Forest owners say the Government’s announcement of a policy to give preference to low greenhouse gas emission materials in government construction is good for the environment and the timber construction industry.
Forest Owners Association president Phil Taylor says the Labour Party promised a policy to use timber as a first option for government building contracts before the last election, so it’s been a long time coming.
“It’s great to have the policy announced at last, which cites wood as the preferred material. I see it as an opportunity to get those government officials whose job it is to specify for construction materials to seize on the new timber technologies now available, such as cross laminated timber and laminated veneer lumber.”
Phil says mid-rise construction is now possible with these high strength construction materials, and they perform well in earthquakes.
“The Government also announced in July that building codes for all construction would increasingly reflect a priority of protecting the environment under a Building for Climate Change policy.
“The two new policies, one for government construction, and the other for construction in general, are over time going to benefit both the forest industry and domestic timber processing industry as well.”
Farm Forestry Association president Hamish Levack supports the policy too, saying small-scale foresters are very vulnerable to price fluctuations. “If there’s a new domestic demand driver through wood preference then smallscale foresters are more likely to get back into business and provide income and employment for harvest crews.”