July 29, 2016
Maori collective look for solutions
Northland Maori landowners are looking at ways to solve a looming log drought.
Processors in the region say that because of the failure of current policy settings to promote replanting or new afforestation, mills and manufacturers will run out of supplies towards the middle of the 2020s.
Pita Tipene, the chair of Taitokerau Maori Forestry Collective, says that means a lot of Maori workers’ jobs are at risk.
He says Maori landowners like his own Ngati Hine Forestry Trust have seen little return from a previous generation of lease deals which are now coming to an end, and they are piloting a new approach with the planting of 800 hectares of pinus radiata.
"We’re starting off small this winter because we wanted to look at how we can do this together and that the data and the results that we collect, we want to use it to put an investment prospectus together so that we can invite investors to help us grow more pine in those 50,000 hectares to ensure that we have a sustainable supply," he says.
PitaTipene says it would cost $23 million to replant the Ngati Hine land alone, and the owners would also need to find the money to tend the forests for 30 years.
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