About Crown Forestry
Crown Forestry is a commercial trading organisation. It manages a portfolio of the Crown's commercial forestry assets to:
- achieve the best return for the Government
- meet the Crown's legal and contractual obligations.
Crown Forestry is a direct participant in the New Zealand forest industry. It is separate from the Ministry for Primary Industries' roles in policy, regulation, and service delivery.
The assets which Crown Forestry administers includes:
- joint venture forests
- the Crown's forestry leases on Māori land
- Crown forest on Crown land
- forestry leases by other businesses on Crown forest land.
Forests on land leased from Māori or in other tenure
There are 55 forests with a total planted area of 30,000 hectares as at February 2022. Of these:
- 40 are joint venture forests
- 9 are Māori leasehold forests
- 6 are Crown forests on Crown land or other tenure.
There are 29 forests planted on Māori-owned land, with a total planted area of 20,500 hectares.
Harvesting, financials, and projections
Harvesting will produce an estimated annual cut of 500,000 cubic metres in 2021/22.
Harvest will continue to decline due to the uneven age profile of our forests.
Crown Forestry's assets also include 6 afforestation leases. This is Crown-owned land leased to other forestry companies who pay rent to the Crown.
Policy to exit from commercial forestry
Crown Forestry will continue to sell the Crown’s forestry assets on commercial terms. This may include any new forestry assets at a point in the future. Crown Forestry considers selling a forest when the potential sale price matches the financial benefits from the Crown continuing to own it.
The exit policy has a positive impact on Māori economic development. For example, non-assignable leases can be varied to reduce the term of the lease. This means that Māori landowners (the lessors) can become forest owners earlier than would otherwise be possible.
In the case of Crown-owned land, the land (and sometimes trees) are transferred to successful claimant groups as part of Treaty of Waitangi settlements.
The Crown Forestry team
The Crown Forestry team is based in Wellington, Rotorua, Masterton, and Kerikeri. Staff carry out strategic, business, and financial planning, and modelling and auditing of the forestry assets. Most of the day-to-day management of the forest estate is outsourced to forest management companies.
The team consults with stakeholders and interested groups such as:
- joint venture partners
- the Office of Treaty Settlements
- commercial forestry companies.
Crown Forestry was created in the late 1980s when Māori forest lessors wanted to retain direct links with the Minister. At that time the Government proposed assigning Māori leases to the then newly formed Forestry Corporation.
In 2018 Crown Forestry began entering into commercial partnerships with landowners under the forestry joint venture programme. The goal was to contract 24,000 hectares of forest. As of February 2022 this programme is largely complete.
Other Crown forestry assets have since been added to Crown Forestry:
- In 2001 the residual business of the Forestry Corporation was closed.
- In October 2008 the Crown purchased forestry rights over 2 forests from Matariki Forests (both have since been sold).
- In January 2009 the assets and business of the state-owned enterprise Timberlands West Coast were transferred before it was closed. The West Coast plantations were sold to landowner Ngāi Tahu Forest Estates Ltd in August 2014.
Who to contact
If you have questions about Crown Forestry, email email@example.com