Forests for a Strong Economy

National’s plan to grow forestry and wood processing

New Zealand’s economy depends on primary production. It’s how we pay our way in the world and helps fund public services including health and education that we all rely on.

Forestry, including wood processing, is this country's third-largest exporter, after dairy and meat. Last year, the forestry sector earned $6 billion of export revenue, generated 1.6 per cent of GDP, and employed more than 35,000 people. Forestry will play a crucial role in delivering New Zealand’s climate change targets.

Forestry has been hit by a perfect storm of falling sales to China, extreme weather, a collapse in carbon prices, a weak economy, and the Labour Party.

National’s goal is to restore confidence and support further investment in forests and wood processing as part of our plan to rebuild the economy. Our vision is for a growing forestry sector that processes more logs into timber and other valued added wood products to create jobs and move this country up the export value chain.

New Zealand’s economic recovery starts in rural New Zealand.

National will:

  1. Boost wood processing by introducing one-year consents to establish new wood processing facilities.
  2. Build confidence in forestry by restoring the stability of Emissions Trading Scheme revenues for the sector.
  3. Mitigate slash and other environmental challenges with new fit-for-purpose rules for managing forests.
  4. Restore regional control of skills development for forestry by undoing the failed polytechnic mega-merger and returning control to the regions.

Read more about our plan here.