Regional hardwood industries: land use and log supply
A recent study by Scion* provides a full analysis of the implications of a small or a medium-sized regional hardwood processing operation. A small-scale operation is estimated to require 50,000 cubic metres of logs per annum; a medium-scale operation requires 80,000 cubic metres of logs per annum.
The NZDFI planting target for each wood supply catchment is 5,000 hectares over 30 years. This level of planting would sustainably provide sufficient volumes of timber to justify investment in a processing operation. Surplus timber would go to additional markets which may develop, or for export.
Table 1: level of annual planting needed over 30 years to create a catchment forest resource to sustainably supply small and medium processing operations.
Employment created by a regional hardwood industry based on a small-scale processing operation
- Forest establishment and management: 3-10 full time employees (FTEs)
- Forest harvesting - one crew: 9-10 FTEs
- Sawmilling: 54 FTEs
- Remanufacturing: 131 FTEs
Further employment would be created in, for example, transport, administration, and support services.
Overall economic contribution of one regional hardwood industry
- Overall GDP contribution from one small regional hardwood industry ~ $82.5 million per annum.
- Return on capital employed ~25%.
*Assessment of afforestation and future wood processing opportunity with non-radiata species - Wairoa District, Peter Hall, Scion, 2020.