[13 June/ Radio NZ Business]

The Bioenergy Association says that the current practices of New Zealand’s primary sector mean the country is missing out on a multi-billion dollar waste product industry. The Association says there are opportunities to use biowaste for energy, fertiliser, plastics and other products, activities valued a few years ago at $6 billion. Association Executive Officer, Brian Cox, said that by exporting raw logs the sawdust and bark is lost to New Zealand companies to exploit its bio potential. He added there are active programmes in Australia exploring uses for animal waste being funded by industry good organisations, like Meat and Livestock Australia. Mr Cox estimates that waste biomass could supply 15% of New Zealand’s energy needs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5% by 2040, suggesting using funding to deliver on these goals rather than buying offshore carbon credits would be a better long term strategy for New Zealand.