New Zealand’s timber industry needs to take a co-ordinated approach in order to ensure its long-term survival, according to the country’s Green Party.

Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said that the market is “competitively overproducing”, leading to short-term gains but long-term problems.

Ms Fitzsimons made the statement after it was reported that 145 workers at Carter Holt Harvey (CHH) are to lose their jobs as it closes the Kopu sawmill near Thames, in the north of the country.

CHH told TTJ that it was still in consultation on the issue and that there had been “no decision regarding the mill”.

But Ms Fitzsimons used the reports as a case in point to highlight issues within New Zealand’s timber industry.

“It is imperative that the timber industry in New Zealand starts co-ordinating itself, rather than competitively overproducing, hauling logs huge distances when local mills are available to do the work and expending energy for the sake of short lived gains,” said Ms Fitzsimons.

“Where is the long-term planning and government leadership that could not only have saved 145 jobs in Thames but could yet save the entire timber industry?”

Ms Fitzsimons added that a coordinated effort from government and industry would also enhance the country’s sustainably managed forests and protect them from “unsustainable and illegally logged” imports.