This issue contains five papers based on presentations at the September 2017 conference held in Rotorua. Peter Clark’s opening address ‘New Zealand forestry in 2050 – a backwards look into the future’ leads off the issue, remarkably prescient about the change in voters’ preferences, while the paper itself benefits from 20/20 hindsight following the election. The editor owes Peter an apology for his initial editorial comments, but even so, still firmly believes in the Danish proverb attributed to Niels Bohr that ‘Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future’. Peter is optimistic that what ought to happen, will happen, particularly the re-balancing of land values, an increase in afforestation rates and more domestic processing. Jeff Tombleson’s paper on the pruned wood supply from the Central North Island demonstrates that predicting future market demand and prices is difficult. The large-estate forest growers are transitioning away from the low stocking rates and pruning of the ‘direct sawlog’ regime (originally known as the Fenton and Sutton regime) that depended on a premium price for pruned logs. He states that for the past 20 years the pruned log price differential over structural grade has rarely reached the required threshold of $80/m3. The reduction of pruned log supply will commercially compromise most of the CNI pruned-log sawmills. (no keywords)
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