16 Oct 2012

Auckland forest may be planted with native trees

6:57 am on 16 October 2012

[b A swathe of new native trees could be planted in a forest in north west Auckland.

Woodhill Forest is being returned to Ngati Whatua o Kaipara under its Treaty settlement with the Crown.

Tumuaki of the hapu Jason Fox says replacing pines with indigenous trees will take time.

He says commercially it will be very difficult to compete with pines, but it would be nice to see a very different looking forest at Woodhill in 100 years time.

Mr Fox says the Forestry Service conducted planting trials of all the native trees in the 1960s, and the sub-tribe is now looking at different species.

He says they'd also like to build a visitor centre in Woodhill Forest, which is a top regional recreational attraction - particularly for mountain bikers.

While Ngati Ngati Whatua o Kaipara is the new landowner, it won't own the pines - which are still controlled by the existing rights holder until the trees are grown and harvested.