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timber Deputy leader of New Zealand First Shane Jones

The government is repealing the Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Bill which was introduced by then-forestry minister Shane Jones in 2020.
Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

The government is repealing log trade legislation that it says failed to deliver outcomes and placed unnecessary compliance costs on forestry businesses.

But it is legislation that was championed by one of its own ministers, when he was part of the previous government.

Introduced by then-forestry minister Shane Jones in 2020, the Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Bill required the compulsory registration of log traders and forestry advisers.

The bill was intended to strengthen the integrity of the supply chain, and support predictable and long-term supply of timber.

At the time, Jones said it would provide better information on log supply, and build confidence in the sector.

“Having legislation that builds confidence in the log supply sector and quality of advice available can only be positive,” Jones said.

It came into force in August 2022, and by August 2023 it was an offence for log traders and forestry advisers to operate without registration.

But current Forestry Minister Todd McClay said the legislation was costly, and the government was repealing it as part of its plan to reduce unnecessary regulation and compliance costs.

“The previous government legislated a compulsory registration scheme that has failed to deliver outcomes and makes ongoing regulation unwarranted,” McClay said.

“I am confident that voluntary registration through the New Zealand Institute of Forestry is a better mechanism to support the quality of forestry advice.”

The changes will come into effect before 1 July, and the government will refund any fees or levies paid to the Ministry for Primary Industries this season.

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