18 Jan 2011

Minister urged to deal with 'crisis' in forestry sector

5:39 pm on 18 January 2011

The National Distribution Union says as a crisis gathers momentum in the woodmillling sector, the Minister of Forestry is "missing in action".

On Tuesday, 44 people were made redundant at Tangiwai Mill in the Ruapehu District as part of 80 job losses announced in mid-December.

It follows the mothballing of the Prime Sawmill in Gisborne and 26 job losses at Carter Holt Harvey's Kawerau mill.

The union says many industry problems have been identified as a result of government macro-economic policy settings, rather than efficiency or productivity issues.

It says it is time Forestry Minister David Carter came off holiday mode, rolled his sleeves up and addressed the job losses in the sector.