Information for G00362
Changing Ownership and Management of State Forest Plantations: New Zealand - draft
This draft document was drawn up following the International Conference of the same title Cape Town, South Africa, 6-8 November 2002. An overview is given of New Zealand's forests and plantations and their history and the influence of Government policy on them. Evaluating the impacts of the changes resulting from corporatisation and privatisation in NZ is difficult. There has been a wide range of responses to privatisation, ranging from the belief that privatisation has been wholly positive and resulted in improved economic efficiency and hence social and other benefits, to concerns about various impacts of privatisation and wholesale opposition to the concept of privatisation. The primary objectives of plantation privatisation in NZ were to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of the industry, and to give resource security that would encourage investment in domestic processing. Another stated objective of privatisation was the retiring of public debt. Other than this, there were few if any clearly stated objectives of plantation privatisation in NZ. Corporatisation had similar economic goals, but had the additional goal of separating commercial and conservation roles of the NZFS. There have, however, been a wide range of criticisms of privatisation, and concerns over its impacts. Some of the key issues have been the impacts of corporatisation and privatisation on the quantity and quality of employment available and hence on small rural communities, and the impacts on recreation and access to the plantations. The following issues are discussed, with an emphasis on comparing the outcomes under the NZFS with outcomes in the privatised plantations: economic outcomes of corporatisation and privatisation; social outcomes - employment; social outcomes – access and recreation; environmental outcomes; the role of certification; and other outcomes and issues.