It was interesting to read your editorial on the need for a national forest policy. Putting your editorial alongside Chris Goulding’s article on New Zealand’s export of unprocessed logs, it is clear to see that you are right. In this context it is interesting to look at the recent Forest Growers Levy proposal and the Levy Referendum because this had the potential to strengthen, unify, and build a more cooperative and inclusive framework for the New Zealand forest industry. But the democratic deficiencies in the process leading up to the referendum suggest this will not happen. As you mention, the March referendum ‘…produced a majority ‘yes’ vote…’ with 86 per cent voting in favour of the proposal. However, as you know the NZ Farm Forestry Association has a geodatabase of New Zealand plantation owners who have five hectares or more, containing 14,683 names. This database includes individuals, companies, iwi, trusts, local authorities and other types of plantation owners. (no keywords)
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