A guest post by the Ministry for Primary Industries
The harvesting, milling, and export of indigenous timber is managed by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) under the Forests Act 1949. The purpose of the Act is to promote the sustainable forest management of New Zealand’s indigenous forest land. To mill indigenous timber your sawmill must be registered with MPI, and the timber must have a valid Forests Act approval, such as a milling statement.
MPI monitors the sale of indigenous timber, including Trade Me listings, as part of our normal regulatory activity. We have recently noticed a number of listings for sawn indigenous timber that do not mention a Forests Act approval, and listings for logs that do not inform buyers of their requirements under the Forests Act.
We believe it is in the interests of all those buying and selling indigenous timber to understand the legal requirements for milling indigenous timber, and to have this information provided in the listing description.
Milling indigenous timber in contravention of the Act is liable upon conviction to a fine of up to $200,000 and to a further fine not exceeding $10,000 for every day during which the offence continues.
If you’re intending to sell sawn indigenous timber, we would appreciate it if you included the following in your listing description:
- A statement to the effect that the timber was harvested and milled in accordance with the Forests Act.
- Your approval number (e.g. 7-01-0XXXX).
If you’re intending to sell indigenous logs, and you think people might want to mill them for timber, we would appreciate it if you included the following sentence in your listing description:
“The milling of native timber is regulated by the Ministry for Primary Industries under the Forests Act 1949. If you intend to mill this timber, you will need to register your sawmill with MPI and apply for a milling statement.”
If your listing is for recycled or demolition timber, simply state as such in your listing (you do not need an approval for this timber).
If you have any questions or are unsure what to include in your listing description, please get in touch with us (MPI) on 0800 00 83 33, or email Indigneous.Forestry@mpi.govt.nz.
MPI will be following up with any sellers that do not take the appropriate action. For further information on indigenous Forestry and the Forests Act, including how to register a sawmill or apply for milling approval, head over to our website.
Trade Me thanks MPI for this post and notes that while the wording is voluntary, we strongly recommend members use it in their listings.