Communities that rely on forestry are hoping to move down to Warning Level 3 this afternoon to start their local economy.
Wood processing and forestry re-warning can only be activated in Active Level 3, with last week’s decision to lock down indicating that equipment had been dropped on slide stations.
On the east coast of the island, forest contractors are hoping for a lot of relief because many forest workers are eager to move back and forth in the backyard.
Robert Stubus, from Stubbs Contracting, says that dozens of employees in the Gisburn area have helped pay for some of their workers.
It employs families with week-to-week work with multiple employees, and if the long-term level 4 lock continues until September, it will start biting.
He said some companies could not hire workers if they could survive and be fired from the industry.
He believes that in order to maintain the mechanization of large forest blocks and systems, forest farming should be allowed to operate as farming and horticulture.
The Forest Industry Contractors Association (FICA) would like to see an assessment of what industries are “necessary” and instead of evaluating their workplaces for their ability to operate with reliable protocols.
FICA CEO Pru said the forest had spent a lot of money on mechanization by reducing the number of men and women operating in the machine-operated cabin all day in the mountains.
Ports are empty, logs are stored on skis, and it takes at least two people in a very distant vehicle, truck, and truck driver to unload ships.
She said the industry needs to be better prepared for the next lockout: “The government can work as a vital industry to keep forests as an important industry for our workers and others and to boost NZ’s economy.”