October 17, 2017
Taitokerau Forests’ final profit whets appetites for repeat
Northland Maori landowners want another round of forests, but they don't want to repeat the mistakes of the past.
They've been counting the returns from Taitokerau Forests, which 30 years ago pulled together 14 blocks totalling about 4500 hectares.
Pita Tipene, a director of both Te Taitokerau and Ngati Hine Forests, says government loans allowed the owners to harness the capital needed to plant and manage the trees.
He says it produced $232 million in economic activity, creating benefits for the whole community economically and socially, but just $11 million for landowners.
There were drawbacks, which need to be addressed in future.
"The value wasn't coming back to the landowner, and everyone could see the trucks, and the dusty roads, and other negative perceptions about forestry. All they could see was the logs going down to the port in Whangarei and going overseas," Mr Tipene says.
Landowners throughout the north are discussing Taitokerau Forests II, which would plant up to 55,000 hectares creating security of supply for harvesters and processors.
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