Prime Minister: Give forestry the same support as film

Thursday 2 August 2007, 6:05PM
By Kyoto Forestry Association

The New Zealand forestry industry would be twice the size of the New Zealand film industry if it had half as much encouragement from the Government, the Kyoto Forestry Association (KFA) said today.

NewstalkZB has reported that Prime Minister Helen Clark told the Air New Zealand Screen Awards dinner last night that turnover in the screen production industry is now just about equivalent to that of the forestry industry.

KFA Spokesman Roger Dickie agreed that the film industry was a major New Zealand success story – but noted that this success had come about with strong support from the Government, including tax breaks, international promotions and prime ministerial attention in the arts portfolio.

“In contrast, the forestry industry has had $1.25 billion of our post-1990 carbon credits stolen from us by the Government and we have constantly been on the receiving end of Forestry Minister Jim Anderton’s sharp tongue,” he said.

“If the Prime Minister would simply instruct her Forestry Minister to return at least a good portion of our post-1990 carbon credits to their rightful owners and to work constructively with the industry, confidence in our industry would be restored and we would once again see forestry experience the growth that we achieved through the 1990s. We could help bridge New Zealand’s alarming Kyoto deficit and – like the film industry – be again recognised as a genuine New Zealand business success story.”