Increased opportunities for Northland forest industry

15 December 2009

A steady increase in regional wood availability will lead to new opportunities for the Northland wood processing sector and the wider community, say the authors of the latest wood availability forecast report.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry today released its Northland Region Forest Industry and Wood Availability Forecasts Report. The report describes Northland’s forests, wood processing industries and the infrastructure necessary for the industry to operate efficiently.

The forecasts in the report show a gradual increase in annual wood availability from about 2 million cubic metres to 3.7 million cubic metres per year is possible by 2012. A further increase up to around 4.7 million cubic metres starts after 2020.

MAF Principal Advisor Paul Lane says the report aims to assist forestry industries, planning practitioners, and infrastructure and service providers to plan resources, assess opportunities and identify issues related to the availability of wood.

"Although the supply curve rises until around 2012, it remains relatively flat at that level until 2020. This means that there are opportunities now to identify opportunities and efficiencies that will improve the long term utilisation of the forest resource" Mr Lane said.

Maximising the value of this sustainable resource will have benefits across the Northland region in terms of economic development and employment.

The Northland Forest Industry and Wood Availability Forecasts Report is one of a series of publications on regional forestry industries and wood availability forecasts produced by MAF.

It provides new wood availability forecasts and associated commentary for the region, covering the period 2008 to 2040, and outlines opportunities and constraints facing the region's forest industries.

The forecasts have been produced in association with the region's major forest growers.

A copy of the report can be found at:

Report highlights

  • Radiata pine makes up 97 percent (196 000 hectares) and Other Hardwoods about 2 percent (4 400 hectares) of the forest area in the Northland region. There are about 1600 hectares of other exotic hardwood and softwood species in Northland; these have not been modelled in this analysis.
  • A significant proportion of processed wood products are exported through Marsden Point, while the volume of log exports has varied over recent years.
  • Most of the potential increase in wood availability after 2020 is from the small-scale forest growers who established forests during the 1990s. At this stage this wood is uncommitted.
  • The timing of harvest after 2020 will depend on the decisions of small-scale owners. Market conditions and logistical constraints will limit how quickly the additional wood availability from small-scale owners' forests can be harvested in that period.
  • The total harvest is currently projected to decline post-2034. This is in line with the age structure of the resource. The timing and level of decrease will depend on the rate at which the regions' post-1990 forests are harvested, the extent to which they are replanted, and also the level of new land planting. The forecasts are based on no new land planting.

Media contact:

Deborah Gray
Senior Communications Advisor
04 894 0715 or 029 894 0715

Contact MPI

for general enquiries phone

0800 00 83 33