The timber industry says Labour may lose its support at the election if the Government doesn't come through on a promise to use more wood in public projects.

The chief executives of more than 50 forestry wood-processing companies have written an open letter calling for the Government to deliver on a policy to give wood building a special status in Government procurement.

Labour's 2017 manifesto states: "All government-funded project proposals for new buildings up to four storeys high shall require a build-in-wood option at the initial concept / request-for-proposals stage."

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Red Stag Group chief executive Marty Verry, who has organised the letter, says despite clear support from all three Government parties, nothing had been done since the election.

"They've promised this for nine years and they've had over two years to implement it. And at the end of that two years they've said they don't plan to," he said.

Verry said if the Government couldn't deliver on the policy, the industry would consider banding together to try to convince its 25,000 workers come election time.

"Our logical next step would be to communicate to staff members about which policies are best for the company and therefore their jobs," he said.

"There's no guarantee what people do in the voting booth. But as an industry we have to be prepared to tell our workers who has got the best policies for the company and the community and for their jobs and it's definitely something I'm happy to coordinate."

The industry argues the policy would make New Zealand a world leader in embracing less carbon-intensive building materials and significantly reduce emissions, along with supporting timber jobs.

Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford says the policy is now being considered as part of a wider plan to help develop the wood-processing industry.

The process would start later this year.


"Questions about government procurement will be considered as part of this work," Twyford said.

But Verry says that timeframe isn't good enough.

"It's just acceptable for the industry. We expect them to follow through with what they've promised now rather than fold it into another report."

Forestry Minister Shane Jones, meanwhile, said he had a huge amount of sympathy for the industry and continued to push for the policy change.

"It's something that all the three parties are keen on," Jones said.

"There were a host of other modfications that were made to procurement policy ... This one still remains a priority but I accept choices have to be made. It's not having lost our zeal, it's about priority."