Saturday, August 20, 2022

Point of Order: Let’s hear it for partnerships – and for the involvement of central government in formulating a future for forestry

We can’t call it a profusion, but partnerships other than the Treaty one popped up in despatches from our busy, busy Beehive workers.

There’s the primary sector partnership, for starters.

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor mentioned this when banging on about food and fibre exports – they accounted for 81.4 per cent of New Zealand’s total exports in the year to 30 June – and the part his government plays in producing them.

Fit for a Better World is a true partnership that will pay dividends in the coming decade, and our record export revenue shows what can be achieved through Government and sector collaboration.”

Let’s not look too closely into how government is impeding food and fibre producers.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Oceans and Fisheries, Rino Tirikatene (readers may recall), has been beating the Treaty partnership drum while chapioning the dismantling of democratic electoral procedures in local government.

He has been writing newspaper articles which defend his support for legislation which has enabled Ngai Tahu to bypass the electoral process and appoint its own representatives to seats on the Canterbury Regional Council.

Essentially, he is paving the way for democracy to be corroded in other parts of the country by arguing that tangata whenua are entitled to rights to representation that are superior to the rights of all other New Zealanders.

But there are other partnerships on his agenda.

He announced he has flown to Tarawa, Kiribati to represent New Zealand at the 19th Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee Ministerial Meeting and 3rd Regional Fisheries Ministerial Meeting.he FFCMIN, an annual Ministerial meeting of the members of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, focuses on the region’s tuna fisheries.

The RFMM will focus on non-tuna-related coastal fisheries and aquaculture issues of regional significance, and broader fisheries and oceans issues such as climate change and marine pollution.

“Aotearoa New Zealand’s representation at these meetings will reinforce our close partnership with the Pacific, and support Pacific regional solidarity,” Tirikatane said.

Nanaia Mahuta was wrapping up her travels when she brought “partnership” into a press statement.

As Foreign Minister, she concluded her visit to Tonga by meeting the Minister of Health, Dr Saia Piukala, and frontline healthcare workers in Nuku’alofa.

To further strengthen resilience and develop Tonga’s health workforce, she said New Zealand is funding a $4.8 million partnership programme over the next four years.

“Under the new partnership, Massey University will help Tonga plan for service needs, train staff, and allocate healthcare workers to where they are most needed.

“In Tonga, New Zealand are proud to be key partners in the health sector. We stand firmly alongside the Tongan health workforce as it manages COVID-19 and recovers from January’s Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha’apai volcanic eruption and tsunami,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

Forestry Minister Stuart Nash brought “partnership” into his announcement of the government’s latest foray into central planning for our industries.

He was launching the draft Forestry and Wood Processing Industry Transformation Plan at the Canterbury West Coast Wood Council Awards in Christchurch.

The draft plan was developed in partnership with the sector and supported by an ITP Advisory Group, chaired by Lees Seymour.

The Government has announced eight Industry Transformation Plans:

* Advanced Manufacturing Industry
* Agritech
* Construction
* Digital Technologies
* Fisheries
* Food and Beverage
* Forestry and Wood Processing
* Tourism

In the case of forestry and wood processing, Nash enthused:

“This plan is an important part of the Government’s work to build a high-wage, low-emissions economy. Through partnering with industry, Māori and unions, we can add significant value to the sector by processing logs domestically rather than sending them offshore for other countries to extract value from.

“We need to move from a commodity resource producer to creating high value, low carbon products and jobs for Kiwis – all of which are vital to our ongoing economic recovery.”

Full marks to Nash for boldness of vision:

“This roadmap will lead to a future where high-rise buildings are built with engineered wood, where our planes, trains and boats are powered with fuel derived from wood, and a range of products, such as pharmaceuticals, are also produced from our forests.”

The industry transformation plan is the first strategy dedicated to boosting the forestry and wood processing sector in over a decade, Nash said.

It responds to some long-standing challenges by seeking to increase domestic wood processing and diversify our production forests and exports. This will drive the production of new low emissions products and energy sources to underpin and support our transition to net zero emissions by 2050.”

The plan proposes a range of actions, including the Crown leading the way in researching and supporting alternative species including helping nurseries increase supply and lower costs, exploring how Government can co-invest in new sawmills to process lower grades of log, and establishing a presence in key overseas markets to increase demand for our wood products.

“We have the expertise, skills and knowledge here in New Zealand to transform the sector, maximise the potential of our forest estate to reduce emissions, create new wood products and biofuels, and to build a strong exporting economy and environmental suitability for future generations.

Consultation opens from 19 August and runs until 30 September 2022.

More information on the ITP and the consultation process is available at

Point of Order recalls a bold government plan to plant a billion trees by 2028.

“Transformation” was (or is) the aim of that programme, too:

The tree planting mission

To transform New Zealand’s forests in a way that improves our environment, social outcomes for our people, and economic performance in our regions.

Want to know how that is going?

You can find out HERE.

Point of Order is a blog focused on politics and the economy run by veteran newspaper reporters Bob Edlin and Ian Templeton

1 comment:

DeeM said...

Yet another half-wit minister making promises about a high-wage, low emissions economy and net carbon-zero fuel sources which haven't even been invented yet.

Yet another case of A for aspiration and E for execution.

If Mr Nash looked at what's happening overseas he may have felt the need to question his rhetoric.
Europe's "green" industry sector is a disaster which virtually all jobs and manufacturing exported to China - who are happy to burn more fossil fuels to produce the extra power to make Europe's products, knowing that they don't work half as well as what we've already got.

One thing this government definitely deserves is a V (sign) for virtue-signalling and a bit fat F(off) for failure.