NZFFA Member Blogs
Tenco is one of New Zealand’s largest exporters of forest products. We have built to this position since 1991 when the company was set up to export lumber to growing Asian export markets. Experience and reputation count; from small beginnings Tenco has become the largest independent exporter of New Zealand lumber and New Zealand’s 4th largest log exporter. Tenco has a regular shipping program of their own log vessels and in combination with these and other ships currently calls at 7 New Zealand ports (5 North Island and 2 South Island).
Tenco buys standing forests. Tenco regularly buys smaller tracts of forest to harvest immediately or immature forests to hold until harvest time. A deal with Tenco is a certain transaction. The owner and Tenco will agree on a value of the tree crop and then Tenco will pay this amount to the owner either in a lump sum amount or on rate per volume unit out-turn from the forest depending on the nature of the tree crop.
Tenco is actively interested in buying harvestable forests or trees from areas including all the North Island (except the Gisborne and East Coast districts) and Nelson & Marlborough in the South Island .
If you own a forest in this area (16 years and older) and are ready to enter into this kind of agreement Tenco is interested to develop something with you.
Please contact: Josh.Bannan@tenco.co.nz
Work: +64 7 357 5356 Mobile: +64 21 921 595 www.tenco.co.nz
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Tuesday, January 21, 2020
As a new item for my blog, I offer a briefing paper that Hamish levack, Egon Guttke and myself gave the Chairman of the Climate Change Commission prior to a meeting with him last week. We covered a little more ground than this, but these were the highlights.
In October 2015 New Zealand finalised its NDC target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. The target is equivalent to an 11% decrease below 1990 levels and represents a progression on our target for the period to 2020 (which was -5%).
Accelerated afforestation and complete restocking after harvest will help New Zealand achieve this target. However in order to count, new forests have to be planted on grassland. Only farmers own grassland. To minimise social conflict, rather than sell that land for afforestation, the farmers should plant it themselves.
The NZ Farm Forestry Association represents people who have made this choice.
Small grower / large grower distinction
There are over 14,000 small forest owners in NZ with commercial forests of between 5 and 1,000 ha. Altogether they own around 500,000 ha, which is a third of the national estate. Roughly 200 large forest owners hold the balance.
Nationally our Association has over 1,400 fully paid members, but a much wider constituency. Our email list is over 3,500 and our postal addresses list is over 10,000 (roughly two thirds of all forest owners).
Most small forests were planted during a five-year window of speculation from 1992-1997 when export log prices were extraordinarily high. In general the owners all have day jobs, i.e. forestry is an investment rather than a primary activity or source of income. Their forests have few age classes; their knowledge of forestry is limited; and their demand for skills is sporadic.
In contrast, most large forests were first established before 1990 and are run by professionals as full time businesses. Consequently while the two types of forest owners have much in common, they are widely different. Their interests are further separated by the ETS, where small growers’ post-1989 forests can earn carbon credits but large growers’ pre-1990 forests cannot.
Small growers’ ‘wall of wood’
Because small forests were largely planted in one burst of activity in the 1990s their harvest is starting to create a ‘wall of wood’. Small growers are contributing an increasing share of the income of the Forest Growers Levy Trust. NZ Farm Forestry members represent these growers on the official committees that recommend how this industry levy is spent.
There are several important features about this ‘wall of wood’.
- Although most small forest owners could have registered in the ETS, many did not. This means they are free to change land use without penalty. Others who did join are holding NZUs for exactly this purpose.
- Some growers who have been disappointed with their forestry returns have already converted their land back to pasture.
- A second rotation forest generally makes more money than a first rotation one because all the roads have been paid for. It makes more sense to replant a harvested block than to plant fresh grassland.
- Accordingly, we should be doing all we can to encourage replanting. This includes improving the harvest outcomes for small forest owners.
- If we want to add national processing capacity, and taking replanting into account, new commercial forests should be spread by location and age class to smooth log supply.
- Whether or not small growers replant, harvesting their forests will contribute to gross emissions over 2020 - 2030.
Views on new planting
The national commercial forest area fell in the early 2000sreflecting land use change from forestry to pasture, mainly in Canterbury and the central North Island. New plantings by late 2018 totalled 9,100 ha, compared to 30,000 ha in 2001. The lowest point for new plantings was in 2009 with only 1,900 ha planted. The areais currently 5% down from its peak of 1.83 million hectares in 2003 and high land prices discourage further large-scale expansion.
Australia’s wild fires have implications for the increasingly warm and dry parts of New Zealand. In these areas the risk of fire on top of restrictions on land use by many Regional Councils discourages investment in both replanting and afforestation.
While members of the Farm Forestry Association and our wider constituency own and have the capacity to increase areas of native forest, this is typically ten times more expensive to successfully establish and twenty times slower to grow and fix carbon.
We would like to see
- Stronger border controls for biosecurity. Pathogens exist that could devastate our radiata pine plantations, making it very difficult to meet our climate change targets.
- Stronger rural fire prevention campaigns and fire fighting capacity. Climate change means rural fires will inevitably increase in frequency and severity.
- Free education about forestry investment and associated ‘best practice’. If the public does not understand forestry it will oppose any expansion.
- Less emphasis on planting indigenous forest and more on planting fast growing species. Managing diversity is nice but managing climate change is urgent.
- The price of NZUs to rise to a level that encourages an increase in net stocked forest area, preferably by farmers planting some of their own land.
- Public approval of gene editing allowing Scion to increase the rate of carbon sequestration. Business as usual is over.
Thursday, November 28, 2019
Since 1979 the Wellington Branch of the Association has had access to a 5 ha area of forest land called Stanton Park. In the 1970s the Wellington City Water Board (later the Wellington Regional Council) employed Geoff Stanton as a forester. When they acquired Valley View Station in the hills west of Upper Hutt, Geoff persuaded them that it was an ideal spot for a small Forestry demonstration block showing tree selection and different silvicultural practices.
An initially informal agreement between the Board and the Wellington Branch became a 20 year forestry license in 1997. The Branch planted the land to the east of the access road in Radiata pine with two different thinning regimes. To the west of the road in an area with a higher water table, we trialed varieties of Cypress and later, varieties of Eucalyptus. These are now showing interesting results.
The Radiata grew well and was harvested with the Council forests in 2012. The proceeds were divided 50% between the Council and the Branch, and the area replanted with Coastal Redwoods. Our plan is to observe which type has the best growth and form and at what age they will be a harvestable size. Perhaps in about 40 years the trees will be an impressive and potentially rich resource, if they can be felled and marketed.
There are smaller areas of Lusitanica and different types of Macrocarpa cypresses. These are now more resilient to cypress canker, enjoy the colder climate, and are showing much promise.
We have renewed the forestry license with the Regional Council and continue to manage the block, with periodic working bees to release the young trees from buddleia, blackberry, gorse and manuka. However things change, and on renewing the license the Council designated the wetter, western part of the block as an official wetland. This means we have to carefully remove the exotics and transition to full indigenous cover with appropriate species for the area. Happily our Kahikatea are doing well, and while this work will be hard, it should be spiritually rewarding.
Disclaimer: Personal views expressed in this blog are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent those of the NZ Farm Forestry Association.