Increased opportunities for Hawkes Bay forest industry

Wednesday 17 September 2008, 1:08PM
By Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry


The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) today released its Hawkes Bay Forest Industry and Wood Availability Forecasts Report that indicates an increase in wood availability in the region after 2016 and increased opportunities for the sector.

“There is a well-established forest industry in the Hawkes Bay and this report aims to assist forestry industries, planning practitioners and infrastructure and service providers to plan resources, assess opportunities and identify issues,” says John Vaney, Regional Team Leader for MAF Policy in Rotorua.

The forecasts show that an increase in wood availability is possible after 2016, with the potential for regional harvest to increase from the current level of about 1.7 million cubic metres to around 3 million cubic metres after 2021.

``The potential increase after 2016 will present new opportunities for further investment in primary and secondary wood processing industries. The increased availability of wood and expansion of processing will also pose substantial benefits to the Port of Napier as the logical port of export,’’ says Bob Pocknall, Chairman of the Hawkes Bay Forestry Group.

``Currently, there is an ongoing need for basic and advanced forestry skills training, that will be more critical with this potential increase in wood availability and processing,’’ he adds.

``Overall, the Hawkes Bay is an attractive area to grow production forests. It not only has the potential to expand the existing resource on marginal pastoral country, it also has good infrastructure, favourable council regulations and lifestyle attributes that stand out for this forestry region.’’

The report states the availability of radiata pine over the next decade is expected to remain relatively static, although short term fluctuations are likely as market conditions change.

``The report identifies that although the supply curve looks to remain flat up until around 2016, there are opportunities to improve utilisation of existing resources through identifying efficiencies and developing new product lines. For example, a number of mills are now processing or planning to process more of the logs currently being exported,’’ Vaney said.

The report also states that as energy costs increase, opportunities exist for forest owners to supply harvest residues for energy generation. This has been discussed as a future option for the region.

The Hawkes Bay Forest Industry and Wood Availability Forecasts Report is one of a series of publications on regional forestry industries and wood availability forecasts being produced MAF. It provides new wood availability forecasts and associated commentary for the region, covering the period 2008 to 2040, and outlines opportunities and constraints facing the region’s forest industries.

The forecasts are produced in association with the region’s major forest growers.

A copy of the report can be found on the MAF website link: