The aim of this portal is to bring together the often disparate sources of current and historical information that relates to New Zealand’s planted forests and their context within New Zealand’s total forested estate. A major goal is to provide the evidence base for people to better understand the forest sector’s performance and sustainability. It draws on a range of publicly available information sources.
Generally the state and trends in forest statistics are positive. Standing volume of radiata and douglas fir forests has increased by 27% and 54% between 2003 and 2013; annually only around 11% of forests are affected by pests and diseases, and 0.21% and 0.004% by wind and fire. With the increasing standing volume the amount of carbon sequestered has also increased to 454m tonnes in 2012. Free trade agreements have resulted in lowering of trading barriers for forest and wood products. On the negative side the area of planted forests has decreased by 3% since 2006 and a new disease, Red Needle Cast, has emerged with potential impacts on radiata productivity. Worker safety is also a high priority issue with an increase in fatalities in 2012 and 2013 after a number of years of decline. This has led to the establishment of the Forest Industries Safety Council.
218 native species are found within planted forests many of which are on the rare and endangered list.
The standing volume of radiata pine and Douglas fir increased by 27% and 54% respectively between 2003 and 2013.
In 2013 less than 1% of the total planted forest area was affected by insects and about 1% affected by diseases.
Avoided erosion benefits from afforestation on erosion prone land can exceed $1000 per hectare in perpetuity.
About 7% of NZ’s primary energy comes from forest biomass, equivalent to 4m tonnes of avoided fossil fuel emissions from coal.
Rate of injury claims in the forestry sector was more than twice the national average between 2008 and 2013, and after a period of decline the number of fatalities increased sharply in 2012 and 2013.
The New Zealand-China free trade agreement signed in 2008 led to the reduction or elimination of import tariffs for NZ forest and wood products into China. Other agreements with Asia/Pacific partners are also being developed to further liberalise trade.