The Wood Industry - Renewing New Zealand
WPMA’s Vision 2050
High rates of urbanisation, climate change, constrained fossil fuel and water supplies mean the world depends much more upon wood as a rapidly renewable natural resource. Nine billion people are now heavily reliant upon forests and high tech wood products for construction, fuel, food, clothing, communication and recreation.
The New Zealand wood industry capitalises upon high customer demand from across the globe for NZ wood products that are uniquely branded as high quality, sustainable, certified, legal and innovative. These not only include traditional products such as solid and engineered wood, pulp, paper, packaging and panels but also new wood-based plastics, biochemicals and fuels. Elevated global demand has wood now driving economic growth in New Zealand.
Wood products emanate from fully-integrated value chains that are energy self-sufficient and are efficient re-cyclers - producing little waste. The industry, overall, is key to achieving public policy objectives of accumulating natural capital and creating jobs. Forests, for example, are closely integrated with other forms of more intensive land use helping mitigate their negative environmental impacts. Foresters are financially rewarded for these services and forest planting is expanding. Social, economic and environmental drivers mean that wood-based construction is common place in both commercial and residential settings in New Zealand.
Eighty percent of NZ-harvested logs are now processed on shore with the remaining, lower quality, logs exported directly. Forest growers are closely linked into domestic value chains supplying raw material of consistent quality from more diverse species that are suited to particular customer demands.
Transformation of the industry has been enabled by co-creation of ideas and skills with the science and education sectors. The wood industry is very attractive to major international financiers looking to invest in New Zealand’s smart, growing and renewable economy.