13 May 2010

Seven-year standoff over forestry certification ended

7:19 am on 13 May 2010

Talks over an international certification label on New Zealand timber have resumed after a seven-year deadlock.

Negotiations between the forest industry and environmental groups broke off in 2003 over how much native bush had to be retained with each plantation.

But they've now agreed to sort through their differences and move towards a New Zealand-specific standard.

The Forest Stewardship Council-certified label appears on nearly half of the wood produced in New Zealand's timber plantations.

The co-ordinator of the stewardship council working group, Colin Maunder, says an agreement appears to be close.

"I guess in the last couple of years the groups have been talking quite positively on other issues like climate change, and we decided that it's time for another crack at this and we've basically all come together with very good intentions and believe that we can resolve it quite amicably."