Health and safety in the forest industry focuses on keeping workers safe, but also includes the wider social, cultural and spiritual values that forests provide to people and communities.
Reducing the number of fatalities and serious injuries is a high priority for both government and industry.
A downward trend in fatalities in the 1990s and the early 2000s was reversed in 2013-14, with a spike in these two years.
WorkSafe New Zealand has committed additional resources to addressing injury (and fatality) rates in the forestry sector and is being more proactive in assessments and monitoring safety compliance.
New Zealanders recognise a wide range of social, cultural and spiritual values associated with both indigenous and planted forests. Māori have strong cultural, spiritual and commercial connections with forests and forestry. They are connected spiritually and culturally with indigenous forests as a resource for food, medicines, building materials, shelter, clothing, implements and handicrafts. Some of the most prominent values are: