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GDC supports wood-first policy

GISBORNE District Council is supporting a “wood first” policy adopted by Rotorua Lakes Council after a recommendation from Mayor Meng Foon.

The policy was presented by Rotorua mayor Stevie Chadwick at a Local Government Zone 2 meeting.

Mr Foon said the best and fastest-growing radiata pine in the world grew here and Eastland Port was the second-largest log exporter in New Zealand.

Wood was engineered to be a strong building resource and, more important, it was a renewable one. Property developer Sir Bob Jones was building the tallest wooden building in the world.

It would help the community to use this sustainable resource in as many projects as it could, he said.

Eastern Community Trust was focusing on wood. If the council promoted wood, people would say this was the place to come to set up businesses.

Shannon Dowsing said it was a little ironic that the council was holding its first meeting in a steel-framed building (the new council chambers) with aluminium slats. Would the mayor expect the council to become a leader in this process?

When it discussed the Olympic Pool would that be considered as a “wood-first” project?

Mr Foon said yes, the council should consider those options.

He understood wood was stronger and cheaper.

He had discussed this with the community trust and the NZ Wood council.

The council could even look at paper or plastic wheelie bins for refuse collection.

Pat Seymour said the wood-first principles of the Rotorua council made sense.

Larry Foster said this was in line with the council’s forestry policy, and Brian Wilson said Rotorua had taken a lead by saying wood should be uppermost in their minds for projects.