A law change that will require overseas investors prove their forestry conversions will benefit New Zealand passed its final reading in Parliament yesterday.
Its members will be working within the health and safety provisions of Alert Level 3.
The forest industry was deemed to be a non-essential industry, when the Government imposed the Level 4 lockdown on 26 March.
The move to cease Level 4 on Tuesday April 28, means most parts of the forest supply chain can start moving again. These include forestry management – including aerial spraying, weed and pest management, nursery operations, planting, and seed collection. It also means log harvesting, haulage, log sales and wood products processing can all start again.
FOA President, Phil Taylor, says his organisation supported the Level 4 restrictions, but now is the time to get back to work.
“Right from the outset we have been focussed on the safety of our workforce. Since then, there has been a collaborative process to develop protocols for operations right through the supply chain.”
Taylor says the New Zealand timber processing industry has had a whole month of virtually no production, which it needs to catch up on. He says some processers have already started producing for essential industries, such as making pallets for fruit exporters.
Taylor adds that forest owners are just as eager to get exporting back to normal as well.