NZ Dryland Forests Initiative: Media Release

NZ Dryland Forests Initiative: Media Release

9:00am 09 Apr, 2018

February 26th 2018

NZ Dryland Forests Initiative proposes a plan to plant

100,000 hectares of durable eucalypt trees

The NZ Dryland Forests Initiative (NZDFI) has just released a Consultation Paper as a first step towards developing a regionally based strategic plan for government and private sector collaboration to plant 100,000 hectares of durable eucalypt trees in NZ’s east coast regions as a part of the Government’s One Billion Trees programme.

The consultation paper: “Durable eucalypt forests: a multi-regional opportunity for investment in NZ drylands” outlines the case for durable eucalypts in east coast regions. The trees are considered an exciting alternative to traditional agriculture and radiata pine forestry.

NZDFI proposes these eucalypt forests and woodlots will be established in New Zealand’s east coast regions by 2030. These could generate an estimated $2 billion in annual sales of naturally durable timber products by 2050. Regional development and employment could be generated through local processing to produce high value export products that are a sustainable alternative to unsustainably logged tropical hardwoods.

Shaf van Ballekom is chairman of the NZDFI as well as CEO of Proseed Ltd, Austrasia’s largest producer of tree seed.

“Since 2008, over $3 million has been invested into the NZDFI’s tree breeding and research to develop the foundation of our vision for NZ’s east coast regions to have 100,000 hectares of durable eucalypt forests. The time is right to go out to the regions and to consult with people”, says Shaf. “We want to hear from those in central and regional government who are involved in land management and regional economic development, as well as those in the forestry and agriculture industries who might want to take up this opportunity. We want to work with them to develop a plan to get durable eucalypts planted, commencing in 2020 – just two planting seasons away.”

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