Pilot project for totara wood supply

Wednesday 21 Aug 2019

Project partners running a two-year study into the viability of a Northland Totara timber industry have unveiled a website to explain the project and its social, economic and environmental objectives.

Totara timber from Northland farms is being harvested selectively under a ‘continuous cover forestry’ model and milled as part of a two-year project to assess whether the native tree can be managed sustainably for commercial use.

The Totara Industry Pilot (TIP) project will assess the forest resource; harvest and process up to 500m3 of farm- Totara logs; collect data and research results from drying studies and trials; conduct milling trials, product and market testing; and develop and analyse the business case for a regional Totara timber industry.

The vision behind the project is of a regional industry based on the sustainable management of regenerating farm- Totara and summarised by the vision statement ‘he Totara tuturu, he iwi t? tonu’, or ‘sturdy Totara, sustainable communities’.

“TIP aims to restore the mana of this wood and improve the health and quality of Totara on private land, resulting in an increased area of native forest on farms and Maori-owned land,” said project manager Elizabeth Dunningham.

Project team member Paul Quinlan said the group wanted to see Totara valued again by landowners as it once was by Maori.

“We want to change the way landowners view this resource as something that has environmental and commercial value, something that needs to be nurtured, tended and encouraged, rather than cleared and converted to pasture,” Mr Quinlan said.

TIP maintains that a successful Totara industry will see the sustainable management of existing regenerating forest and scrubland and encourage the planting of new areas, increasing the area of native forest on private land.

The new website features a video explaining the TIP project, an overview of its objectives, a section explaining the various workstreams, an overview of the organisations involved, a comprehensive question and answer section.

“We want to change the way landowners view this resource as something that has environmental and commercial value, something that needs to be nurtured, tended and encouraged, rather than cleared and converted to pasture,” Mr Quinlan said.

TIP maintains that a successful totara industry will see the sustainable management of existing regenerating forest and scrubland and encourage the planting of new areas, increasing the area of native forest on private land.

The new website (www.totaraindustry.co.nz) features a video explaining the TIP project, an overview of its objectives, a section explaining the various workstreams, an overview of the organisations involved, a comprehensive question and answer section.


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