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Wood and Building Industry

New Zealand is one of the few remaining countries in the world that has the ability to increase and sustain its total wood production. About 1.8 million hectares of area is covered with sustainable production forest plantations.


New Zealand is home to some of the largest and most well managed production plantations. 90% of the plantations are covered with Pine (Pinus radiata), 6% with Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), and 4 percent with other species.


The pine grown in New Zealand is one of the most versatile species of industrial wood found in the world. It has been used for a wide range of commercial purposes from joinery and interiors, furniture and components (partially and fully processed), round wood (posts and poles), engineered wood (glued-laminated timber and plywood), veneers and overlays, lumber grades, moldings and millwork.


About one third of the forest harvest is exported as logs from New Zealand. The largest market for New Zealand's forest products is Australia. It accounts for nearly 25% of exports. The exports of the wood industry sector in New Zealand totaled close to NZ $3 billion and included products such as solid wood (lumber, logs), panels (fiber board and particle board), wood products (veneers and plywood) and wood processing technology. Over 20,000 people are employed in the forestry and processing industry.


The manufacturers in New Zealand have created a range of prefabricated commercial and domestic buildings which can be assembled together. The timber products include engineered wood products, interior building products, do-it-yourself products and many more.


The main markets for wooden building components are the United States, Australia and Japan. The export value of prefabricated solutions rose from $6.04 million in 2006 to $15.83 million in 2008.


The pine plantation forests in New Zealand are sustainable and scientifically managed. The processing industry is known for its extensive use of research and development, its pioneering role in genetics, wood science and manufacture of composite materials and highly skilled labor. Plantation forestry in New Zealand is very well developed. While research and development is ongoing, the achievements to date with respect to the main commercial species are superior tree growth, advanced tree breeding and efficient plantation management.

The wood processing industry in New Zealand has firm investment associations with the main market and a history of delivering commercial success to its partners.


Investment New Zealand is the investment promotion agency of the New Zealand government. It is a division of the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise – the nation's economic development agency. This agency understands the New Zealand wood processing industry and has extensive networks in it.


Foreign direct investment in the forest and wood industry of New Zealand has been high with the acquisition of company shares and direct investments in forest plantations and processing plants. Foreign ownership of land requires approval of the Overseas Investment Office for areas over 5 hectares or worth more than NZ $10 million. The financial returns on plantation forestry have been relatively higher than shares or bank deposits in the last 60 years i.e. 7% over inflation.


Current strong economic performance of New Zealand and its bright future outlook make it ideal for investment.

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