Correction on forestry conversion figures

Friday 5 Jul 2019

50 Shades of Green supporter, and Wairarapa Federated Farmers Meat and Wool Chair, Mike Butterick, says 30,000 hectares of sheep and beef land between Wairora and Wairarapa in New Zealand are being converted to forestry this year.

The truth is that there have been only three Overseas Investment approvals of farmland for conversion to forestry since the Ministerial Direction on Forestry was issued in October 2017.

The first was for Countess Veronika Leeb-Goess-Saurau. This is for 1,280 hectares of afforestation, with a value of about NZ$10.7m for the land to be planted.

The next two were for sales of farmland to Singapore based Te Au Ltd, for a total of less than 1,235 hectares in Wairoa and Eketahuna (the Ekatahuna land has an undisclosed area of native bush which is to be retained). The value of the land to be planted is about NZ$6.4m.

Thus, the total OIO approved area to be planted is less than 2,515 ha which is only 8.4% of the land being converted to forestry in the region if Federated Farmers’ estimate is correct. The total land for conversion value is about NZ$17m.

This can be contrasted with the NZ$3.6b overseas investment approved in New Zealand since January, including the sale of New Zealand New Milk for NZ$136m and TradeMe of a billion dollars.

Source: Forest Owners Association

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