Craigmore forestry launched

Craigmore is excited by the reinvigoration of our forestry portfolio, with the establishment of the Kauri Forestry LP

Craigmore is excited by the reinvigoration of our forestry portfolio, with the establishment of the Kauri Forestry LP – a joint venture with German partners GlenSilva to grow a new sustainable forestry portfolio in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Craigmore is no stranger to forestry.  Our first forestry fund, founded in 2010, was believed to be the largest afforestation programme in the country between 2010 – 2012.  These forests are now absorbing over a quarter of a million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, equivalent to two thirds of the net GHG emissions of Gisborne City or the Whakatane District.

GlenSilva is part of the House of Westphalen Group, one of Germany’s largest owner and operator of agricultural and forestland. The House of Westphalen has for many centuries managed its forests for multi-purposes, providing environmental, recreational and landscape benefits as well as producing a sustainable supply of timber for the wood processing industry.

The focus of Kauri Forestry will be mostly on afforestation, with some investment in existing trees.  As with the initial Craigmore Forestry business, Kauri Forestry will also look for opportunities to plant more than just pinus radiata and to work with the true long-term kaitiaki of the natural resources of this country; Māori landowners.

Commercial and permanent forestry is a crucial industry for a more sustainable economic and environmental future for New Zealand.

However, Craigmore CEO Che Charteris says: “forestry is more than just about blanket planting pinus radiata wherever you can jam it. Lessons need to be learned from the huge surge in plantings in the mid 1990s.  The post-harvest erosion events we have seen on the East Coast of the North Island recently emphasise the importance of having the right tree on the right land.”

Undertaken carefully, plantation forests help to maintain soil quality and land stability in otherwise marginal areas, and this is especially important in regions like New Zealand’s east coast and north of the North Island. In addition, forests provide stable ecosystems during each rotation.  Currently only 5% of global timber supply comes from sustainably-managed, plantation forests. Timber from non-sustainable native forests is becoming increasingly scarce and long-term plantation forestry will have to provide the bulk of global timber supply into the future.

New Zealand has over 100 years’ experience growing softwood and is one of only a few industries in which New Zealand has a unique competitive advantage; we grow softwood trees quicker and more efficiently than every other country in the world.

Ninety per cent of New Zealand’s 1.7 million hectares of sustainably managed, renewable plantation forest is planted in Radiata, or New Zealand pine. This is a proven industry with infrastructure, including transport, silviculture, harvesting, processing and research facilities, all well developed.

Another key project between Craigmore and GlenSilva is to identify new wood processing opportunities in Aotearoa for which there is interest from continental Europe.

One of Craigmore’s strengths is that we are a local management company comprising of New Zealand farmers, orchardists and foresters that can make positive impacts on the full range of different classes of New Zealand rural land, whether flat and fertile or steep and erodible. We are very much looking forward to our return to the forestry sector.