News and views

Keep up to date with the latest forestry-related news and informed opinion.

June 2018

Sumitomo Forestry's NZ unit posts record annual profit after buying Hancock forests Read more >>

Fletcher's Laminex exits 10-year investment in Southland MDF plant with sale to Daiken Read more >>

'More than enough' wood fibre to supply proposed $180M Kawerau plant, report says Read more >>

Te Uru Rakau (Forestry New Zealand) and the Ngati Hine Forestry Trust have signed a joint venture agreement to plant and manage around 3,600 hectares of pine trees on the trust's land Read more >>

Ngati Koata said a recent decision by the Nelson City Council to cut some of its forestry operations has highlighted a long-standing concern among iwi about being locked into onerous land deals Read more >>

Recent floods in Tasman, and now the East Cape could see increased use of continuous cover forestry Read more >>

Masses of forestry debris that flooded a small town north of Gisborne has created a $10 million cleanup Read more >>

Westpac economist Paul Clark predicts softening Chinese demand during the next year will see log prices fall Read more >>

Free manuka seedling offer nearly 200 percent oversubscribed Read more >>

Consultation paper proposing a dozen improvements to forestry regulations in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme Read more >>

The forestry industry is consulting plantation and farmer growers to determine whether they want a biosecurity levy Read more >>

May 2018

Forestry Minister Shane Jones has launched Te Uru Rakau, the first step in re-establishing a forestry service in New Zealand Read more >>

Te Uru Rakau will partner with Manuka Farming New Zealand to plant 1.8 million Manuka trees across New Zealand this year Read more >>

Southland District Council's forestry business is continuing to perform strongly, with an expected $2 million surplus this year Read more >>

New Zealand's export log market has picked up following a slowdown ahead of the Chinese New Year period and traders are optimistic about the outlook for the year ahead Read more >>

New Zealand mills producing sawn timber from unpruned logs report steady domestic sales while not as spectacular as last year in some regions Read more >>

The FMA has applied to the High Court at Nelson to place the Forestlands companies numbered 2-20 into liquidation Read more >>

New Zealand can achieve a carbon-neutral economy by 2050 Read more >>

National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry commence Read more >>

A Nelson conservation group has welcomed the news that the city council is to retire more than a fifth of its forestry land Read more >>

April 2018

The Government is set to announce it's struck a deal to plant four million trees on Ngati Hine land in the far North Read more >>

Investments in sensitive land involving forestry rights will be brought into the scope of the Overseas Investment Act Read more >>

The forestry industry is hoping robots will soon take over the most dangerous jobs Read more >>

Waitaki-based forestry operations could pay higher rates to keep up the district's roads Read more >>

Allbirds, the merino wool shoe company, is adding wood fibre to the range of materials it uses for a new range of sneakers Read more >>

Almost 90 per cent of the environmentally-damaging fine sediment at the mouth of the Moutere River came from pine forest Read more >>

Taking faster action on climate change could save New Zealand $30 billion by 2050, according to new research commissioned by Westpac Read more >>

Graham West's comment
Are we at a tipping point in forestry politics? Typically, small scale urban investors, farmers, and Iwi have been taking investment risk without good representation or support. Already there are 12-14,000 of them, about 30 percent of the total plantation area. If a further 500,000ha of trees are to be planted, it is more than likely that only this group will have the land to make the programme happen. Read more >>

March 2018

New Zealand exported a record volume of logs to China last year as Asia's largest economy clamped down on harvesting its own forests Read more >>

Forestry registration rights are to be brought under the control of the Overseas Investment Office Read more >>

The apple grower and logistics company, Scales, is eyeing a possible expansion into the forestry sector Read more >>

8% revenue increase in Kiwirail’s overall forestry business in the six months to December Read more >>

KiwiRail is beginning work on the much-delayed Napier to Wairoa rail reinstatement Read more >>

Bay of Plenty village Minginui is to get a funding boost of almost $6 million for a native plant nursery Read more >>

The owners of two Whanganui forests are frustrated by the difficulty of getting their trees registered in New Zealand's Emissions Trading Scheme Read more >>

New Zealand's carbon emissions continue to rise, but new figures from Statistics New Zealand show the increase is slower than growth in the economy for most of the last 25 years, suggesting a relative improvement in resource use Read more >>

