21 March 2015
Associate Minister for Primary Industries Jo Goodhew marked United Nations International Day of Forests at the Methven A&P show today, by planting a maple tree with industry representatives.
"New Zealand is a proud producer of sustainable timber products," Mrs Goodhew says. "Today is a reminder of the contribution New Zealand forests make to both the environment and the economy."
Our forests cover one third of New Zealand, and remain our third largest export earner.
"Leading into the 2020s, there is the potential for a 40 per cent increase in log production. A challenge to industry is to move wood products out of the commodity basket and up the value chain," Mrs Goodhew says.
"Currently we are missing the opportunity to supply high value wood products to the world because more than 50 per cent of our logs leave our shores unprocessed.
"Canterbury University has developed low-damage design building systems using engineered timber which has achieved world-wide recognition. New Zealand needs more designers and engineers working in this space to design more of these types of buildings, and grow the sector," says Mrs Goodhew.
"Today we can promote the forestry sector by planting a tree and encouraging both our forests and the forestry industry to grow and develop."
International Day of Forests is celebrated around the world to raise awareness of the importance of forests and trees in ensuring the sustainability of ecosystems, providing valuable goods and services, and supporting livelihoods.
Hon Jo Goodhew - Associate Minister for Primary Industries
Media contact: Emily Broadmore 021612837