Monday, 23 March 2020 10:39

Government teams up with forestry industry

Written by  Staff Reporters

The Forest Owners Association (FOA) says it’s working closely with the Government on its $28m relief package for Gisborne forestry workers.

Forestry Minister, Shane Jones announced the relief package on Friday.

The package will provide work for 300 forestry workers in jobs such as road maintenance and removing trees that are in danger of falling onto roads or powerlines.

FOA says it’s making sure the package will both look after the affected workers and speed economic recovery amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Incoming FOA President, Phil Taylor says forestry will be a crucial export tool in leading New Zealand’s recovery.

“In common with the rest of the primary sector, we will be ready to do our part to pull our economy through the extraordinary times which are ahead of us.”

“After rock lobsters, forestry was been the second longest New Zealand industry to be impacted by measures in China to try to contain COVID-19.  This  has created some urgency to help people who have now been out of work for weeks.”

Phil Taylor says it’s great that the affected workers can be given employment that is useful to the local economy and doesn’t take them away from their home region.

“The worldwide appetite for timber is undiminished. In fact, it’s likely to increase for New Zealand timber as climate change has an impact on forests in other countries, such as Canada, Australia and through Europe.” 

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