Graham West's comment
Last month I commented on the need for good information and professional advice when converting land to forestry. There have been two studies that have looked back at past afforestation eras and calculated how much of that forested area is likely to be harvested at a profit or harvested at all. A study from the University of Canterbury looked at the Whanganui District in 2012 and estimated 5-10% of the forests may never be harvested because of high costs. Read more >>

February 2018

Record log exports last year could mean building timber shortages for domestic New Zealand housing and reliance on imported lumber Read more >>

China has largely stopped felling its forests while Canada and Russia are not supplying China at present, prompting it to purchase more logs from New Zealand and Australia Read more >>

No big land-bank of Crown land available to plant in trees, so effectively any planting of new land is largely going to come off land that is already in existing use Read more >>

The Overseas Investment Office has approved multiple deals allowing foreigners to buy tens of thousands of hectares of land in New Zealand, although two of the deals involve entities that are already partially foreign owned Read more >>

Juken New Zealand, a unit of Japan's WoodOne Ltd, is consulting workers at its Gisborne wood-processing mill on a plan that may see it halve the mill's workforce as it struggles to return to profitability in a highly competitive market Read more >>

Activate Tairawhiti and Eastland Community Trust have jointly announced the sale of Prime Sawmill to New Zealand-owned Far East Sawmills, guaranteeing the creation of between 50 and 60 jobs at the Prime Wood Processing Centre of Excellence by April Read more >>

Steve Wilton, of Masterton company Forest Enterprises, has initiated the latest stage of the company’s succession plan by handing the leadership to fellow Directors Read more >>

Pushing forestry back from the edges of the Marlborough Sounds will cost forest owners millions of dollars, with industry saying it could be seen as land confiscation Read more >>

Dunedin City Forests withdraws all public permits to enter its forest blocks and curtails its own operations Read more >>

Graham West's comment
Last year I commented on the high returns from current harvesting, however I don’t believe this is being translated into significant interest in new planting, certainly not at the rate of the governments aspirational target of 50,000ha per year. The Crown Forestry action is clearly around doing deals to secure land for leasing and other deal makers, like Toitu Te Waonui, and various forestry consultants, are doing the same, good on them. Read more >>

December 2017

Australian forestry company New Forests has a war chest of up to $500 million set aside for investing in New Zealand forestry Read more >>

Australian company is set to take Nelson's largest forestry business, Nelson Forests Read more >>

Forestry consultant calling for the forest industry to shorten the harvesting period for radiata pine trees to plug a predicted slow-down of wood supply Read more >>

Forestry investment company Rubicon is planning to sell its remaining stake in a central North Island wood products company Read more >>

A new directive for forestry directs the Overseas Investment Office to place high importance on increased processing of primary products and the advancement of the Government's policies when assessing applications for consent Read more >>

Forestry Minister Shane Jones has welcomed $7.4 million in erosion control funding for Gisborne district landowners Read more >>

The Ministry for Primary Industries will be separated into four divisions, with the ministry retaining an overarching role Read more >>

Air New Zealand is in the early stages of scoping the private afforestation fund with the government but planting could begin next year Read more >>

Graham West's comment
The recent log price reports and financial returns for forest woodlot investors indicate there is real money being made in radiata pine woodlots. Reports on export log prices (a rise of $4-5 a cubic metre) in the last month has added to the rising trend for the last two years. PF Olsen's log price index is now $16 higher than the 5-year average. This is great news for farmers and urban investors who were "lucky" enough to plant woodlots in the early 1990's. Read more >>

November 2017

A world-first DNA feat by New Zealand scientists could boost the way we grow the star species of our plantation forests Read more >>

Growth projections show the country is heading toward a log boom that will have 55 million cubic metres of timber ready for harvest in 2024, that's more than twice the current rate Read more >>

Builders say booming log exports mean New Zealand tradespeople are having to make do with second-rate timber Read more >>

Funds had been set aside to build a rail line to Northport and modernise the line to Auckland as a condition of New Zealand First's coalition deal with Labour, Minister Shane Jones said Read more >>

Napier Port says the volume of wood shipped through it's docks will double for almost a decade Read more >>

