New Zealand's forests statistics

Find out more about New Zealand’s planted production forests, including area, age class and species, as well as planting and harvesting statistics.

Quick stats

Updated December 2020

New Zealand’s net stocked planted production forest covered an estimated 1.66 million hectares as at 1 April 2020.

The total planted forest standing volume was estimated to be 501 million cubic metres with an average forest standing age (area weighted) of 18.3 years.

The revised new planting estimate for the year ending 31 December 2019 is 19,000 hectares.

Radiata pine is the dominant species in New Zealand.

National Exotic Forest Description (NEFD) surveys underway

We are surveying forest owners with more than 40 hectares of exotic forestry for the 2020 NEFD survey.

We are also surveying forest owners with less than 40 hectares under the NEFD small forest survey.

If you have not received a survey or have a question:

NZ forest surveys, statistics, and reports

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Deforestation surveys

Deforestation surveys collect information on the extent of forest owners' intentions to deforest or take up the offsetting provision in the emissions trading scheme (ETS).

This is crucial information for domestic and international climate change policy and ETS financial forecasting.



Forest land under the Emissions Trading Scheme

Historical information is available on post-1989 forest land that has been registered, added and removed, and pre-1990 forest land that has been deforested each year under the Emissions Trading Scheme NZ ETS.

Download tables of forest land under the ETS [XLSX, 20 KB]

Note: Data may differ slightly from other reports due to land being transferred between parties. This data is a sum of all areas added and removed in a year, including areas removed and then added as part of a transmission of interest.

Post-1989 forest registered in the New Zealand ETS

In June 2018, around 50 percent of all post-1989 forest land was registered in the ETS.

Post-1989 forest land


Registered in the ETS


Not registered in the ETS


You may also find the Environmental Protection Authority’s ETS facts and figures report useful.

National Exotic Forest Description 2020

The 2020 National Exotic Forest Description (NEFD) provides a detailed description of New Zealand's planted production forest. This information is a useful starting point for investigating wood processing opportunities in New Zealand.

Final tables as published in the 2020 NEFD

Excel versions of the tables are available.

NEFD yield tables

The National Exotic Forest Description (NEFD) regional yield tables give the forest industry and MPI data used to produce wood availability forecasts.

New Zealand's major forest owners and managers provided information for the yield tables which are part of the National Exotic Forest Description (NEFD) database.

The yield tables are a representation of forest yield in cubic metres per hectare (m3/ha). The yield table is expressed in total recoverable volume (TRV), and volumes of 3 generic log types, together with any production thinning volumes by age (11 to 40 years for radiata pine, and 11 to 60 years for Douglas fir). Yields are for all forest sizes, except for Canterbury where they are split into large-scale (1,000 hectares (ha) and above) and small-scale (under 1,000 ha) forest. There is a separate yield table for each tending regime.

Tending regimes

Radiata pine has 4 tending regimes:

Radiata pine tending regime


Pruned without production thinning


Unpruned without production thinning


Pruned with production thinning


Unpruned with production thinning



Douglas-fir forest has 2 tending regimes:

Douglas-fir tending regime


Without production thinning


With production thinning



For each crop type and regime, contributors were asked to provide separate yield tables based on when the stand was planted:

Age of stands

Stands planted pre-1990

Stands planted post-1989

Stands of all ages


For some regions there are additional 'year of planting' splits:

Other age of stand splits

Stands planted pre-1979

Stands planted post-1978

Stands planted between 1979 and 1989

Stands planted pre-1982

Stands planted between 1982 and 1989

Stands planted post-1989

Stands of all ages

Log type specifications


Small end diameter

Maximum branch
size (cm)

Sweep class*















Log length (m)

*Sweep class

< 3.7

3.7 – 4.8

4.9 – 7.6

7.6 +












Download the 2015 yield tables [XLSX, 246 KB]

Nursery survey 2020

Each spring, MPI does a survey of tree stock sales from commercial forestry nurseries. This information is then modelled to estimate:

  • total sales
  • plantings by species or species groups
  • the total area planted.

The Provisional estimates of tree stocks sales and forest planting in 2020 report provides the provisional estimates of tree stocks sales and the areas of commercial forest planted in 2020. It also provides a tentative estimate of mānuka seedling sales and the area planted.

Wood availability forecasts

Regional and national wood availability forecasts are prepared regularly by the industry and MPI under the NEFD work programme.  They apply a range of harvesting scenarios and other factors that show potential volumes of logs that may be harvested by large and small-scale forest owners over the next 30 years.

New Zealand wood availability forecasts 2014-2050 [PDF, 2.8 MB]

New Zealand WAF 2014-2050 national and regional summary tables [XLSX, 133 KB]



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