Skip to main content

Trade Me to tweak rules around sale of kwila

Online marketplace Trade Me is moving to regulate the trade of new kwila furniture or decking products, following discussions with the Green Party and a coalition of non-governmental organisations.

Kwila (also known as merbau) is an endangered rainforest timber. It is a sparse growing hardwood that takes 75 years to grow to maturity and could be extinct in 35 years if current rates of logging continue.

Trade Me said it made sense to bring the site's restrictions in line with moves toward robust certification in other countries.

Under the new rules, Trade Me will only allow new kwila furniture or decking products to be sold that has been certified by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) or the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

Green Party MP and forestry spokesperson Catherine Delahunty, Rainforest Action and the Indonesia Human Rights Committee approached Trade Me in May calling for an end to the sale of kwila products via the site.

"Trade Me has shown a strong commitment to stop the sale of new illegally and unsustainably logged kwila products," said Ms Delahunty.

"The rainforests are the lungs of the world. We need them to avoid the worst outcomes of climate change. They are the home of indigenous peoples and endangered species."

Many other countries have already regulated against endangered and illegally harvested rainforest timber, including the USA and the European Union.

The new government in Australia made an election promise to ban the importation of illegally logged timber.

"In New Zealand we only have voluntary guidelines, and the Green Party believes that FSC is the only truly robust certification. The Government can significantly improve the scrutiny of timber entering the country.

"The Green Party is delighted that Trade Me has stepped up to the challenge, and hopes the Government will assist ethical companies and our own forestry industry by regulating this destructive trade."

^ Back to Top