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Woodturning News: General News

NORTHERN ADVOCATE: Swamp kauri export not my style, says Whangarei woodturner (10/21/2017)

Monday, October 23, 2017   (0 Comments)
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A Whangarei woodturner specialising in swamp kauri products is embarrassed a photo of himself could be linked to the wholesale export of the resource.

Rupert Newbold, whose workshop is at Ocean Beach, is opposed to the export practise.

He believes any wood products going offshore should be as finished or value-added goods, including pine timber.

So he was concerned that a recent newspaper article was illustrated with an old photo of him standing atop a large stump and using a chainsaw.

 The article was about the broken Ruakaka to Auckland oil pipeline, thought to have been punctured by the blade of a digger pulling out stumps on the Ruakaka flats.

Many articles about the ruptured pipeline speculated on the link between a search for swamp kauri and the resource's recent mass export.

But the photo of Mr Newbold, picked from the paper's archives, was taken in 2004 for a story about collecting swamp kauri for a Whangarei souvenir manufacturer.

Mates started calling him and - with a bit of humour - asked what he'd been up to lately.

The real rub is that Mr Newbold is against exporting raw timber.

"I don't want to be associated with exporting whole pieces of swamp kauri to China. That's not what I do with it."

Mr Newbold said regulations by Ministry of Primary Industries and its Customs arm regarding the export of timber, especially kauri, were too loose.

"Yes, there is a lot of it in the ground but it is still a finite resource. We need to be careful how that resource is managed.

"Swamp kauri is unique to New Zealand, and should be treated as such."

He has several big stumps in his yard which will last him "a lifetime of woodturning".

His supply came from south Auckland several years ago; from a Takanini dairy farmer, and a land developer who hauled them out of a peat field at Papakura.

"I use every single piece, even the smallest."

Mr Newbold's bowls, boards and furniture, made from a variety of native timbers, sell at several Northland and Auckland outlets.

He said other woodturners also sell well throughout New Zealand in domestic and tourist markets.

A finished, portable product is the appropriate form for native timbers and especially swamp kauri to leave the country, he said.

View source and photos.

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