Govt ignoring forestry industry’s concerns

The Government is failing to acknowledge the valid concerns raised about its rushed and unpractical forestry regulation bill, which has led to the industry sending the Prime Minister an open letter pleading for the bill to be delayed, National’s Forestry spokesperson Hamish Walker says.

“The Bill was introduced during urgency and has been rushed through Parliament even faster than the March 15th gun reforms.

“Out of 640 submissions only 11 are supportive of the Bill, meaning almost 98 per cent of submitters oppose it.

“The New Zealand Forest Owners Association has drafted an open letter to the Prime Minister asking her to step in and allow a proper consultation process for the Bill.

“All these businesses see is more red tape which will achieve little apart from increasing costs.

“There has been no apparent cost analysis done on the bill, and many are concerned it will deter people from investing in forestry and create uncertainty in the industry.

“When questioned in Parliament, Forestry Minister Shane Jones dismissed the concerns had by hundreds of submitters by saying the Government has every right to bring in these regulations and that the bill’s supporters were just silent.

“The Prime Minister needs to take note of the letter that she has been sent and her Government needs to delay this Bill to ensure a proper consultation process takes place.”  

The letter from Forest Owners Association to the Prime Minister can be found here.