Rotorua showcase for farm forestry

Wednesday 8 May 2019

This month's Farm Forestry Association conference is set to showcase some great properties on the field trips planned in addition to the programme itself.

Also the makeup of forest owners in this sector is now diversifying. Small and medium scale forestry (< 1000 ha) currently has approximately 14,000 owners. This ownership group is extremely diverse, a survey in 2015 indicated around 36% (5000+) were farmers, but many are urban investors involved in syndicates or joint ventures. These are New Zealanders, not overseas corporates, and many have a passion for investing is something that felt right and enjoy visiting forests and seeing a tree crop rapidly grow. Their connection to the land is no different to other rural interests.

However, like all primary sectors, this group faces issues and decisions. The rules signalled around the ETS will impact significantly on recent plantings and future species options. The National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forests is about to be reviewed and possibly tightened.

Regional Councils are introducing regulations and incentives schemes that are frequently changing rules for forestry land owners, e.g BOP’s Plan Change 10 and Waikato’s Plan Change 1.

The rules around fumigation of export logs are about to change. All these matters indicate small scale forest investors need to have their business and political interests managed and protected by an effective professional lobby group. Currently that group is the NZ Farm Forestry Association, but as an organisation run largely on a voluntary basis, will have an increasing load to bear.

The event will be run over five days, with a two-day programme in conference. There will be an associated Expo of trade displays providing links to information and service providers. The daily activities are as follows:
Thursday, May 16th: 10.00 AM Action Groups, 1.00 PM National Council, 3.30 PM AGM, 5.30 PM Drinks, 7.00 PM Welcome Dinner
Friday May 17th: Conference & Expo, Awards Drinks, Awards Dinner
Saturday May 18th: Conference & Expo
Sunday May 19th: Conference Field Trip BOP
Monday May 20th: Post Conference Tour – two options

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