“Pāmu has been working with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to finalise commercial terms that will see up to 2000 hectares of forest being planted in 2018 and 2019,” Pāmu Chief Executive Steve Carden said today.
“As New Zealand’s largest farmer, we have always seen forestry as an important part of our strategic direction – from a commercial as well as an environmental and sustainability perspective.
“This government’s forestry programme fits well with our own strategic direction in forestry and we are pleased to support the Government’s forestry initiatives.
“Forestry is an often overlooked but essential part of New Zealand’s agriculture sector. It makes sense to be planting trees on rural land whose use has changed or is marginal. Farmers have been doing this for years, recognising that it is good for the environment, and for the economic activity it brings to rural New Zealand.
“We will continue to assess other land that may be viable for ongoing forestry planting in future years, which is something we do on a continuing basis,” Mr Carden said.
While the final terms are still to be finalised, Pāmu says as a State Owned Enterprise it must always operate in a commercial manner.
“The commercial terms we are working on with the MPI will meet both the needs of the Government and ourselves – it is win-win.”
“With the very real challenges New Zealand agriculture is facing from climate change, planting trees as part of an overall New Zealand response to global warming also makes sense, and is long overdue,” Mr Carden said.
Pāmu has almost 10000 hectares planted in a range of trees. The mix of trees to be planted are still to be finalised, as are the locations, however Northland and East Coast/Hawkes Bay regions along with some South Island farmland are under consideration.