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Creating a sustainable forestry sector - Jones

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Wellbeing Budget will enable further transformation of New Zealand’s forestry sector after the successful rollout of the Government’s One Billion Trees programme, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says.

"Forestry plays a key role in many of our Government’s priority areas - enhancing regional development, supporting Maori to realise the potential of their land, improving water quality, reducing carbon emissions and creating jobs," Shane Jones said.

"The One Billion Trees ambition is ahead of target. The Wellbeing Budget is delivering $58 million in funding to ensure this remains the case while also catalysing further transformation of such an important sector.

"The funding will allow Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand) to increase its regional presence to ensure foresters and landowners have the support they need and will also see the agency focus on the Government’s goal of developing a sustainable, domestic forestry workforce.

"A key part to achieving our vision for the sector will be delivering in the regions and we will see a new premises built in Rotorua - the heart of the forestry sector - showcasing the use of wood in construction and accommodating Te Uru Rākau’s growth.

"By growing the regional presence, we have a huge opportunity to work even more closely with landowners - particularly Māori and farmers - to revitalise our regions and create real benefits across the country.

"Forestry is a great choice which will help landowners to diversify their income, invest in a sustainable future and increase productivity through improved land-use, including tackling erosion.

"Along with this, we will see Te Uru Rākau lead important work to capture and add value to the sector. They have been tasked with strengthening the domestic market for wood products and working closely with the sector to support investment in forestry.

"One of the priorities for the wellbeing budget is to transform the economy. This announcement will help us to do this in a sustainable way.

"With forestry worth over $6 billion to our economy, the Wellbeing Budget gives clear and visible leadership to Te Uru Rākau to build a sustainable sector that delivers improved social, environmental and economic benefits for New Zealand," Shane Jones said.

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