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Marlborough’s Future is Durable

A regional development case study on the potential for a durable hardwood industry

Workshop, February 16th – 17th 2024, Blenheim


NZ Dryland Forests Innovation held a workshop on Friday 16th February to present results of a case study to evaluate the potential for a durable hardwood industry in Marlborough.

The workshop was a key part of a two-year Sustainable Land Use Management and Climate Change (SLMACC) project, funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries, where NZDFI is evaluating how planting durable hardwood forests could contribute to the sustainability of Marlborough’s wine industry.

“Our research is providing a market and science-based pathway for developing this novel land use and supply chain. A new forestry and wood processing supply chain could improve long-term sustainability and resilience for Marlborough’s wine industry and generate new investment and employment. Investment in naturally durable hardwood forests could also reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the wine industry,” says Paul Millen, NZDFI manager.

“The morning presentations taken together present the full story of the science  that underpins our vision for regional development based on well-planned wood supply catchments. Marlborough is just one of 12 potential catchments we envisage growing durable hardwood forests planted between now and 2050 to generate a sustainable supply of hardwood for processing into multiple products. In Marlborough, a key market will be naturally durable posts and poles for vineyards; other products potentially include veneer, solid wood, and biomass for bioenergy.”



The morning presentations at the Marlborough Research Centre in Blenheim were followed by afternoon site visits to near-by NZDFI trials. On Saturday 17th February, a smaller group visited more NZDFI trial sites in south Marlborough.

Workshop programme, notes and morning presentations

 Workshop programme and notesPaul Millen, Manager, NZDFI

 Marlborough’s Future is Durable: Welcome and introductionGerald Hope, Chief Executive, Marlborough Research Centre Trust

Opportunities for a durable hardwood industry in MarlboroughRobert Holdaway, Marlborough vineyard and forest owner

 Durable eucalypt forestry for heartwood, biomass and carbon sequestrationProf. Euan Mason, University of Canterbury School of Forestry

 Using UAV’s with LiDAR to measure durable eucalypt biomass in MarlboroughDr Ning Ye, University of Canterbury School of Forestry

 Durable hardwood processing, products and marketsAssoc. Prof. Clemens Altaner, University of Canterbury School of Forestry

 NZDFI’s vision and regional development case study for a durable hardwood industry in MarlboroughPaul Millen, Manager, NZDFI

 MPI’s Climate Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and research related to the Marlborough case studyJames Gorrie, MPI


Read an article featuring Marlborough vineyard owner, NZDFI trial host and workshop speaker Dr Robert Holdaway: Vineyard manager trials eucalypt plantings | Stuff

Also an article with more detail about NZDFI’s vision for multi-regional hardwood industries: Eucalypt pioneer wants more trees in the ground | Stuff

For more details of the SLMACC project and the workshop, please contact Paul Millen, NZDFI Manager