Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has welcomed a range of new operational changes announced today to improve the transparency, clarity and enforcement of rules around swamp kauri.
“Last month I asked the Ministry for Primary Industries to look at any improvements that could be made in managing the milling and exporting of swamp kauri stumps.
“I’m pleased to see such a comprehensive package of measures announced today, and this has been welcomed by Northland Regional Council and the wider industry.”
The changes announced today by MPI include:
Operators will now notify 100% of all finished products for export approval and MPI will inspect this product to ensure it is legal.
Operators will now notify the council of any and all extraction activities, and this information will be shared with MPI.
MPI will visit all extraction sites as part of its milling statement approval process.
Additional MPI resources in Whangarei to increase inspections of sawmills and export consignments.
MPI will increase their oversight of swamp kauri export consignments and work with Customs to ensure any items not complying with the Forests Act will not be able to leave New Zealand.
Factsheets for overseas markets will be developed outlining the law and MPI will help with the wording of advertising to avoid confusion.
Regular monitoring of international trade listings and action will be taken when advertisements are misleading or where they indicate there could be non-compliance with the export controls.
Quarterly updates of regulatory activity will be published by MPI.
"I believe MPI do a good job and enforce the law appropriately. These changes will however increase information flow and improve how we manage an industry that is important to the Northland economy.
"There has been good engagement from local operators who are keen to ensure their extraction, milling and export practises are more transparent. They realise the industry is worth at least $25 million to the wider Northland economy and provides many jobs.
“Many operators have been processing swamp Kauri domestically for 30 years and while most is still processed and sold locally, in recent years the export trade has been growing.
“These measures are being enacted quickly and effectively and MPI will closely monitor these changes. If they don't deliver the desired outcome of greater transparency I expect MPI will suggest further changes to me.”
More detailed information is available at www.mpi.govt.nz