Te Uru Rākau name of re-launched forestry service
The government has re-launched the country's forestry service in Rotorua as part of its plan to invest in the sector and the regions.
The new forestry service is called Te Uru Rākau and $15 million has been set aside for the operational funding of the agency.
The government claims it's a sound investment, as forestry is currently worth $5 billion annually in exports, and with plans to plant 1 billion trees in 10 years, the government clearly wants to grow the sector more.
As a sign of how important the announcement was for the government, Forestry Minister Shane Jones was joined by the prime minister for the event.
The Rotorua launch event was filled with promises of delivering jobs and upskilling workers in the regions.
The previous forestry service was dismantled in the 1980’s. The revamped service could potentially help out Māori, particularly in the Bay of Plenty, as the region has the highest Māori unemployment rate of 14%. The current national average is 4.4%.
While the cabinet is yet to sign off on Te Uru Rākau's key functions, only time will tell how beneficial the new service will be for those working in the sector.