Forestry Minister Shane Jones 'extremely disappointed' by proposed job losses

The Minister of Forestry is bitterly disappointed by a potential mass job loss at a wood processing plant.

JNL is starting a proposal to nearly halve its workforce of 205 employees at its Gisborne mill.

It's a blow for the Government who had promised to build on the forestry sector, committing to planting one billion trees over the next ten years.

Forestry Minister Shane Jones says the job losses will take a massive hit on the community.

"Naturally I'm extremely disappointed when 100 people are losing their job.

"It's a commercial decision... but it does increase the pressure on very practical initiatives coming from the provincial growth fund."

Mr Jones is in charge of the new Forestry Service, which last week admitted it is scrambling to find enough land to meet its tree target.

"It's not realistic to say it can be done exclusively by the Government," Mr Jones said last Friday, adding it was "always a target for the industry".

Mr Jones says he understands the job loss is a commercial decision, but he's asked for a proposal from the company.

"Was this a nation-wide rationalisation or was it localised to Gisborne?

"Look I don't want to pretend that it's not a trying time for the families involved, and until we have more information on JNL, I have no idea exactly what they would like the Government to do."

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