Oregon Group, which manages a New Zealand portfolio of businesses for Malaysia's Tiong family, expects record earnings in 2018 on rising prices for forest products Read more >>

The new Labour-led government is dismantling the mega MPI ministry, splitting it into three parts covering forestry, fisheries and agriculture respectively Read more >>

NZUs last traded at $19.20 Read more >>

Graham West's comment
The recent announcements on afforestation by the new government are welcomed. The traditional forest industry of international corporates and farm foresters have already planted their land. It is more likely young farmers and Iwi will have spare land for new planting. Four things will help. First, a broader coalition of stakeholders is needed. The coalition could include urban investors, as happened in the 1990s. Read more >>

October 2017

Some New Zealand forest owners are suspending replanting of trees and re-thinking investments as the country's third-largest export earner finds itself in the sights of Winston Peters' protectionist agenda Read more >>

The forestry sector is heading into 2018 with some speed wobbles, following stellar times during the past almost two years Read more >>

The forestry industry is facing a frightening amount of work in the next few years, as it struggles to attract staff, a forestry management company says Read more >>

A Maori forestry company in Northland is urging politicians to use it as a model for future regional development Read more >>

A United States company is now allowed to buy land in the Waimate District for a commercial forest Read more >>

It might be another year before the Napier to Wairoa rail line is operational Read more >>

Many pine forests around the country are developing an unwelcome red tinge. It's the sign of a relatively new disease in New Zealand; red needle cast Read more >>

Log prices paid by mills were generally unchanged with the occasional price increase for unpruned logs. Prices received for export logs delivered in October dropped. There has been a significant and relatively unforeseen increase in ocean freight Read more >>

Graham West's comment
Forest land buyers need to be aware of undisclosed carbon liability. Buying land that had forests on it prior to 1990, can lead to an unforeseen large carbon liability bill. Our recent experience with such properties has led us to discover there could be 160,000 ha of land where owners may not know they have a significant liability. That could be over 5000 woodlots nationally. These are previously forested areas that did not receive an allocation of carbon units, nor given an exemption from the ETS; hence there is no reason for a legal record, or entry on the land title. Read more >>

September 2017

Sumitomo Corp is reported to be looking to increase its supply of wood from its New Zealand forests by 60% by the year ending March 2020, as the Japanese trading house anticipates growing demand in China and other parts of Asia Read more >>

Northland wood processors are upset overseas companies are taking local trees before New Zealand-owned businesses have a chance to access them, and shipping unmilled logs straight to Shanghai Read more >>

Red Stag Timber, which developed New Zealand's first "super mill" a year ago, plans to step up production next year to meet demand in its local and overseas markets Read more >>

The Queenstown Lakes District Council has voted unanimously to adopt a recommendation to harvest the Coronet Forest early Read more >>

Wanganui foresters are worried by watching needles turn red and drop off radiata pines Read more >>

An amendment to the Real Estate Agents (Exemptions) Regulations 2017 will permit registered members of the NZ Institute of Forestry (NZIF) to carry out real estate work in the forestry sector without being licensed real estate agents Read more >>

Large swathes of New Zealand's forestry stock are reaching harvesting age, and the big chop has already sent greenhouse emissions climbing Read more >>

Forestry is poised to play a key role on farms as new limits around nutrients and carbon emissions are put in place Read more >>

NZ First will exit the Emissions Trading Scheme and replace it with a UK-style Climate Change Act Read more >>

Labour would establish a new Forestry Service in Rotorua Read more >>

Due to the drop in export prices the PF Olsen Log Price Index for August has dropped two dollars and is now at $125. The average sale price is still $13 per tonne above the three year average Read more >>

Graham West's comment
Many city politicians are promising to solve climate change with trees without understanding that forests can't just be established anywhere in the landscape. It's easy to talk this up, but we shouldn't make the same mistakes of the past (e.g. dairy conversions) of changing the land use to something the ecosystem can't handle. Farmers are ready and willing to do the right thing and plant their marginal land in trees. Read more >>

August 2017

Property mogul Sir Bob Jones plans to take the timber industry to new heights, by erecting the world's tallest wooden office building in central Wellington Read more >>

