Media Releases

ETS review may reduce forest planting while foresters wait for certainty

Woodco logo - new 2017

27 July 2017

Forest owners and wood processors say they appreciate the government needs to fine tune the Emissions Trading Scheme, but they believe present uncertainty in the ETS might lead to a reduction in forest planting, just when it needs to increase.

The Chair of the pan industry organisation WoodCo, Brian Stanley, says the call today from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment for a Climate Change Commission, if accepted, should produce enough muscle to get New Zealand to meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets.

But Brian Stanley says the crucial role of the plantation forest industry in locking up atmospheric carbon needs more certainty in the ETS.   read more...





TPP Update 11th May 2017

11th May 2017

The forest and wood processing industries have welcomed the ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) by Cabinet, says Wood Council Chair Brian Stanley.  Click here to read more...

Log Grabbers not responsible

11 October 2016

28 August 2016 Woodco of log supply – Woodco identifies government policies at heart of log supply - Oped as submitted from Woodco to Sunday Star-Times 28 August 2016

Roving 'log grabbers' in Northland buying immature trees for export may exacerbate log supply pressure at the expense of our local construction industry (Sunday Star-Times 21 August).  But these procurers did not create the problem...  Read more

Forest industry’s challenge to manage supply fluctuations

12 August 2016

News Media Statement - Woodco

The pan forest and timber processing industry organisation, the New Zealand Wood Council (Woodco) says there is a supply challenge for many regions in the domestic processing industry.

Woodco Chair, Brian Stanley says timber processors are being hindered by a current lack of logs, especially in the higher grades.

He says small scale woodlot owners are being enticed into quick export contracts instead, where the buyers are not providing the domestic processors with an opportunity to purchase these logs.

“The problem is not so much with the large scale dedicated forest operators who depend on being able to supply a constant volume into both the local and export markets and are managed and equipped for this.”

“In many areas small scale owners would do well to get expert advice on terms and conditions for their sale and who to sell to, and not rush into contracts just because their logs are nearly mature. A slightly longer term view might provide a better return.”

Brian Stanley says the security of future investment into both forestry and processing in New Zealand has suffered from fluctuations in government policy during the past 30 years.

“If anyone is going to invest in more processing, they need to be sure that there will be a continuous supply of logs, especially where small farm scale woodlots are an important source of that log supply,” Brian Stanley says.

“This requires stable and long term policy.  Woodco is united in its position that government should not attempt to control price or volume on forest products or production. That wouldn’t work.”

Brian Stanley says nobody can do anything now about the variable government incentive policies that have influenced planting over the past two decades, especially for small scale woodlot owners, and the resulting fluctuations in harvest a number of years later.

“The forest industry is our number two primary export earner behind dairy, and is too important and long term to be subject to government influenced or controlled variable pressures outside the marketplace, such as the mad fluctuations in the prices for carbon credits we’ve seen in the past six years.”

Brian Stanley says the benefits to New Zealand of a confident forest industry are many.

“Forestry is a major player in regional development.  Our trees lock up close to half a billion tonnes of carbon.  And timber is an ideal, affordable and robust building material.” 

Brian Stanley says there are a range of government policies which would help further develop local processing capacity and competitiveness, from more research into wood processing, through to accelerated depreciation and rural roading assistance.

For further information contact Brian Stanley, ph 027 4363340

Timber industry ready to contribute to home building catch-up

News Media Statement - 4 July 2016

Timber industry ready to contribute to home building catch-up

The timber industry believes the government’s announced boost to home construction, through a Housing Infrastructure Fund, needs to have a timber focus.

Woodco chair, Brian Stanley, says the volume of housing resulting from Prime Minister John Key’s announcement during the weekend can only be achieved through giving priority to timber construction.

“If we want that many houses to be built quickly, properly, and with sustainable materials, timber is the way to go. This is even more the case with the medium rise and high density dwelling construction which will be important in Auckland,” Brian Stanley says.

“Timber generally is available, builders like it and are used to using it. It’s affordable and it’s light. Modern timber technology gives great thermal retention and earthquake resistant qualities.”

“A not insignificant factor is that using timber for construction is environmentally beneficial, since wooden buildings continue to lock up the carbon the trees have absorbed from the atmosphere in the first place.”

