100 years of forestry
On 24 September 2019, Te Uru Rākau celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the New Zealand State Forest Service. Find out about the special event we held at Parliament in Wellington.
On this page:
- A wealth of forestry knowledge
- Forestry awards presented
- Oldest former employee honoured
- New Zealand forestry timeline
On 24 September 2019, Te Uru Rākau celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the New Zealand State Forest Service with an event hosted by Forestry Minister Shane Jones. Other Government representatives included deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Former ministers of forestry, past directors-general of relevant ministries, forestry sector chief executives, and representatives from the forestry industry also attended.
“To have in one room such a wealth of forestry knowledge, and so many people who had significantly contributed to the key milestones that define our forestry heritage, was incredibly special,” said Te Uru Rākau – Forestry New Zealand’s deputy director-general Julie Collins.
“We re-enacted a photo originally taken in 1921 when the State Forest Service leadership team were in Wellington for their inaugural conference, with our present leadership team. The photo was taken on the Parliamentary library steps where the original picture was taken.”
Three forestry awards were presented at the event.
Forestry Science Award – Bruce Manley
For his dedication to forestry research, leadership in this field, and innovative work on carbon forestry.
Dr Bruce Manley is Professor of Forestry at the University of Canterbury and Head of School at the School of Forestry. He holds a PhD from the University of Washington, and is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Forestry. He is a former editor of the New Zealand Journal of Forestry and has been recognised by his colleagues through his election as a fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Forestry and through the award of Forester of the Year in 2007.
Bruce’s research interests include the valuation of plantations, modelling of forest estates to incorporate wood and non-wood benefits, and the relationships between log and wood quality, products, and markets.
Bruce joined the New Zealand Forest Service in 1976 and soon became a highly respected manager. Under his leadership, groups began research into carbon sequestration and the dimensions of commercial forest resource quality. He was also instrumental in the widespread adoption of estate modelling techniques for forest planning.
Bruce maintains an active research programme in forest resource analysis and management. He provides regular advice to government in various policy areas related to his research interests. He is internationally recognised for his research in modelling both quantity and quality of forest resources.
Kaitiakitanga Aotearoa Award – Guy Salmon
For his commitment to the protection of forests, forest ecosystems, and the connection of forests to people.
Guy Salmon is the executive director at the Ecological Foundation, providing advice on environmental policy and strategy. He has previously been a member of the Land and Water Forum, and was a director of the Native Forest Action Council for 14 years. Guy is secretary of the Environmental Non-Government Organisations’ Leaders Forum.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Guy helped lead the fight to protect what remained of New Zealand’s indigenous forests. He was involved in the West Coast Accord which sought to protect large areas of lowland forest while also allowing sustainable management. He has been a champion of allowing for sustainable management of indigenous forest on both public and private land which formed the basis of the Forest Act Reforms in the 1990s. He has been criticised for his role in this, but Guy argues that we must provide for people and communities within a sustainable framework.
Thirty years on, Guy continues to advocate for better environmental outcomes, more sustainable land use, and more inclusive and resilient approaches to policy development.
Lifetime Achievement in Forestry Award – Peter Berg
Peter Berg is regarded as a true champion of forestry within New Zealand and the Commonwealth.
Peter Berg was president of the New Zealand Forest Owners Association for 12 years, as well as president of the New Zealand Institute of Forestry. He has served on the board of SCION and the Auckland Conservation Board. Peter is currently the chair of the New Zealand branch of the Commonwealth Forestry Association, and is a member of the executive committee of the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association.
Peter is involved in many aspects of New Zealand forestry and has jointly written 2 books on New Zealand’s forest history. His achievements span the breadth of forestry including training, research, marketing, indigenous and plantation forestry, and conservation. Peter is an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to forestry, and has received the South East Asia and Pacific Regional Award of Excellence.
The fact that Peter has been appointed and reappointed to key leadership roles shows the respect he has earned, the ethical standards he has followed, and his commitment to the profession and the sector. He is an exceptional and outstanding leader.
New Zealand’s forestry heritage was well represented. Former State Forest Service employees and their descendants were among the 120 guests. The oldest former employee was 96-year-old Jim Speirs. He first began working for the Forest Service in 1941.
Clicking or tapping on this image will make it bigger.
This poster is a collection of photos and facts of significant forestry events of the past 100 years.
1919: Establishment of the State Forest Service.
A picture shows the inaugural staff of the State Forest Service, and the State Forest Service logo.
1920: Leon MacIntosh Ellis appointed first Director of Forests.
Mr Ellis is pictured.
