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Booming forestry industry struggling to find workers

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Thursday, 17 January 2019, 9:29a.m.
Photo / Getty Images

The New Zealand forestry industry is struggling to find enough workers, even with pay of up to $300 a day on offer.

A shortage of people willing to work as planters could put the Billion Trees Project at risk.

Forest Management Limited director Dave Janett told Tim Dower the problem is the industry at the moment is doing too well.

He says there is so much growth at the moment there are not enough workers to keep up with demand.

"If there aren't enough local people to do the work, we may have to look elsewhere.

In the last two years the amount of trees has doubled, so its simply a supply and demand issue as well. We are experiencing really good times, but we need more workers which is proving to be a difficult task."

When asked the reasoning behind the shortage of workers, Jannet said a range of factors came into play, including transport to remote locations, and the hard physical work planting trees required.

"Its very hard physical work in remote locations. If we want to plant in the larger areas, we may have to find some other people to do the work, like you see in the grape industry.

This a good problem to have, we have a lot of employment opportunities now. The increase in demand means there is so much work to be done."

LISTEN ABOVE AS DAVE JANETT SPEAKS TO TIM DOWER

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