New wood products partnership launched

11 March 2016

The formal launch today of the Specialty Wood Products Research Partnership, marks a new chapter for the forestry sector in New Zealand, says the Associate Minister for Primary Industries, Hon Jo Goodhew.

"I welcome the launch of this new partnership, and the ground-breaking research that will be undertaken. Forestry is a key export earner for New Zealand that is worth around $5 billion annually, and employs nearly 20,000 people," says Mrs Goodhew.

The research project launched today, entitled "New Regional Value Chains for Specialty Wood Products Matching Species, Site, Processing, Product and Market", is part of a seven year partnership between central government and industry. The project aims to investigate the development of new wood products from specialty species, says Mrs Goodhew.

"This research will help us to identify new processing options for Eucalypts, Douglas-Fir, and Cypresses, in order to produce high-value specialty wood products. This is a great example of high-quality science being applied to industry problems and opportunities, in order to generate value for New Zealand.

"It will also help develop an improved breeding stock, ensure forest health is an ongoing priority, and assist in growing export revenue by further diversifying the range of wood products exported," says Mrs Goodhew.

The partnership expects the export value of products developed to reach $350 million per year by 2030, rising to $3.6 billion per year by 2050.

The programme is supported by the Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) partnership programme with industry funding provided by the Forest Grower Levy Trust. The science partners for the research include Scion, the University of Canterbury's School of Forestry, and the Marlborough Research Centre.

Source: NZ Government media release