No, we’re not considering limiting timber exports

Friday 13 Aug 2021

The New Zealand Government says it is not considering limiting timber exports to increase supply, as New Zealand battles a shortage of timber for housing. A lack of building products, including timber, is affecting the country’s ability to build the new houses needed. The post-lockdown housing market boom has seen house prices skyrocket, with a lack of supply cited as one of the main reasons.

Minister for Building and Construction Poto Williams was reported as considering putting limits on timber exports as one option to protect domestic supply. Last Wednesday, Williams said the Government would not be interfering in timber exports.

She had received advice that some suppliers were already increasing structural timber production over the next six months, reducing exports, and moving stock from the South Island to the North Island where demand was higher.

“This government has already signalled our intention for building products to be the subject of a market study by the Commerce Commission.” In March, Carter Holt Harvey stopped supplying wood products to major retailers. Carter Holt, the country’s largest producer of structural timber, said at the time there had been “short-term industry-wide” supply issues.

Julien Leys, chief executive of the Building Industry Federation, said the structural timber shortage was the worst in living memory.

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Source: Stuff

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