Minister's Roots In Forestry
The Minister of Forestry, Stuart Nash when speaking at the annual Farm Forestry Awards last Tuesday, announced he had started his career in farm forestry and as a student pruned trees in the Hawkes Bay. With a master’s degree in forestry science, minister Nash spoke
knowledgeably of the forest sector’s issues and opportunities. He thought some rural commentators had been a little disingenuous about what forestry can contribute with its multiple contributions to the economy, employment, environment, and community support.
However, like most of the primary sector, it needed to tell its stories better, build a better brand, and improve on its ability to be sustainable. This was a key role for farm foresters because they have the farm case studies and experience that makes the story authentic.
He predicted this was the decade of the small forest grower. He rationalised that small-scale forest growers will play an important role in the increased wood supply, the diversification of species, and the development of a model for more sustainable land use. The minister also
thought that the Farm Forestry Association, run by volunteers, had much to offer the trend toward sustainability and was perfectly aligned with the food and fibre sector’s vision “Fit for a better future”.
He would like to see a government focus on building up the forestry sector as it was good for New Zealand and its long-term marketing global brand. A platform for this was to rebuild the NZ Forest Service with a social ethic and provide regional services and support to
landowners. He supported creating a greater government role in forestry, developing a true partnership where required, and working to a long-term view.
Communications Spokesperson – NZ Farm Forestry Association