The merger of New Zealand’s Wood Processors' Association and Pine Manufacturers Association' into the Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association of New Zealand (WPMA) was celebrated at the official launch on Thursday evening 4 September in Wellington and was kindly hosted by Deloitte.
The idea for this link-up was seeded a few years back but it's really been the effort of both boards led by Chairs Brian Stanley and Tom Boon over the last 18 months that has given us an association that powerfully links up the whole value chain for wood-based products: sawmillers, panel makers, pulp and paper makers, packaging providers, construction component fabricators, bio-chemical and bio-energy producers and the vital support industries that make up one of New Zealand's biggest manufacturing and exports sectors.
It was an impressive gathering with representatives from all parts of New Zealand's manufacturing and primary industries and also from government departments that are the industry regulators, trade facilitators, science and technology investors and skills providers. As Brian Stanley, WPMA Chair, remarked "we are here tonight to speak to the whole of NZ Inc. and not just ourselves - a real change in the way we operate".
||The main point of Brian's presentation was to highlight that we are the only major industry that is based on a totally renewable natural resources, that can create new jobs and attract new investment to the regions whilst protecting the environment. He introduced the idea that the wood industry is "Renewing New Zealand" and challenged other sectors to make the same comprehensive claims. All this is depicted in the NZ Wood Industry Story that was unveiled on the night.
|Japan has been a longstanding customer for New Zealand wood and is a major investor and innovator in the sector. We were delighted, therefore, that the Ambassador of Japan to New Zealand, Yasuaki Nogawa gave the keynote speech. He talked about the scale of the Japan / New Zealand relationship in the wood sector, the cultural affinity the Japanese have for wood, the value of wood in providing resilience to natural disasters and the plans for future large scale building in wood, not least the construction of facilities to accommodate the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Japan needs no convincing that wood is good and that New Zealand is a trusted supplier.
Vice Chair Tom Boon concluded by outlining what the CEO of a member company now expects from WPMA: 1) advocate for a level playing field in international trade, 2) up to date building standards that recognise that wood is a superior construction material and 3) that wood and the wood industry must be promoted through the NZ Wood Industry Story.
A very successful night. WPMA will now be acting on these directives and taking the NZ Wood Industry Story out to the regions. WPMA will keep you posted on an event near you over the coming months.
Transcripts of their speeches can be viewed below.
Japanese Ambassador Nogawa - Keynote speech
Brian Stanley, WPMA Chair - Speech
Photos from the WPMA Launch:
WPMA Team: Jeff Parker, Technical Manager; Jeanette Sutherland, Executive Assistant; Jon Tanner, CEO; Brian Stanley, Chair; Debbie Fergie, Promotions Manager and Tom Boon, Vice Chair.
If you need to get in touch...
Contact details for the Executive Office:
Thank you to our launch sponsors: