New Zealand has some of the world’s largest and most intensively managed production plantations, with the ability to increase and sustain its total wood production. This is in contrast to the global situation, where harvesting rates are acknowledged as unsustainable.
New Zealand exports cover a broad spectrum of products including solid wood, panels, engineered wood products, and wood processing technology.
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The forestry sector experienced record log exports in the year to June 2013, due to strong demand from China. Total forestry exports are forecast to grow over the outlook period to reach $5 billion in 2016/17, primarily due to sustained demand for logs.
- New Zealand-grown Pinus Radiata is one of the most attractive and versatile industrial wood species available in global markets. It is used in the manufacture of a wide range of commercial products.
- Wood technology ranging from silvicultural practices to enhanced harvesting and milling technologies is a key strength of our timber industry.
- New Zealand is innovating to produce and utilise new technologies which are enabling precision forestry operations and achieving game changing safety and efficiency advancements.
- The New Zealand industry also has a strong research capability and commercial potential in specific areas for wood-derived products.
Sustainability in focus
The long-term strategy for our wood processing industry is to create a sustainable industry that is able to obtain greater value from New Zealand’s forest resource via further processing in New Zealand, or through greater integration with international value chain partners.
New Zealand has approximately 1.8 million hectares of intensively managed, renewable, sustainable, production forest plantations, accounting for 7% of total land use.
Nearly half of New Zealand’s plantation forests are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. Approximately 90% of these plantation forests are New Zealand Pine (Pinus Radiata), 6% Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga Menziesii), and 4% other species.
81% of New Zealand’s indigenous forests are state owned and are managed as part of the conservation estate. The remaining privately owned indigenous forests must be managed on a sustainable basis if the owners wish to harvest timber.
New Zealand prefabricated pine buildings are used in tourist resorts in the Middle East and the South Pacific because of their minimal environmental impact and use of sustainable building materials.