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Welcome return to work for forestry

Photo: File/SunLive.

The forestry industry will be returning to work when the country drops to alert level 3 on Tuesday, April 28.

And Forestry Minister Shane Jones says the sector is raring to go.

“With forestry being among the first industries affected by the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s great that businesses across the supply chain are ready and waiting to get back up and running.”

Shane says when a sector as big as forestry, which employs 30,000 people across the supply chain nationwide, grinds to a halt, the knock-on effects are huge.

“The resumption of work at level 3, with strict safety and social distancing protocols in place, is very welcome news.

“I acknowledge the forestry sector’s support for measures the Government is taking.”

Te Uru Rākau worked with the sector to develop safe operating protocols across the supply chain, which are available online.

 Forestry sector businesses that can operate at Alert Level 3 include:

·       Forestry management including aerial spraying, weed and pest management

·       Nursery operations, planting and seed collection

·      Log harvesting and haulage

·       Log sales

·       Wood processing

 Some forestry businesses continued under level 4 to process wood for essential goods such as wood for pallets and fuel, and pulp and paper for products such as food and medicine packaging.

A phased restart for the industry has been under way since April 14, with additional businesses across the forestry supply chain restarting operations to ensure those essential supplies are available.

“I’m proud that the forestry and wood-processing sectors have been able to continue to supply essential products like firewood and shipping pallets during this uncertain time,” says Shane.

“These wood products are vital, whether they’re used to keep our homes warm or to move food around the country.”

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