The NZ Forest Service – it’s back!

Friday 30 Apr 2021

A greater role for a public forestry service has been outlined by New Zealand’s Forestry Minister, to drive the focus on regional economic development, skills training, and a low-emissions future.

Stuart Nash on Thursday announced Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand) will be renamed Te Uru Rākau - New Zealand Forest Service, and will shift its operational headquarters from Wellington to Rotorua.

“The name change is small but significant. It signals a more hands-on role for a public forestry service, with specialists and advisors working alongside the sector,” Mr Nash said. “We will lift planning and advisory capabilities within Te Uru Rākau - New Zealand Forest Service so it can offer a professional advisory service and share its forestry management expertise.

“It will provide more on-the-ground support to iwi, private landowners, farm foresters, local councils, timber processors, training institutes, and other forestry organisations. The Forest Service will maximise opportunities for the forestry and wood processing sector.

“Forestry is the third largest primary exporter by value so it’s important we keep innovating to support regional development, drive economic growth and meet our climate and environmental goals. That will feed into our vital work on the Industry Transformation Plan and the delivery of the Government’s Fit for a Better World – Accelerating our Economic Potential roadmap.”

Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service will continue to work alongside local communities on the remaining tree planting projects that endure from the One Billion Trees funding. More than 258 million trees have been planted towards the goal of one billion trees by 2028. The dedicated fund to kick-start the public-private sector programme was time-limited, and last year it stopped accepting new applications for funding”.

“It has served its purpose as a cornerstone of the programme by building momentum for new planting. Approximately NZ$23 million of the fund is unallocated and will be reprioritised towards the new work of Te Uru Rākau – the New Zealand Forest Service, making it cost-neutral.

“The operational headquarters will be based in Rotorua in a new wooden building that highlights the potential of timber construction, and reflects Rotorua’s central location in our largest plantation forest region”.

Source: Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand)

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