Global Forest Partners (GFP), a forestry investment company, hired investment UBS bank to sell Nelson Forests pine plantation business in New Zealand Read more >>

A Japanese forestry firm has bought more than 300ha of land planted in pine forest near Kaitaia Read more >>

A total of 5,183ha of new forest will be planted by 101 applicants who have received support through the 2017 Afforestation Grant Scheme funding round Read more >>

138ha of high erosion risk land in Northland have Afforestation Grant Scheme (AGS) applications pending with MPI Read more >>

Forest owners have been paying Whanganui District Council rates for 25 years and all they want in return is the roads to bring their logs out Read more >>

GE Free NZ welcomes the removal of an alarming draft clause that permitted the planting of GE rootstock Read more >>

A new nationwide set of environmental rules for managing New Zealand’s 1.7 million hectares of plantation forestry Read more >>

A report from Wood Resources International claims that although over 50% of the wood harvest in New Zealand is being exported as logs, lumber production had picked up by about ten percent over the last three years Read more >>

Southland students are trying their hand at operating "hi-tech" forestry equipment, as the industry tries to draw in more workers Read more >>

Variety rules a Waikato farm. Around 185ha of the flat to rolling contour property is in grass. The balance is steep land and hosts forestry Read more >>

ETS review may reduce forest planting while foresters wait for certainty Read more >>

July 2017

Japanese-owned Pan Pac Forest Products has completed the $24million redevelopment of its Milburn sawmill Read more >>

New Zealand structural log prices have hit their highest level in more than two decades Read more >>

The Southland District Council's forestry operation is set to post a big surplus this year, driven by soaring log prices Read more >>

A Nelson Forests contractor has been hit by a fourth "frustrating" burglary in less than a year Read more >>

The domestic demand for both pruned and structural logs remains strong and supply ranges from balanced to tight around the country, apart from a temporary glut of pruned logs in the Central North Island. The PF Olsen Log Price Index for June has dr Read more >>

June 2017

Reductions in domestic harvest in China impacting on New Zealand exports Read more >>

Exports of log and wood materials increased 15 percent to $4.14 billion in the year ending March 2017 Read more >>

Residential building permits for the first quarter of 2017 were 4% up on the corresponding period a year earlier Read more >>

New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions in 2015 were 24.1 percent higher than 1990 levels Read more >>

Forest Owners Association concerned recent Budget didn’t address afforestation necessary for New Zealand to meet its Paris Agreement commitments on climate change Read more >>

New Zealand First confirms that it would abolish the ETS Read more >>

Export prices for logs delivered to NZ ports in May increased by an average of $4 per JASm3 from April prices Read more >>

May 2017

A Chinese wood-processing company is to build a new 100-job particle board factory in Kawerau Read more >>

Northland experiencing a shortage of labourers in the forestry sector Read more >>

Eastland Port making application for resource consent to expand its log export facility Read more >>

The Financial Markets Authority has called in the Serious Fraud Office to look at some aspects of its ongoing probe of the Forestlands forestry investment group of companies Read more >>

Queenstown Lakes District Council exploring wood energy options for the Central Otago region based on 4.5-6.5c/kWh compared to diesel (17-19c/kWh) or LPG (12-14c/kWh) Read more >>

New Zealand log supply curbed by recent stormy weather Read more >>

As reported last month, log export prices have softened Read more >>

April 2017

Hancock Timber Resource's $370 million sale of its Tasman Bay forest to Japan's Sumitomo netted a little over $1 million Read more >>

A rise in the number of timber tree seedlings being produced indicates a recent decline in plantation forest replanting may be reversing Read more >>

Associate Primary Industries Minister Louise Upston has welcomed new forecasts showing forestry export revenue set to rise further over the next two financial years Read more >>

Southern hemisphere's biggest sawmill opens Read more >>

Insurers have paid out almost $18 million for damage from the Port Hills fires in February Read more >>

The forestry and logging sector is worth $1.4 billion to GDP, making a substantially larger contribution than either the sheepmeat or beef sectors, says a new report Read more >>

Export prices declined by an average of $1 per JASm3 over the country Read more >>

March 2017

Wellington City Council purchases pine forest with the intention of making it a reserve Read more >>

