NZ’s Federated Farmers wants all farmers to understand the proposal and make sure they vote when a referendum is announced on the issue.
NZFOA is supported largely by corporate forest interests and works with the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association, an organisation supported by farmers with smaller woodlots.
Both organisations rely on voluntary memberships and this is one reason why NZFOA is considering a commodity levy to fund their activities on behalf of the owners of New Zealand forests.
What is being proposed is the augmenting of many of the activities NZFOA already undertaken better enabling them to address emerging concerns such as direct funding for new biosecurity initiatives and new areas of research.
The objectives for the proposed levy would be to see NZFOA represent and promote the interests of plantation forest growers. It would look to facilitate and implement relevant research projects, the transfer of technology to growers and the wider industry and facilitate co-operation within the industry where there are common objectives.
In co-operation with the wider industry, the levy would also go towards the promotion of forest products and the broader benefits of forestry within New Zealand.
The proposal would affect harvesting trees to putting a log through a mill or across a wharf for export.
It seeks to impose a levy on harvested logs either exported in log form or processed in New Zealand but domestic firewood, bark and Christmas trees would be exempt from the levy.
The levy is likely be collected by sawmills for domestic logs and port authorities for exported logs although the levy rates sought are unknown are as other specifics which it is hoped will be explained when the final proposal is released. A date has not been set.
As this affects all farmers who own forests, Federated Farmers want to ensure that they are aware of the proposal and gain an in-depth understanding of its workings before voting.