Called the black gold of the North, today Ministry of Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy announced moves within the current Forestry Act to tighten the harvesting and export of swamp kauri.
A day for the minister to check out the range of work with kauri after extraction.
Nathan Guy says, “So what will happen now is there'll be quarterly reports. There'll be more notifications at the border. There'll be more inspections of extraction. There'll be a greater degree and onus on the operators to make sure that they are complying.”
Operators will now notify 100% of all finished products for export approval and MPI will inspect this product to ensure it is legal.
Nelson Parker says, “We are here for the long haul and we always have been. Like I said, to MPI come and see us and tell us what we're doing wrong, we know that we're complying.”
It’s an announcement that doesn't sit well with conservationists who say that continued exporting of raw kauri like these kauri slabs will mean continued destruction of wetlands and less local jobs.
Guy says, “Yes it will, we can’t legislate for value add and we see a lot of examples here in this business where these products are adding value. At the moment there is a market and this government is very supportive of growing exports.”
While there is no law change under the forest act, the operational changes announced today aim to provide greater transparency in the kauri industry.