Shortage of people with the right technology skills affecting forestry contractors nationwide Read more >>

WET Gisborne Ltd, a joint venture between Wood Engineering Technology Ltd and the Eastland Community Trust, is building a $9 million prototype plant using robotics Read more >>

Forest Owners say the new Federated Farmers’ policy on climate change is a major step to help farmers understand trees are not an alternative to farming, but rather trees are tools to assist farming Read more >>

New research led by NIWA atmospheric scientists, indicates that New Zealand’s forests absorb much more than previously thought Read more >>

Associate Primary Industries Minister Louise Upston has announced the opening of the Afforestation Grant Scheme 2017 funding round Read more >>

Log price outlooks carried out over the past year show a consistent optimism in pruned log price expectations, but none of those expectations have been met Read more >>

February 2017

Government confirms tree planting as one of three areas of action in its climate programme Read more >>

Ministry of Primary Industries to investigate the planting of manuka and kanuka to control erosion and carbon farming Read more >>

Rubicon, that controls Tenon, has teamed with US and New Zealand investors to complete a transaction in relation to the wood processing company's remaining asset Read more >>

The NZ Farm Forestry Association's 2017 national conference will be held in and around Feilding from April 6-10 Read more >>

Overseas Investment Office has granted an Austrian permission to purchase a 381ha farm for $2.2 million to convert into forest Read more >>

Overseas Investment Office clears sale of 4,973ha of land by forestry company Blenheim Estate Limited Read more >>

The domestic log market continues to have strong and consistent demand for all grades of logs, prices paid by log exporters for logs at ports around NZ increased sharply in January with a slight reduction in February Read more >>

December 2016

Wharerata Forest and Patunamu Crown Forest licensed land will transfer to Te Rohe o Te Wairoa in their Treaty settlement Read more >>

Clutha District Council has accepted tenders worth $6.6m for forestry blocks put on the market earlier this year Read more >>

Marlborough Sounds company increases log barging capacity Read more >>

Rural development between Puhoi and Warkworth would see 1,300 hectares of pine forest replanted as native bush Read more >>

A disease devastating trees in the Western United States and Europe is a major threat to New Zealand plantations should it ever arrive here Read more >>

Both domestic and export log prices drifted in December with minor changes in some regions and to some customers, but little overall movement. Both markets continue with strong positive sentiment Read more >>

November 2016

Associate Primary Industries Minister Jo Goodhew has announced that 4,818 hectares will be planted during winter 2017, as a result of the latest funding round for the Government’s Afforestation Grant Scheme Read more >>

Oregon Group, which controls Ernslaw One, more than doubled its annual profit through gains in the value of forests and the sale of carbon credits Read more >>

Forest Enterprises Ltd has become one of the first forestry partnership schemes to be licensed under the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 and is planning a number of new forestry investments from 2017 Read more >>

Whanganui District Council said it was likely to cost an extra $20 million in the next few decades to maintain local roads to a standard to accommodate a threefold increase in logging volumes Read more >>

Allowing marginal hill country to revert to permanent native bush to off-set dairy emissions is a key recommendation from a new report by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Read more >>

October 2016

Clutha District Council is having a second go at selling its forest land Read more >>

The Government is considering measures to encourage forest planting. Locally grown forests are expected to be cheaper than buying foreign carbon credits to meet climate change targets. Read more >>

The Napier to Gisborne rail line is set to reopen improving transport economics for East Coast forests. Read more >>

PF Olsen has noted that unpruned and pruned export log prices increased $2/JAS m3 and $4/JAS m3 respectively in October. This confirms that pruned export log prices troughed last month having fallen up to $50/JAS m3 in the prior three months. The e Read more >>

September 2016

The bulk of the Whanganui District Council's forestry estate is now officially on the market Read more >>

The Wood Council is warning the wood-processing industry is under threat, with a predicted drop in tree numbers made worse by small lot owners selling their logs for export before they're fully mature Read more >>

Forestry would stack up better against dairying in the central North Island if environmental factors were taken into account, argues Scion chief executive Dr Warren Parker Read more >>

New Zealand export log prices have reduced given movements in foreign exchange and ocean freight rates Read more >>

New Zealand carbon reached a five year high of NZD18.80 per tonne Read more >>