Final word from Paul
June 30th 2022 marked the end of the seven year Forest Growers Research/MBIE Specialty Wood Products Research Partnership.
This partnership has funded extensive research projects by NZDFI’s Science Team that includes staff and students at the University of Canterbury’s School of Forestry and the staff and consultant team at the Marlborough Research Centre.
We also completed our two-year 1BT R&D partnership with Te Uru Rākau this month with our final report under preparation. This partnership has been critical to successfully commencing the delivery of XyloGene nursery stock of Eucalyptus bosistoana and E. globoidea for operational plantings last year - the first improved material from NZDFI’s tree breeding programme .
All our team are committed to NZDFI’s vision for 60,000 hectares of durable eucalypts to be established in up to 12 regional wood supply catchments over the next 30 years.
Over the past few months, we have been working with the SWP team that includes Forest Growers Research, NZFFA and Scion. Our focus has been to develop a new collaborative funding proposal to government and industry to build on the success of the Specialty Wood Products partnership. Extending this government/industry R&D collaboration is essential to the long-term successful development of NZ’s emerging specialty wood product supply chain.
Our proposal is to expand the establishment of regional wood supply catchments to include other specialty species, namely the naturally durable softwoods - i.e. redwoods or cypresses - that are already extensively grown in New Zealand.
Together with new forests of durable eucalypts, new forests of durable softwoods can make a major contribution to expanding our Specialty Wood Products sector.
Throughout New Zealand there are a wide range of regional communities and environments. We propose a nationwide research and extension programme to encourage and support planting of 200,000 ha of new specialty species forests by 2050. These forests could supply logs and biomass for a strategic network of regional scale hardwood and softwood central processing hubs. The durable hardwood and softwood products generated could be a significant part of the New Zealand forest industry’s contribution to the emerging bio-economy.
By working together for this new proposal we want to ensure there is industry leadership and support to bring together the capability, knowledge and expertise needed to develop and deliver an effective research and extension pathway to achieving our overarching vision.
Our proposal is under consideration.
I hope that we receive the commitment needed from government and industry to support this and that the teams we have developed can continue to build on the significant gains made this past seven years.
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