Pines, pulp and people : a case study of New Zealand forestry towns
New Zealand is currently experiencing a major restructuring of the productive base of its economy in response to wider changes in the world economic system. A number of major resource development projects are being promoted in the petro-chemical and basic metal processing industries while in other sectors of the economy a rationalisation process has resulted in plant closures. The rapid growth or sudden decline in population associated with these events has had a dramatic impact on community life in towns such as Whangarei, New Plymouth, and Patea. The phenomenon of "boom and bust" is not new to New Zealand. Since the 1930s, when the Labour Government gave a new direction to New Zealand's economic development by encouraging the growth of domestic manufacturing, there have been a number of major resource industries established in rural areas. In the early 1950s, pulp and paper mills were established at Kawerau and Kinleith to harness the rapidly maturing stands of pinus radiata in the forests of the Central North Island region. This move initiated a period of rapid growth in New Zealand's forest industries and had a dramatic social and economic impact on the region. In this paper we report the findings of a study of New Zealand's forestry towns which have been associated with this rapid growth. It is our hope that these findings will enable planners better to assess new projects, and to develop improved strategies that will mitigate the effects of rapid industrialisation on community and individual welfare.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsforestry projects; social aspects; case study; economic impact; biophysical environments; forest resource; forestry demographics
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