Adding value to the forestry industry
The aim of the Forestry and Wood Processing Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) is to:
- lift productivity across the sector
- produce more products from logs
- contribute more to New Zealand's economy
- unlock the sector’s potential to support climate change goals.
Forestry is New Zealand's third-largest primary sector export earner. Harvested logs are used by New Zealand industries and also exported.
Increasing domestic wood processing would have regional economic benefits. It would create jobs and investment.
Log export statistics
- New Zealand harvests between 30 and 35 million cubic metres of logs a year.
- About 14 million cubic metres of those logs are used by New Zealand wood processors. The rest of the logs are exported, mostly to China.
- It's estimated New Zealand will export a record 22 to 24 million cubic metres of logs in 2021.
- Many of the logs exported to China are converted into industrial grade sawn timber. It is used in packaging, concrete formwork, and other temporary construction methods.
Better use of logs will support climate change goals
Increasing the number of logs processed in New Zealand can support our climate change goals.
Wood waste such as wood pellets or wood chips can be used:
- to generate energy, fuels, and biomaterials
- instead of fossil fuels in transport, heat, industry and power, and construction.
This would reduce our emissions and support New Zealand's transition to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Using more locally made wood in building construction will also help.
New low-emissions products and energy
We want to encourage the production of new low-emissions products and energy. The plan includes work to establish a biofuels industry. This will produce biocrude, liquid biofuels, and solid biofuels from the residues of trees.
We're also keen to encourage:
- low-emissions buildings using locally made timber and wood products
- using liquid biofuels (for example, biocrude, sustainable aviation fuel, renewable diesel, and marine fuel) for heating and transport
- making high-value biochemicals, biopharmaceuticals and other biomaterials from biocrude. This can help phase out fossil fuel-based chemicals used in processing.
Timber Design Centre for low-emissions buildings
In March 2022, a new industry advisory service was launched. It's called the Timber Design Centre. The centre gives advice on timber use in the design and construction of buildings. Its focus is on non-residential structures such as offices, hotels and multi-storey apartments.
Reports on investment in wood processing and bioenergy plants
Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service commissioned 2 reports as part of the New Zealand Wood Fibre Futures Project. The reports provide research into wood processing and biofuel opportunities in New Zealand.
Stage 1 of the Wood Fibre Futures Project was released in September 2020.
Stage 2 of the Wood Fibre Futures Project was released in April 2022. It proposes how various types of wood processing and biofuel plants might be established in New Zealand from 2024 to 2040. The report explores how the government might encourage investment in these plants.
For more information about the reports, email ForestryWoodProcessingITP@mpi.govt.nz
Forestry ITP advisory group
The Forestry ITP is guided by an advisory group. It's made up of leaders representing the industry, workforce, science institutions and Māori. The group meets regularly to discuss the objectives of the ITP and the policy options to achieve them.
Lees Seymour, managing director of the Nelson Consulting Group, is independent group chair of the ITP advisory group. Other members are:
- Bruce Habgood – convenor of the Engineering, Infrastructure and Extractives Industry Council, E tū
- Clayton Harris – chief executive, Carter Holt Harvey
- Daniel Gudsell – founding director, Abodo Wood
- David Turner – executive director, Sequal Lumber
- Dean Satchell – land management advisor, Northland Regional Council
- Florian Graichen – general manager, Forest to Biobased Products, Scion
- Jon Ryder – chief executive officer, Oji Fibre Solutions
- Kent Chalmers – market and logistics manager, City Forests
- Louisa Jones – assistant general secretary, First Union
- Marty Verry – group chief executive, Red Stag Timber, Red Stag Forests, Red Stag Wood Solutions
- Megan Struthers – associate director, business development, New Forests Asset Management Pty Limited
- Robert Green – managing director, Australasia Timberland Operations, Hancock Natural Resources Group
- Te Kapunga Dewes – Te To (chief executive), Whenua Oho
- Tony Haworth – investment manager, Te Taurapa Tūhono New Zealand Trade & Enterprise
- Vanessa Eparaima – director of CNI Iwi Holdings Ltd, chair of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.
Who to contact
If you have questions about the programme or advisory group, email firstname.lastname@example.org