Wellington, June 19, 2018
New legislation that brings forestry rights into the overseas investment regime will help promote high-quality foreign investment that puts more emphasis on genuine benefits.
The Bill recognises the importance of forestry to New Zealanders and I’m confident it’s struck the right balance that will boost forestry investment while ensuring the regime cannot be bypassed.
High-quality overseas investment in forestry will be an important part of achieving the Government’s One Billion Trees planting programme and will also promote economic development opportunities in our regions.
This Government wants to see a strong and flourishing forestry sector that will create and protect jobs across the country and contribute to our climate change targets.
Following the Select Committee’s review and intensive consultation with stakeholders, some key changes have been made to the Bill, including increasing investors’ flexibility in obtaining consent and removing unnecessary red tape.
Choice for investors
Investors can now choose from any of three different tests when seeking to acquire forestry land or rights. The Bill also ensures that investors and landowners can make minor changes to their agreements without unnecessarily having to return to the Government to obtain consent.
I am pleased with the approach the Bill takes with regards to overseas investment into forestry and believe the sector as a whole has an exciting future ahead.
The Government will report to Parliament on the operation and effectiveness of these amendments two years after the new regime starts.
Shane Jones is Forestry Minister of New Zealand
(Picture from file)