2 Jul 2013

Forestry institute calls for national policy

11:55 am on 2 July 2013

The New Zealand Institute of Forestry says 100,000 hectares of forestry has been lost in the past decade because of un-coordinated government policies.

The institute, at its annual conference in New Plymouth this week, has called for the Government to put in place a national policy for forests.

President Andrew McEwen says forestry comes under a range of strategies, such as climate change and resource management, but has no single framework uniting it.

Dr McEwan says the average crop of pinus radiata takes about 10 electoral cycles and it doesn't help having numerous changes in policy direction during that time.

Associate Minister for Primary Industries Jo Goodhew does not think a national policy as is applied in other countries is required, but says she will look into it.

She says she will look at schemes in the United States, the UK and Australia to see if there are any comparable characteristics that may be relevant to New Zealand.

Ms Goodhew says the Government's business growth agenda provides the framework for growing the forestry sector.