On this page:
- Our story, our whakapapa
- Our structure
- Our people
Our story, our whakapapa
Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service has a history dating back over 100 years to 1919, before its most recent name change on 29 April 2021.
The latest name change is to better reflect the enhanced planning and strategic advice service provided to the forestry and wood processing sectors, to be fully in place by mid-2023.
It also reflects the vision for forestry reflected in the Future of Forestry booklet that was launched by Forestry Minister Stuart Nash.
Future of Forestry [PDF, 6.6 MB]
We’re working to sustainably expand, manage, and utilise New Zealand’s forest sources – exotic (non-native) and indigenous (native) – to benefit our environment, our regions, and our people.
To do this, we’re:
- building strong and dedicated teams in the regions
- working to provide a regulatory environment that supports a healthy environment, resilient communities, and a sustainable forestry sector
- providing funding and grants to encourage planting and the restoration of native forest around the country, along with jobs for the regions
- establishing joint ventures with iwi and other forestry sector partners to make sure the entire country benefits from a stronger forestry sector
- using new spatial technologies to help our minister and our forestry partners better understand land to make better decisions around forestry.
Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service has 7 main teams.
Forestry and land management
The forestry and land management team is responsible for managing the Emissions Trading Scheme work and activity.
The forestry system team develops and delivers initiatives, policies and regulations to support sustainable land management and climate change goals, and improve the use of forestry and wood processing resources, including:
- development of operational and resource management policies
- the Forest Market Assurance Programme (FMAP)
- the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF)
- sustainable indigenous forestry under the Forests Act
- development of a Forestry and wood processing industry transformation plan (ITP).
Read more about the Forestry and wood processing industry transformation plan (ITP)
Crown Forestry manages the Crown’s commercial forestry assets, focusing on achieving the best return for the Government and meeting all the Crown’s legal and contractual obligations.
Crown Forestry looks after:
- joint ventures with iwi and other forestry sector partners
- the Crown's forestry leases on Māori land
- Crown forest on Crown land
- forestry leases by other companies on Crown forest land.
Read more about Crown Forestry
The forestry insights team provide data and information to help Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service provide services to the forestry sector. This includes:
- forestry system data
- spatial intelligence
- research and science, and
- insights analysis.
Operational programme delivery
The operational programme delivery team provides services to the branch to help the successful delivery of projects, and provides assurance through monitoring and reporting on these projects.
Forestry engagement and advice
The forestry engagement and advice team engages with the forestry and wood processing sector to create value from forestry and trees. This includes:
- partnering and engagement
- initiatives and programmes
- providing advice
- delivering forestry field services to support forestry incentive schemes.
Strategy, enablement and Māori partnerships
The strategy, enablement and Māori partnerships team provides business unit management. This includes:
- setting strategic intentions
- business planning
- leading transformational change, and
- monitoring and managing progress against strategic plans.
The team acts as kaitiaki of the Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service Māori engagement strategy. They lead our relationships with whānau, hapū and iwi to ensure Māori-Crown relations and Te Tiriti o Waitangi obligations are upheld.
Support from other MPI teams
Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service is also supported by other teams within MPI like the policy and trade branch, which helps us with:
- data, insights, and forestry policy (including afforestation policy)
- skills, capability, and regulations.
Find out about Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service's senior leadership team.
- Sam Keenan – Acting Deputy Director-General Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service
- Dr Elizabeth Heeg – Director forestry system
- Oliver Hendrickson – Director forestry and land management
- John Hornby – Acting Crown Forestry general manager
- Debbie Ward – Director forestry insights
- Alex Wilson – Director forestry engagement and advice
- John Saunders – Director strategy, enablement and Māori partnerships
- Paul Burridge – Director operational programme delivery
Acting Deputy Director-General Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service
Sam has been with MPI (and its predecessors) for 9 years, with experience in the commercial management of fisheries research and science, biosecurity, and more recently leading the Crown's forestry operations.
Sam has a Bachelor of Forestry Science and a Professional Diploma in Procurement and Supply, and is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Procurement of Supply.
Dr Elizabeth Heeg
Director forestry system
Dr Elizabeth Heeg has had a deep career in the structures and rules affecting natural resources. Most recently she was head of the Aquatic Unit at the Department of Conservation leading a team of science and technical advisors who deliver research and advice to support the conservation of marine and freshwater ecosystems and species.
She has worked previously at Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service and has a strong understanding of complex forestry systems and the regulatory and policy frameworks supporting them.
Elizabeth is a long-standing member of the Eastbourne Forest Rangers group and regularly volunteers on Matiu-Somes Island.
Director forestry and land management
Oliver has been with MPI for 6 years.
He has experience in a number of policy programmes including the Resource Management Act reform and the National Policy Statement for Freshwater.
Oliver has a Masters of Law specialising in biodiversity, water, climate change, and resource management.
As the director of forestry and land management, Oliver has responsibility for the management of the Emissions Trading Scheme.
Acting Crown Forestry general manager
As the acting general manager of Crown Forestry, John is responsible for managing our portfolio of commercial forestry assets to achieve the best return for stakeholders while meeting the Crown's legal obligations.
Director forestry insights
Debbie has a Bachelor of Business Studies (Hons), an Executive Masters in Public Administration, and more than 30 years' experience in business management across a range of sectors.
Her previous roles include MPI's director of security and privacy, and director of planning and business transformation. Debbie has been a director within Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service since late 2018 when it was established a branch within MPI. Previous to MPI, Debbie worked in a range of government agencies including IRD and LINZ.
As director of forestry insights, Debbie is responsible for managing insights development, data analysis, research and science and spatial intelligence.
Director forestry engagement and advice
Alex has over 15 years’ experience managing and developing high performing teams. She has held significant leadership positions in central government, a crown research institute, and local government, focused on strategic leadership, staff management and operational delivery.
Her technical experience includes community engagement, strategic partnerships, catchment management, forestry, environmental funding, and landfill aftercare. Recently, Alex contributed to the establishment of the One Billion Trees programme and supported the regional scale-up of Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service.
Director operational programme delivery
Paul has a Bachelor of Forestry Science and 20 years’ experience spanning the primary sector, predominantly within Forestry. Paul has worked across a mix of private, public and not for profit organisations, also holding a number of governance roles within the forestry sector throughout his experience.
Paul’s technical experience spans operations, biosecurity, certification, logistics, marketing, and corporate service management.
As the director operational programme delivery, Paul leads the Te Uru Rākau team responsible for afforestation, partnerships and grants programmes as well as our project management office, reporting, content and service design services.
Director strategy, enablement and Māori partnerships
John has worked locally and internationally in both the public and private sector, focusing on long-term transformation programmes to help organisations realise their strategic vision.
As the director John is responsible for setting the strategy and supporting Te Uru Rākau through their continued growth, driving through planning and transformation.