“There is no ‘timber-first’ policy. There is a policy to reduce the carbon impact of government buildings.”
This is Minister for Economic Development, Government Procurement and Forestry Hon. Stuart Nash’s response to written parliamentary questions from Opposition spokesperson for Construction Tim van de Molen, inquiring into the government’s timber-first policy in June 2021.
The minister and his predecessor have been subjected to significant lobbying by sector players to adopt a timber-first policy for the procurement of government buildings. The minister was right not to yield to pressure.
In a comment piece which ran in the National Business Review on 17 July, Metals outlines why Nash was right to reject a ‘wood-first’ policy.
This includes the fact that New Zealand’s Building Code and government procurement are material agnostic, focused on delivering resilient and high-performing buildings. Decisions with respect to which material is used in what building needs to be left to architects and engineers based on independent robust data, informed by International Standards and New Zealand’s specific seismic/climatic challenges.