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Source: New Zealand Government

Parliament has today passed the Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Bill that will provide better information on log supply and build investor confidence in the forestry sector, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says.

The Bill was introduced as part of Budget 2020 and supports the predictable and long-term supply of timber. It will help build stronger linkages between forest growers, domestic processors and exporters, improved professional standards, and greater confidence in business transactions both domestically and internationally.

 The Bill was referred to the Environment Select Committee, which reviewed more than 600 submissions.

“I want to thank all those who took part in the Select Committee process. As a result of that input, we have made a number of changes,” Shane Jones said.

The Bill now ensures that small scale operators, such as firewood traders, will not be required to register. It also provides an exemption from the requirement to register as a forestry adviser for those already covered by other occupational licensing regimes established under other legislation, such as lawyers.

Shane Jones said the language of the Bill had also been updated to ensure it was clear that it aimed to provide equity of access to timber for both domestic processors and exporters.

“This means all people buying and selling logs will have access to transparent and impartial information and advice, so they can make well informed business decisions, and that our domestic wood processors get a fair chance to purchase logs.”

It also requires forestry advisers, log traders and exporters to register and work to nationally agreed practice standards that will strengthen the integrity of New Zealand’s forestry supply chain.

“As we strive to build confidence in the economy in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, having legislation that builds confidence in the log supply sector and quality of advice available can only be positive.”

Forestry can be a 30-year investment if someone is planting a forest, so it’s important that they receive high quality advice from people who are knowledgeable, qualified and operating in accord with industry good practice and a code of ethics.”

“Mum and dad investors need the right information to make investment decisions and they need to have confidence in the log traders that are purchasing their timber,” Shane Jones said.

The next part of the process is for Te Uru Rākau to work with the forestry sector to develop draft regulations, rules and practice standards. These regulations will be subject to significant