17 May 2019

Forestry 'gold rush' underway in Wairoa

From Nine To Noon, 9:09 am on 17 May 2019
Forestry section in Port Underwood, South Island, New Zealand

Photo: 123RF

Warnings a modern day gold rush is underway as productive farm land is sold to make room for lucrative forestry. Farmers and community leaders in Wairoa have become the latest group to raise concerns, estimating around ten-thousand hectares of the region's most productive land has recently been sold to out-of-town investors wanting to plant trees for harvest and carbon credits. They're worried thousands of jobs could be lost from the area, and communities seriously affected, if it continues. The government's one billion trees programme continues - this week, Shane Jones, the Minister in charge of the programme announced a further $ 58 million for forestry to help Forestry NZ increase its regional presence. Kathryn talks with Wairoa Mayor Craig Little, Canterbury University Professor of Forestry Euan Mason, and Mark Belton, Managing Director of Permanent Forests NZ and a former head of the Ministry of Forestry, Forestry Development Group.


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