21 May 2015

Funding boost to help forestry diversify

12:31 pm on 21 May 2015

The forestry sector has received a funding boost to research other wood products to try to reduce the country's reliance on pine.

The Government and Future Forests Research - a group of industry and research bodies - is investing $5 million each, over seven years.

Science and Innovation Minister, Steven Joyce, said the industry's reliance on pine made it vulnerable to fluctuations in demand, as well as pest and disease threats.

He said different species of trees, and different products, would reduce risks and increase competitiveness.

He said the project would help develop products from lesser known plantation species such as Douglas fir, cyprus and eucalyptus.

"The research partnership is wanting to look at a range of hardwood products like furniture panelling, flooring, cladding, engineered wood generally, and it's all about boosting the value of those particular species.

"Now we are very much focused on the pinus radiatus species, which serves us very well but this is about developing other opportunities for the forestry industry."