Plantation forestry started during the Great Depression of the 1930s as the country sought a replacement for kauri and other native trees for building and paper.
From the 1950s radiata pine plantation forests rapidly expanded in Northland.
Forest nurseries were initially developed at individual state forests at Waipoua and Glenbervie, before being centralised at Sweetwater near Kaitaia.
Today there are two forest nurseries based at Kaikohe which provide the majority of the trees for planting in Northland.
Plantation forestry now covers nearly 190,000 hectares across in Northland, about 11% of Northland’s land cover.
Logs and processed timber products destined for overseas are exported from Northport in Whangārei to markets across Asia and Australia.
Northland exports over $280 million worth of logs each year, making up 15% of the region’s total exports.