Maori forestry - more than landlords and labourers?

Authors: Chris Goulding
Publication: New Zealand Journal of Forestry, Volume N.Z.J.For. 2013, Issue N.Z.J.For. 58(4) 2014, pp 2, Jan 2014
Publisher: New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Abstract: This issue has the theme ‘Maori forestry’. Currently about 25 per cent of the plantation resource is established on Maori-owned land. Geoff Thorp suggests that following future successful Treaty claims this might rise to almost 700,000 hectares, 40 per cent of the current 1.7 million hectares. This area would have a long-term sustainable yield of some 12 million cubic metres per year if a mean annual increment (MAI) of 17 cubic metres per hectare per year was used (derived from the National Exotic Forest Description, NEFD, for those stands recently harvested). It could be considerably more if one shares my view that the MAI will rise when the younger stands mature. Multiply this yield by whatever gross unit value you believe will be achieved at mill or port gate and the contribution to the New Zealand economy is substantial. Moreover, two-thirds of forest sector workers are Maori. Production forestry provides employment to Maori in rural areas and cultural and spiritual links to the land. The use of independent contractors offers Maori workers opportunities to develop as small business owners, perhaps not so small when a mechanised operation has several million dollars of equipment.