Unprecedented agreement between forest owner and sawmill

Press Release – Joint Press Release

Unprecedented agreement between forest owner and local sawmill secures Northland jobs In an unprecedented move, representatives from China Forestry Group NZ and Waipapa Pine Ltd today entered into a long-term supply agreement that will see jobs for Kiwis …Unprecedented agreement between forest owner
and local sawmill secures Northland jobs

In an unprecedented move, representatives from China Forestry Group NZ and Waipapa Pine Ltd today entered into a long-term supply agreement that will see jobs for Kiwis protected and economic development promoted in Northland. The agreement was signed at the Waipapa Pine sawmill in the presence of the Forestry Minister, the Hon Shane Jones.
The new agreement gives Waipapa Pine Ltd the assurance that China Forestry Group NZ will support the sawmill with stable log supply and pricing throughout 2018.

Today’s contract with Waipapa Pine Ltd is in line with China Forestry Group’s global drive to stabilise the forestry supply chain. Traditionally, sudden price fluctuations are potentially devastating to contractors at every step of the process. With more predictability in the supply chain, China Forestry Group NZ believes that the balance between supply and demand can be managed, benefiting all participants along the way.

Blueprint for future cooperation


The agreement today between China Forestry Group NZ and Waipapa Pine closely ties into the New Zealand Forestry Minister’s stated strategy of wanting forest owners and domestic processors to work together on projects that add value in New Zealand and export markets.

“This Government is keen to attract high quality overseas investment that brings genuine benefits to New Zealand. I’m pleased to see the agreement that has been made between these two parties, which will ensure security of supply for Waipapa Pine and jobs for local workers.” said Mr Jones.

Waipapa Pine director Shane Horan said the stewardship being shown by China Forestry Group NZ is symbolic of the step-change many foreign investors are hoping to make in New Zealand.

“I trust this agreement will help change the perception some people have about a lack of commitment from foreign investors to adding value to production in New Zealand,” said Mr Horan. “For forestry in New Zealand to prosper, we need foreign investment, so it is vital to forge strategic relationships with the right kind of investors.”

New agreement ensures ongoing supply

The agreement between China Forestry Group NZ and Waipapa Pine signed today secures ongoing employment for the more than 100 people who work for Waipapa Pine Ltd at its two sites in Northland – the sawmill in Kerikeri and the timber processing plant in Whangarei.

Waipapa Pine director Shane Horan said the assurance of long-term supply benefits the sawmill, its staff and customers. “It’s also good for forestry contractors, because more sustainable harvesting provides regular employment,” said Mr Horan.

China Forestry Group NZ’s chief operating officer, Steve Walker, said his company is committed to sustaining and growing local employment in and around Northland.

“The supply agreement we have put in place today is proof of our long-term commitment to this community and this region. Hopefully, this is the start of lasting relationship between China Forestry Group NZ and Waipapa Pine,”

Sensitively managed forest

The logs to be supplied to Waipapa Pine will primarily be sourced from China Forestry Group NZ’s Waitangi forest near Kerikeri.
This forest, along with others owned by China Forestry Group in the Northland region, is unique in New Zealand because of the combination of cultural, environmental, social and economic factors that affect the area. China Forestry Group NZ has taken deliberate steps to ensure that all these aspects are managed carefully and with due respect.

China Forestry Group NZ will limit harvesting of logs in their Northland estate to the rate at which the forests grow annually, so that the volume of available logs remains stable. This not only means harvesting will be sustainable but will also reduce volume fluctuations in the supply chain.

“We have to acknowledge the excellent work by our forestry manager, PF Olsen,” said Mr Walker.

The forest was added to the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) register earlier this year. This ensures that the forest is managed in line with audited sustainability principles. At the same time, there is a focus on preserving wetlands in the area and protecting the growing population of kiwi that breed there.

In recognition of the cultural importance of the area, China Forestry Group NZ has engaged with local hapu to consult and advise them on how protect culturally significant areas. Guidance from Ngati Kawa Taituha and his team from Nga Hapu Ki Waitangi were vital in this regard.

Mr Jones has been an integral part of promoting direct foreign investment into forestry, which brings genuine benefits to us as a country and boosts regional economic development,” said Mr Horan.
END
Released on behalf of Waipapa Pine and China Forestry Group NZ

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