Forests have sustained people for hundreds of years and it is the acknowledgement of this important connection with the natural environment that guides Ngai Tahu Forestry’s approach to its business.
Plantation forests were established on the West Coast from the 1970s, and today, with 48,000 hectares of forest, Ngai Tahu Forestry is the largest forest owner in the region.
The business aims to produce sustainable products that reflect its care for the land and trees. The philosophy behind this approach is that the natural environment sustains people, and that in turn, the people are responsible for protecting the environment – a concept reflected in the Ngai Tahu proverb: Toitū te Marae o Tane, Toitū te Marae o Tangaroa, Toitū te Iwi - when land and water are sustained, the people will prosper.
Looking to the future, the trees being planted today will provide jobs as well as a sustainable resource for generations to come, ensuring that the industry continues to thrive in the region.
Currently, just under half of the logs produced are processed in sawmills and plywood mills locally on the West Coast, with 5% processed elsewhere in the country and the remaining 50% exported to Korea, China and India. The business’s vision for the future is to have a greater proportion of the logs processed locally, adding to the resilience of the industry in the region.
Ngai Tahu Forestry Harvest Manager, Travis Terry, talks about everything that’s involved with harvesting and the importance of his team’s safety: