25 Jan 2012

Opportunities for Maori to own forestry businesses - assoc

7:22 pm on 25 January 2012

The Forestry Industry Engineering Association says there are opportunities for Maori to become direct owners of forestry businesses.

The association is holding a Future Forestry Finance Conference in March, and is encouraging greater Maori Trust participation in the financial side of the forestry industry.

Its director John Stulen says Maori are well represented among workers in the industry.

But he says Maori trusts and iwi tend to play a passive role, while others control the outcomes of when logs or timber are marketed.

Mr Stulen wants to see more Maori become owners of the businesses that will be created as more trees are harvested.

He says as forest crops come up for contract on Maori owned land, iwi should be looking for more opportunities to be in direct control, rather than just being workers and managers.