Rotorua Council to Adopt NZ's first 'Wood First' policy

Date: 18-Jul-14
Author: Damian Dabrowski

The Dock, built for Melbourne City Council, exemplifies new wooden buildings.

'The Dock', built for Melbourne City Council, exemplifies new wooden buildings.

Rotorua District Council (RDC) will be the first local authority in New Zealand to adopt a ‘Wood First’ Policy.

The policy will be part of RDC's broader intiative, which recognises the economic, environmental, cultural, and social significance of ‘wood' within the community. This initiative encourages the consideration of wood as the first material of choice for construction, interior design, and living developments within Rotorua and forms part of the recently adopted Rotorua 2030 vision.

A number of other countries around the world, including Canada, France, Finland, Slovenia and the UK, have recognised the benefits of building with wood for tackling climate change and have introduced policies, legislation, and incentives aimed at increasing the use of wood in construction projects.

Victoria's Latrobe City Council has taken the first steps to establish a wood encouragement policy. The policy would help reduce Latrobe City Council's carbon footprint, as well as generate new business investment, and would be the first policy of its type in Australia.

Planet Ark's Make It Wood campaign has a focus on encouraging councils and other authorities to develop wood encouragement policies.