NZ Forest products strategy released this week

The NZ forestry industry is projecting an extra NZ$5.9 billion annually could be earnt to already rising export returns by 2022 if it follows a cross-sector strategy released on Wednesday. The plan, pulled together by the Wood Council of New Zealand or Woodco, was outlined at the pan-industry Forestwood conference in Wellington this week.

On its current path, the report estimates New Zealand's log and wood product exports will rise in value from $4.6b last March to $6.1b in 10 years’ time. But those earnings could be closer to $12b if the industry embraces a plan to grow domestic capacity, diversify its export base and concentrate on high-value wood-based manufacturing. Bill McCallum, president of the NZ Forest Owners Association, acknowledged the plan was ambitious. "It's a vision but it's an achievable vision." He said the need for collaboration in many areas was not a matter of companies making sacrifices for New Zealand Inc, "but rather a strategy that will add value to all participants".

Woodco plans on developing a delivery mechanism including appointing a Strategic Action Plan manager and setting aside funding to help the industry implement this new joint strategy.

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