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All options on the table — letter to East Coast MP Kiri Allan.

Kia ora Kiri,

I live in Gisborne and am writing about future options for the Whakatane mill.

There may be opportunities to convert the paper mill and its workforce expertise into making exciting sustainable products beyond paper pulp.

There are novel technologies that can turn the cellulose from soft woods, like pine, into high-value, high-performance building materials using many of the same processes used by paper mills. One company doing this is InventWood.

Apparently, these new cellulose technologies can turn pine into products that are clear like glass, as strong and light as titanium, or as insulative as polystyrene!

Living across from Eastland Port, hearing the trucks day and night loading our logs on to ships bound for China, and knowing the hard and dangerous mahi of our young forestry workers, I often think how our region can get better value for all this pine. We certainly need to support and expand our more traditional lumber and wood product facilities, but when I read about these new products I was intrigued.

See: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/18020715182 9.htm

Please check this out and pass on to those who may be able to help open a whole new chapter for our wood/cellulose workforce in Whakatane.

Nga mihi,

Doug Smith MD