New Zealand's Red Stag Timber pledges NZ$120M upgrade at Rotorua sawmill if future government enacts policy supporting wood processing industry; Opposition Labour Party says proposal endorses its proposed measures to encourage investment in sector

WELLINGTON, New Zealand , March 20, 2014 (press release) – Red Stag Timber has today announced it will invest $120 million in upgrading its plant on the basis of Labour’s Forestry and Wood Products Economic Upgrade, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe.

Red Stag General Manager Tim Rigter said. “We are confirming today that if we can get a Pro Wood policy with a future government, we would proceed with a $120 million capital investment in upgrading our plant and facility. We want to be able to process another 500,000 tonnes of logs.”

“This is great news for the Rotorua region that suffered through the closure of the Tachikawa sawmill and the loss of 120 jobs,” says David Cunliffe.

“A new world-class mill fitted with the latest technology will future proof jobs in a region hard hit by the National Government's hands-off approach. I am delighted that our policies can secure jobs in a region that desperately needs them.

“It is a terrific endorsement for Labour’s Economic Upgrade for Forestry and Wood Products that I announced yesterday.

“Our upgrade is supported by the sector. Our focus on investment, innovation and industry is part of the upgrade that will create better jobs that pay higher wages where they are needed.

“To encourage investment we will provide tax deferrals in the form of accelerated depreciation to encourage industry to invest in new technology and plant.

“To boost innovation we will work with the industry and public science bodies to develop new products and technologies.

“To support industry development we will introduce measures including a Pro-Wood policy for government buildings, loans for new forest planting and forestry taskforces for long-term unemployed.

“Labour’s economic upgrade will lead to better jobs and higher wages for all New Zealanders,” David Cunliffe says.

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