Peter Clark’s “backward look at the future”, the opening address of the NZIF 2017 conference, begins the issue accompanied by four other conference papers, two of which are non-forester’s views on how the industry should present itself to the public if it wishes to prosper, a third predicting the timber renaissance in buildings and the fourth forecasting the uncertain future of the clearwood processing industry. There is an historical look at Tairua forest, and a paper on the current reality of the use of New Zealand logs in Chinese construction.