$57 MILLION TO SUPPORT ONSHORE
WOOD PROCESSING IN NEW ZEALAND
Unlocking the potential of the wood processing sector, growing the economy and contributing to New Zealand’s climate change response is the aim of a new fund announced by Forestry Minister Peeni Henare recently.
Speaking at the Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association conference in Rotorua, Peeni Henare said the new NZ$57 million fund would enable the Government to partner with wood processors to co-invest in the wood processing capacity to create products like sawn structural timber and engineered wood.
In 2021 wood product manufacturing plus pulp and paper contributed around NZ$3.8 billion to New Zealand’s GDP and wood processing manufacturing alone makes up around 40% of this figure. It is estimated that this funding support will see NZ$500 to $650 million of additional GDP over the life of the fund’s investments.
“The forestry and wood processing sector is central to many of our regional economies and it is past time we capitalised on the opportunities available,” Peeni Henare said. “Over the last two decades, New Zealand’s overall wood processing capacity has remained relatively stable while log volumes available to be processed have doubled.
“Investment in wood processing infrastructure has declined and we are missing out on the potential benefits that processing wood here in New Zealand offers. This fund will support feasibility projects through a ‘catalyst fund’ and provide capital support through an ‘accelerator fund’ to turn this around.
This fund will also help achieve the objectives of the Forestry and Wood Processing Industry Transformation Plan and support the Government’s Economic Plan to build a high-value, high-wage, low-emissions economy.
Source: Friday Offcuts