19 Feb 2010

Mixed reaction to forestry plan

6:46 am on 19 February 2010

There's been a mixed reaction on the West Coast to a Government plan to scale back Crown-owned commercial forestry assets and restructure timber processing facilities there.

The Crown took control of West Coast pine forests from Timberlands last year to try to stem annual losses of $5 million.

The Government has now decided to stop replanting the worst performing plantations and consolidate four or five saw mills into one expanded mill.

Its aim is to break-even in five years and to reorganise Crown-owned plantations for possible sale in the future..

But Grey District mayor, Tony Kokshoorn is disappointed that the Government is proposing to trim the industry when he says it should be looking to expand it.

He says the Government has let down the region again.

But Westland District Mayor Maureen Pugh, thinks the industry will be grateful that some long term decisions have finally been made.