After so much fanfare and expectation-raising Shane Jones’ announcement today is extremely disappointing, National’s Forestry spokesperson Alastair Scott says.
“Mr Jones jetted in to Rotorua today to do nothing but announce yet another Ministerial advisory group,” Mr Scott says.
“I feel for this group. They’ve been tasked with working out how to fulfil Mr Jones’ promise to plant one billion trees over the next ten years which, as we all know, is a pipedream.
“Typically, 50,000 trees are planted across New Zealand each year by industry and enterprise so half the job’s already being done for him – at least though, there will something for his new website planting counter to show.
“Forestry is a significant part of the New Zealand economy. In my Wairarapa electorate planting is at capacity – huge planting programmes are undertaken each year for woodlots, to tackle erosion, support environmental objectives as well as the thriving honey industry.
“Mr Jones has had nine months to answer basic questions – where are the seedlings coming from, who is going to plant them and where will they be planted. Instead of doing the work himself, he’s farmed it out to yet more bureaucrats.
“Prior to this announcement I’d really hoped that, for the sake of the industry, there’d be some clarity around work programmes and the like.
“Instead, all we get is a photo op,” Mr Scott says.