At the WPMA Industry Forum in Whangarei yesterday the Hon. Shane Jones announced reforms to the Overseas Investment Act in relation to forestry and wood processing. I copy to you (below) the email received from Hon Jones on the changes being made. On behalf of the WPMA, I'd like to sincerely thank the Minister for carrying through his pre-election commitments to ensure that forest ownership is much more firmly linked to NZ wood processing and manufacturing and thereby the jobs that we provide. I hope you agree that this lines up well with the message that WPMA has been strongly promoting in the run up to the election. This is an important step towards creating a fairer competition environment in NZ for raw material and we will keep working towards this goal.
Hon. Jones also announced yesterday the formation of his Ministerial Advisory Forum for the industry and has asked WPMA to gather the expressions of interest from industry groups to be part of this. The Forum will not only provide expert advice on the industry itself but how to further enhance the way that forestry, wood processing and manufacturing underpin regional economic growth. Again, a theme we firmly support the Minister on. I will keep you posted on this.
Many thanks to WPMA members from Northland and beyond coming out in force yesterday. A good show to the Minister who appreciated your presence.
Email from Hon Shane Jones:
Today, the Government has announced a new Ministerial Directive Letter to the Overseas Investment Office that will set out our policy approach to overseas investment in sensitive New Zealand assets.
I’m pleased to inform you the new Directive Letter includes a specific Forestry Directive that recognises the role that appropriate overseas investment has in the forestry sector.
I’d like to make it clear that high-quality overseas investment in forestry – that delivers genuine benefits to New Zealand’s economy and its environment – will continue to be welcomed.
Long before I assumed my ministerial portfolios, I was well aware of the value many of you in the forestry sector place on overseas investment and the Forestry Directive recognises this.
However, we want to encourage value-added wood processing to generate jobs and other benefits for our regions.
The new directive for forestry directs the Overseas Investment Office to place high importance on increased processing of primary products and the advancement of the Government’s policies when assessing applications for consent.
It also emphasises that Ministers expect the Overseas Investment Office to impose conditions on consent where appropriate – for example, a requirement for the overseas investor to enter into a supply arrangement with a local processor.
The letter recognises that conditions imposed on forest land may need to be for longer periods given the often long-term nature of these investments.
Forestry has an important role to play in many of the Government’s priority areas – enhancing regional development, improving water quality, reducing carbon emissions and creating jobs – and I’m looking forward to seeing the sector prosper in the coming years.
Hon Shane Jones
Presentations from this meeting:
- Brian Stanley Chairman of WPMA: Click here
- Jon Tanner CEO of WPMA: Click here
- David Rhodes CEO of NZFOA: Click here
To view the article in the Northern Advocate from this meeting: Click here