring a safe environment for workers and prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

For those that have materials on site that supply critical inputs such as chip or pellets for energy production for hospitals, meat plants, dairy plants or other essential services, and those with existing stock required by secondary processors that supply pallets and packaging material to essential services, Te Uru Rakau is working to ensure you will still be able to supply from site even though production has shut down. Once again if you have not been in touch with Te Uru Rakau on this you should do this today.

There are a range of other issues that have been raised with us which we are addressing as a matter of priority around export shipments beyond those that are already loading, RMA requirements, in forest and site security and extensions of time for safely shutting down manufacturing. We have had to focus on the most urgent issues.

Thank you for your leadership at what I know is an extremely challenging time for you, your employees and your business and business owners. The government continues to see the forestry, wood processing and manufacturing sector as an important part of the economy and it will be an important part of the recovery. However, as with other parts of the economy, we are having to make hard decisions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 and to save lives.

Source: Te Uru Rakau

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