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Land Management
~ Whakahaere-ā-whenua



Forestry in Hawke's Bay

PC20013People call Hawke’s Bay “Wine country”, but with 130,000 hectares under pines it is really “Pine country”. The regional forest estate is owned by private companies, tangata whenua, investors, individual landowners and a small amount by Hawke's Bay Regional Council.

Sawmilling, forest harvest, pulp manufacture and the transport and export of log products provide for thousands of jobs in Hawke's Bay. Forestry offers environmental benefits and a fantastic career path for the inhabitants of the region.


Forestry has multiple benefits including:

  • Timber - this is essential for construction and as a valuable export commodity and provides for a thriving forest products industry.
  • Biodiversity - many native plants and birds such as Brown Kiwi and NZ falcon find ideal habitat in pine forests, and native fish species enjoy the shaded, diverse aquatic environment provided under trees.
  • Soil conservation and water quality improvement – planted forests provide many benefits to water quality and soil erosion control, relative to other land uses.
  • Waste water processing – the HBRC forest at Mahia is irrigated by waste water from residents and this protects the coastal and river environments.
  • Carbon fixing - this means more oxygen for us all to breathe, less global warming and carbon units which HBRC can trade for revenue.
  • Economic advantage - HBRC has invested in a mānuka trial at Tūtira, as part of the High Performance Mānuka Plantations programme, a seven year Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) between the mānuka honey industry and the Ministry of Primary Industries. This partnership aims to to increase the supply of medical grade mānuka honey from plantations on marginal land. This crop also offers an exciting alternative means of erosion control on other sites.
  • Recreation - Part of the Pan-Pac Forest as well as the Waipukurau forest have become great locations for mountain bike parks; at Tūtira, the forest and Mānuka Trial plantation incorporate walking tracks as part of the Regional Park network.

HBRC Owned Forests

HBRC owns forests at Mahia, Tūtira Regional Park and nearby Waihapua, Waipawa and Waipukurau.  This mix of forests includes over 50 forest tree species, including pinus radiata, cedars, cypresses, redwoods, eucalypts, mixed natives and mānuka for honey. HBRC’s forest crop was valued at $3.8 million in 2016.

HBRC also manages the Tangoio Soil Conservation Reserve, which is a Crown-owned forest area and is part of the rohe of Maungaharuru Tangitū hapu.

Forestry Internship

Young people and forests go together! Each summer, 8 students have a forest internship experience at Tangoio and across Hawke's Bay with Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.  They enjoy working in a values based team to develop work readiness and leadership skills, while tackling old man’s beard and other pest plants in the forests.

Environmental Management

New National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF) took effect from 1 May 2018. The NES-PF have standardised conditions and consent requirements across all regions of New Zealand, to increase certainty and efficiency in plantation forestry, while maintaining or improving environmental outcomes. HBRC is working with MPI and the forestry industry to make the transition to NES-PF as smooth as possible.

To interpret your obligations under the NES-PF, you  will need to access from MPI's website:

If you have any questions about how the new NES-PF regulations apply to your forestry activities in Hawke's Bay, please get in touch with the Consents Advisor on 06 833 8090.

Forest Industry Collaboration

Many forest companies operating in Hawke’s Bay, hold independent environmental certification for their forest environmental practices. There have been many innovations over the past 30 years in the environmental aspects of forestry practice and forest engineering (planning and building of roads and skid sites).  The Hawke’s Bay Forestry Group represents the sector to address local issues of shared importance.

Membership includes all larger forest owners with plantations in the region and major forest investment and management companies. Members work together on projects relating to policy development, forestry as a career path, and enhancing environmental performance within the industry. HBRC is a member of this group.

Who to contact
For forest related enquiries (other than NES-PF), please contact Ben Douglas – or phone 027 7067455.

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