NZ: More farms for forestry

Wednesday 28 Aug 2019

Another one bites the dust – Well-known businessman, Sir Michael Fay, has obtained Overseas Investment Office approval to sell his Lagoon Hill Station near Martinborough in the Wairarapa.

The Lagoon Hill deal was set up by rural property manager Craigmore Sustainables for Swiss company Kauri Forestry LP, which has also bought a Northland farm owned by a member of the wealthy Spencer family.

Lagoon Hill will be managed by Craigmore which says it will create jobs planting more pine trees. This is controversial because some farmers in the area say converted properties will never return to stock production.

"Climate change is undisputed and carbon sequestration through tree planting is one of the most cost-effective tools to address it," Craigmore chief executive Che Charteris said.” He added they will obtain good management Forest Stewardship Council Certification within 36 months and would work to a higher standard.

It would make forested areas available for grazing once trees were established, plant up to 100,000 native trees in 30 metre wide swathes along waterways, rehabilitate wetlands and boost pest protection. Harvesting will be spread over a longer time for more stable full-time employment, and to reduce post-harvest erosion.

Craigmore would engage with tangata whenua to protect important sites, and create opportunities for bee-keepers, and local tourism operators. Also on the agenda was mountain biking and hiking for nearby communities and Wellingtonians, Charteris said.

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