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May, 2014

Growing confidence in forestry's future

Scion Research Programme 2013 - 2019


Raising the profitability of commercial forestry investments is an imperative for the entire New Zealand forestry sector and also vital to increasing economic wealth for our country as signalled in the Government’s Business Growth Agenda. The value derived from each hectare of forestry land must remain competitive with other rural land uses. Research and innovation is critical to improving the value of forestry through sustainable intensification otherwise land use change will continue and forestry’s contribution to New Zealand’s economy will decline.

A multi-disciplinary team of scientists at Scion, along with collaborators from other crown research institutes and universities, is embarking on a six-year research programme aimed at raising the profitability of current and future commercial forestry. This programme is a joint initiative between Scion, the forest growing industry and the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment. It has been allocated $3.75m per annum funding from MBIE and  $1.6m per annum from the Forest Growers Levy Trust  managed  through a joint Forest Owners Association/Farm Forestry Association Research Committee.

The programme is one of the most significant initiatives being taken by the sector and focuses on improving the value realised from existing forests and doubling the productivity of future forests. Together, this will create a stable future wood supply that will, in turn, encourage the investment needed to enable the sector to achieve the Woodco vision of increasing the value of forestry exports to more than $12 billion by 2022.

Achieving this goal will require a shift from current low input forestry management practices to precision forestry, integrating the latest advances in sensor technology, tree physiology, genetics and forest ecology. The programme targets points where improvements can be made in the forest growing cycle, for both current and future forests, that will boost productivity under intensified management regimes while maintaining wood quality and the quality of the environment.


The six-year ‘Growing confidence in forestry’s future’ (GCFF) research programme is one of the most significant initiatives being taken by the forestry growing sector and focuses on improving the value realised from existing forests and doubling the productivity of future forests in a sustainable way.

This conference will present the overarching, high level goals of the research programme, will place its science in an international context, and will discuss the role of successful engagement and tech transfer in achieving real impacts. Some first results of the programme will also be presented.

Who should attend?

Industry and government stakeholders and other interested parties.

Location and Dates

The conference will be held at the Novotel hotel in Rotorua from 10-12 June 2014.

Conference outline

Tuesday 10 June: 
10.00 registration and welcome coffee
10.30 – 5.30 pm presentations, discussions
7:00pm conference dinner

Wednesday 11 June: 9 am – 5.30 pm presentations, discussions

Thursday 12 June: 8 am – 4.30 pm field trip Tarawera forest
The detailed conference programme will be available closer to the time on the Scion website.

Registration and costs
Total cost is $200 (GST inclusive) for the three days. Separate registration is required for the two-day conference presentations/discussions plus conference dinner and the field trip to Tarawera forest:
10-11 June – Presentations and conference dinner $150
12 June – Field trip including transport and lunch $50

Please note that online registration is essential and spaces are limited.
Special rates for accommodation are available at Novotel and Ibis for conference participants and many other accommodation providers are also available in Rotorua.

Download Draft agenda


Please contact Peter Clinton ( for conference programme enquiries and
Mary-Anne Gloyne ( for logistical conference enquiries.

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