Official website of the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association

November, 2013

STEVE WILTON

Having been invited onto the Levy Referendum Board and therefore participated in the process culminating in the pending implementation of the forest growers’ levy from 1 January 2014, I am keen to carry through the experience gained, plus my broader industry experience, onto the elected Board.

As principal shareholder and Managing Director of Forest Enterprises Ltd, my interest and expertise sits comfortably with the criteria for one of the two <1,000 hectare board positions. Forest Enterprises is responsible for the management of 70 plus forests each of less than 1,000 hectares in the Wairarapa, Gisborne and Hawkes Bay regions owned by approximately 6,500 investors. The company has been operating since 1972 and I have been personally involved since November 1991.

As the manager of multiple forest investments I am exposed on a daily basis to issues affecting forestry as an investment and also forest issues from planting to harvest. My company is currently responsible for around 220,000 tonnes of harvesting per annum and this is projected to increase to in excess of 500,000 tonnes. My clients are therefore going to be paying levies of in excess of $59,000 per annum from 1 January 2014.

My client forests are members of the Forest Owners Association and Future Forest Research and have therefore been paying annual voluntary levies. I am consequently very familiar with the issues impacting on the current and future funding requirements for industry good and research activities. Forest Enterprises is a member of the Wairarapa Branch of the Farm Forestry Association.

I served for a period on the Executive of the Forest Owners Association and am currently a member of a group which meets regularly to discuss and lobby on issues impacting more specifically on small forest growers.

I would welcome your vote to enable me to bring my experience and background to the Levy Trust Board.

Voting closes at 5.00pm on 22 November 2013


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