July 11, 2023
Smart timber better choice than rough logs
University of Auckland Māori architecture professor Anthony Hoete says it’s time for Aotearoa to become masters of wood – rather than the world’s largest exporter of raw logs.
Professor Hoete says revitalising New Zealand’s wood processing sector will alleviate timber supply chain problems and create new jobs to support regional communities – especially Maori, who make up 40 percent of the current forestry workforce.
He says there is huge potential in both the export and domestic markets for engineered products like cross-laminated timber, which he has used extensively in his London-based property development business Game of Architecture.
“That’s solid panels like plywood – but instead of being 20mm thick, it’s more like 230mm. And you can use computers and cut the stuff off-site, bring it in – it’s pretty simple labour. You can stand it up, and you can make walls and housing out of solid timber,” Professor Hoete says.
He says there are only two housing manufacturers in the southern hemisphere, so there is a huge export opportunity.