Wanted: land for Govt trees project
Landowners could be sitting on untapped potential because as part of the government’s One Billion Trees Programme Crown Forestry is seeking land to plant.
Neil Geerkens, general manager of Northland Forest Managers (NFM), says landowners could be involved by leasing their land to the government through Crown Forestry (a unit of Ministry of Primary Industries) for commercial forestry where they retain ownership of the land and get a rental in return.
He says that NFM is currently assisting Crown Forestry in a number of such projects in Northland with ﬁrst plantings likely to occur next winter.
It is part of the company’s focus on growth opportunities so it can continue to provide a sustainable industry that is beneﬁ cial to Northland as a whole.
Established in 1990 NFM specialises in the operational management of commercial forests and private woodlots. The company can take care of everything from planting and forest maintenance through to harvesting and marketing the logs.
NFM currently harvest around 500,000 tonnes of logs per year and manages some 16,000ha of forest making it one of Northland’s most established forestry managers. NFM is owned by Hong Kong based forest investment company Greenheart Group.
The purchase took place in 2016 as Greenheart Group was seeking to manage its own forestry interests. Greenheart owns 10,500 ha of pine forests in Northland.
This means that NFM markets logs to a range of domestic customers such as Carter Holt Harvey’s sawmill and LVL mill, Rosvall Sawmill, Marusumi chipmill, JNL in Kaitaia as well as exporters including Greenheart at Marsden Point.
The company handles marketing for investors of all sizes. Neil says that the ﬁ nancial backing of Greenheart Group has further enhanced NFM’s offering.
Neil says NFM has established a reputation for honesty, integrity and ﬁ nancial transparency.
“If we’re marketing your logs we’ll present you with a variety of options, detailing the operational costs, and revenues.
Whatever you decide, you’ll know from the outset what our fees are and what you can expect to earn.
Ultimately your logs will be sold when and how you choose because we remain committed to achieving the best outcome for you while meeting industry best practice,” he says.
Experience combined with long standing relationships with domestic processors has seen the company grow. NFM currently employs around 12 staff and eight logging crews.
Health and safety is a major focus for the operation: “We take the safety of our staff and contractors very seriously. We provide solid health and safety training for our team and we have robust systems to protect everyone onsite,” explains Neil.
Likewise protecting the environment and sustainable land use is important to the company: “At Northland Forest Managers we’re big on sustainability and environmental responsibility and we have good relationships with Heritage NZ, DOC, iwi, and local and regional councils.
“Our commitment to the environment is reﬂected the standard of work carried out when building roads and other earthworks for harvesting and other operations.
“NFM works to the industry standards set out in the National Environment Standards and Forestry Earthworks and Harvesting Guidelines for Northland. Northland Regional Council visit the operations three monthly to monitor what we are doing.
“Those visit result in compliance to a high standard consistently. This is a result of great team work by the NFM staff and contractors carrying out the work.”
NFM has been harvesting in the Auckland Council region this winter. Neil says that Auckland Council
is known within the industry as having the highest standard of compliance for harvesting and roading in forestry.
“The inspections have been as frequent as two weekly during periods of wet weather. The harvesting work has been scoring the highest score for compliance, due to the excellent work of both the NFM team and the harvest contractor,” he says.
With ofﬁces in Kerikeri and Dargaville NFM offers year round practical solutions to resolve any unique challenge.
For those wanting to take advantage of the government scheme Neil suggests that they contact the team at NFM who can assist with land preparation and also help to plan and manage the growth of a new or replanted forest to ensure easier, more proﬁtable harvesting.
“And if you have a block of pine trees that you would like to harvest, contact the team at NFM who will be able to work you through the process and come up with a solution that will work for you.”
This article was brought to you in association with the following businesses…
- Turners Transport Services Ltd
- Wilson Earthmoving Group Ltd
- Douglas Logging Dargaville
- MarsdenTransport Solutions Ltd
- Omamari Logging LTD
- Forrester Logging Northland Limited