Brian Stanley says the scale and speed of house construction likely to result from the government initiative means builders in the targeted centres will want to work with materials and methods which have been well tested and are known to be reliable.

“Timber ticks all the boxes and our industry is keen to talk with anyone in the construction business, architects, central and local government about how we might get on with the job.”

For further information contact Brian Stanley, Phone: 07 885 5524 & 0274 363 340.

Time to level the playing field

16 March 2016

In a wide-ranging address, Wood Council Chair Brian Stanley, has called upon the government to level the playing field for the forest and wood products industries. He says they are tilted against New Zealand's interests in overseas markets and domestically by environmental legislation that favours intensive livestock farming over forestry.

Woodco Press Release - Trade Barriers in NZ

16 March 2016

Trade Barriers - It's what you can't see that really hurts!

All the talk right now is about how export industries in New Zealand benefit from the removal of tariff barriers.  Tariff barriers to overseas trade are generally easy to see and their impacts are well understood.  The TPPA has done a good job of identifying tariffs and knocking them out.  That said, until much more attention is paid to eliminating non-tariff barriers the full benefit of free trade agreements will not be attained.

"Non-tariff barriers are effective in restricting access to foreign markets because they are not directly visible and are hard to quantify", says Brian Stanley, Chair of the Wood Council of New Zealand (Woodco). "This makes them very tricky for exporters to tackle".  

Woodco has released a report today which points to the non-tariff barriers that NZ wood product exporters are up against.  The study finds that even when tariffs are low or non-existent, the barriers which remain to NZ wood exports are significant. The removal of these non-tariff barriers will potentially have higher gains for the NZ economy than the removal of tariff barriers.

Non-tariff barriers overseas protect domestic markets and artificially stimulate exports. They can emanate, for example, from government laws, regulations and policies.  NZ exporters will ​​recognize them as red-tape all adding significantly to the cost of doing business overseas.

As tariff barriers fall so non-tariff barriers multiply in their place.  The WTO has recently estimated that the number of trade-restrictive measures in effect in 2015 is now around three times greater than the number operating in 2010. "Non-tariff barriers are only growing in number and costing NZ industry millions of dollars.  We need the NZ Government to pay urgent attention to overcoming these", added Mr Stanley.

NZ's forest and wood sector is particularly exposed to non-tariff barriers in international markets. With 86% of the world's forests publically owned it is no surprise that overseas governments are heavily involved in subsidising their forest growing and wood processing sectors.  In NZ, where forestry and wood processing has been in private hands for decades we have relied upon new technology, efficiency and scale to maintain a competitive edge.  Mr Stanley commented, "I am very concerned that there is, however, a limit to how far these technical measures can take the NZ industry when up against an international playing field that is forever tilting against you".

"As an industry we are continuing to run faster to keep pace with competitors in countries where state subsidies and a myriad of other support measures are the norm.  We urge our trade officials to read and act upon this report.  We must go into trade negotiations with a much more comprehensive understanding of the impact of non-tariff trade barriers and how to remove them", Mr Stanley concluded.


Contact: Mr Brian Stanley, Chair, Wood Council of New Zealand
Mobile: 027 436 3340

Woodco Trade Barriers Final Report - March 2016 click here


Exceptional Efforts by New Zealand Forester Rewarded

12th January 2016


The Wood Council of New Zealand is delighted that Dr Andrew McEwen has received an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year Honours' List for services to forestry.  The Wood Council of New Zealand is the peak body representing forest growers, forestry contractors, wood processors and manufacturers...

read more

Trade Study

21 March 2016

Last week at the Forestwood Conference 2016 in Auckland, Brian Stanley (Woodco and WPMA Chair) released a report highlighting the non-tariff trade barriers that the wood industry is up against. See below a link to the Report (click here) and the Media Release that accompanied it below.  

The job for WPMA now is to agree with government on a list of priority barriers to be addressed by our trade negotiators and get on with the job of pulling these barriers down.

Woodco Trade Barriers Report - Media Release


Wood Council of New Zealand - New Leadership

1 December 2015

Brian Stanley has been elected Chair of the Wood Council of New Zealand.






fica new 2015