1921: Forests Act enacted under William Massey’s government. This significant step established formal forestry research, education, forest survey and management, and commercial timber procedures under the newly formed State Forest Service.
William Ferguson Massey is pictured.
1923: Mary Sutherland, the first woman forester, joined the State Forest Service. The Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society founded.
Ms Sutherland is pictured alongside a tree. The Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society logo is shown.
1925: Canterbury School of Forestry opened.
A picture shows young men in a classroom.
1927: Institute of Foresters founded.
The Institute of Foresters logo is shown.
1931: Ellis’ target of 300,000 acres of plantation is achieved 4 years earlier than expected.
A photo shows women planting seedlings in the Whakarewarewa nursery.
1935: Over 400,000 acres of largely radiata pine planted under the work relief schemes of the Great Depression.
A photo shows an aerial view of a large plantation forest.
1939: State sawmill built at Waipa.
Another aerial photo shows the Waipa Forest Service sawmill in Rotorua.
1941: NZ Forest Products produces first fibreboard from radiata pine.
1946: Fire destroys nearly 33,000 acres of privately owned forest near Taupo resulting in the Forests and Rural Fires Act 1947.
A photo shows a large column of smoke rising over a plantation forest.
1947: National Forest Survey of all indigenous forests in New Zealand carried out by NZ Forest Service.
An area of native forest is pictured.
1949: Forests Act becomes legislation.
The Forests Act is pictured.
1955: First newsprint produced from radiata pine in New Zealand.
1956: Noxious Animals Act makes NZ Forest Service responsible for control of wild animals.
A photo shows a possum.
1958: Radiata pine sawlogs exported to Japan.
1962: Forestry Encouragement Act authorises financial aid to farmers seeking to establish managed plantation forests on private land.
1965: New Zealand Australia Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) established to enhance forestry trade between New Zealand and Australia.
A New Zealand and an Australian flag sit alongside each other on a sawn log.
1967: Tarawera Forest Act established a precedent for tree planting on Māori land by Māori, Crown, and private partners. 147,000 hectares planted by 2010.
A field of pine seedlings is pictured.
1969: First Forestry Development Conference held included work modelling log/timber supply and, in conjunction with demand forecasts, became the basis for government setting new planting goals (start of the second planting boom).
1970: Canterbury School of Forestry reopens after 34 years.
The School of Forestry building is pictured.
1972: The Forest Service National Forestry Planning model established regional forest planting targets for New Zealand.
1976: New Zealand Forest Products plywood mill began production.
A photo shows a man standing beside a stack of plywood.
1979: Radiata Pine Task Force established.
A photo shows a close-up of pine foliage.
1987: NZ Forest Service disbanded. The Forestry Corporation, Department of Conservation, and Ministry of Forestry formed. Department of Conservation takes control of indigenous state forests.
The Forestry Corporation and Ministry of Forestry logos are shown.
1989: Crown Forest Rental Trust set up under the Crown Forest Assets Act to support Treaty claims.
A photo shows a tree fern.
1990: Nature Heritage Fund and Ngā Whenua Rāhui established to help achieve objective of the Indigenous Forestry policy.
1991: The NZ Forest Accord, signed by 4 industry organisations and 10 conservation groups, recognised the importance of commercial plantation forestry as an economic activity and alternative to the depletion of natural forest.
1992: NZ Forest Research Institute (now Scion) was set up as a crown research institute.
The Scion logo is shown.
1993: Forest Act amendments introduced timber harvest restrictions and sustainable management provisions for privately owned indigenous forests.
1998: Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Forestry join to form Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. New Zealand signs the Kyoto Protocol.
The MAF logo is shown.
2000: Forest (West Coast) Accord Act passed halting logging on public land on the West Coast by 2002.
A photo shows a West Coast valley, with a river surrounded by forest.
2008: Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading) Amendment Act 2008 brought forestry into the Emissions Trading Scheme.
A photo shows a plantation forest on a hillside.
2012: Ministry for Primary Industries formed as a result of a merger including forestry.
The Ministry for Primary Industries logo is shown.
2017: The One Billion Trees Programme is announced with the target of planting 1 billion trees by 2028.
2018: Te Uru Rākau formed as a business unit of the Ministry for Primary Industries.
A photo shows a group of people working in a field, with a sign promoting Te Uru Rākau alongside them.
The Te Uru Rākau logo is shown.
A photo shows Forestry Minister Shane Jones, Te Uru Rākau – Forestry New Zealand’s deputy director-general Julie Collins, and director-general of the Ministry for Primary Industries Ray Smith.
Download a copy of the timeline poster
100 years of New Zealand forestry [PDF, 6 MB]