Foreign ownership of Northland forests 'out of control' - Jones

  • 14/08/2017

New Zealand First candidate Shane Jones claims foreign ownership of Northland forests is "out of control".

Northland saw millers and wood processors feel they are being shut out of the market by overseas companies shipping local trees offshore before New Zealand-owned businesses have access to the logs.

Mr Jones said Chinese government-owned China Forest Products purchased a host of Northland forests from the Superfund.

"If you're ever worried about foreign ownership, the fact that the Chinese government own forestry rights at Waitangi is further indication it's out of control," Mr Jones told The AM Show on Monday Morning.

Pine forests are usually felled around 29 years old, but Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association chair Brian Stanley told Fairfax, "Chinese manufacturers are quite happy to take 20-year-old trees."

China Forestry Group NZ Company chief operations officer Steve Walker told Fairfax they began taking steps last year to slow the harvest to allow the trees to mature. 

Mr Jones wants to send a message to the Chinese government: "If you come to Waitangi and let a dragon loose in the forest, us Kiwis don't like it."