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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2007) 52(1): 10–13
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Forum article
A survey of alternative species markets

I. D. Nicholas and S. A. Garner

To help understand the current New Zealand market status of alternative species, (species other than mainstream New Zealand plantation species, pine and Douglas fir), a survey of processors, retailers, users, and architects was undertaken in 2005. Survey forms were mailed to approximately 70 firms, based on information in the Good Wood Guide. The questionnaires requested information on species and quantities processed and comments on species/timber and business issues were sought. Approximately 37 returns were returned. Several businesses were also visited and interviews, based on the survey form, were conducted. The majority of businesses providing information were sawmillers, followed by timber retailers and architects. The volume of alternative timbers handled by these groups was over 30,000 m3. Returns from the survey identified an alternative species market in New Zealand. The major issue for those surveyed was the availability of alternative species, information on alternative species, choice of species and log/timber quality. Several respondents identified a growing demand for naturally durable timbers with current demand exceeding supply. There was a general concern at the lack of resource of cypresses and eucalypts for future processing. There is also a call for improved information on resource and processed timber.
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