Plantation Overview

The New Zealand forest industry is based on sustainable plantations of predominantly Pinus radiata, commonly known as radiata pine, Monterey pine or New Zealand pine. Douglas-fir and various cypress and eucalypt species are also grown for timber.

FOA members manage around two-thirds of plantation forestry of New Zealand’s 1.79 m ha plantation forestry estate.

Forestry in New Zealand is geared to both domestic and export demand. Some  44% of harvested logs and varying percentages of processed forest products are destined for world markets. Seven countries – Australia, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the US, Indonesia and India – account for more than 80 per cent of the value of these exports. Apart from logs, exports include sawn timber, wood chips, panels, pulp and paper and other products. 

China is the major driver of recent demand, as a result of strong economic growth, continued urbanisation, and the effect of the Russian log export tax. India and Japan also have the potential to grow because of strong economic growth in India and post-earthquake re-building in Japan.

Forestry expects to be New Zealand's leading export industry and a top five global supplier by 2025. These goals are ambitious but attainable, due to a combination of the burgeoning global population, expanding demand for sustainably produced wood products, and vast areas of new forest reaching a harvestable age at the right time.



Log exports were static at $1.6 billion for both 2011 and 2012. Log exports totalled 13.8 m m3 compared to 3.7m m3 being processed in New Zealand

The net stocked forest area increased by 100 hectares from 2011 to 2012 to 1,719,500 hectares. Acccompanied by an increase in the average standing volume from 279 m3 means the estimated standing volume of wood in New Zealand's plantation forest is 488 million m3, an increase from 2011 of 1.8%

Source: MPI 2013  year ended 31 December / MPI Statistical Releases 

Detailed statistics on the NZ plantation forest industry are in the forestry Facts & Figures publication.