Rights to two Bay of Plenty forests on the market

Cutting rights to Te Manawa o Tūhoe forests near Whakatāne for sale

Two substantial forests on Te Manawa o Tūhoe land in the Bay of Plenty are being marketed by Colliers International’s specialist forestry team.

The closely located forests, about 30km southwest of Whakatāne, have a net stocked area of some 1,442ha comprised of mid-rotation radiata pine crop.

Colliers International Forestry Broker Warwick Searle says the forests are superbly situated in the sought-after Bay of Plenty region, which has proven high growth rates. 

“Te Manawa o Tūhoe’s forests have been corporately owned and managed since establishment, but with most of the tending work completed, the owners have decided to realise their investment.

“Astute buyers now have a rare opportunity to acquire the cutting rights to these well-maintained forestry blocks, which already have significant roading and harvest infrastructure in place.

“With numerous domestic timber processors and New Zealand’s largest export port in the region, the successful buyer has multiple options for capitalising on their harvest’s potential.”

Te Manawa o Tūhoe is selling the rights to the forests by expressions of interest, with submissions closing at 4pm on Thursday 2 August. 

Searle says both forests have an age class of predominantly seven to nine years.

“Generally, the forests are in good health, with Dothistroma needle blight being the most prevalent issue, which is consistent with other forests in the area,” he says.

“The crop is a mixture of clonal and non-clonal stock, which has been managed on framing regime. 

“Two waste thins have already been carried out, bringing the forests to a stocking rate of between 550 to 800 stems per hectare. 

“The roadside edge trees have also been pruned, which offers a pruned log resource, improves road access, and reduces road maintenance costs.”

The larger northern forest, which has a total productive area of 755.32ha, is accessed via Omataroa Road, which comes off MacDonald Road near Whakatāne.

The road goes through two neighbouring properties, with rights of way ensuring continuity of access. 

The smaller southern forest, with a total productive area of 686.21ha, is split either side of Galatea Road at the start of the Galatea Basin.

There are three access points off Galatea Road, with the northernmost access via a public road that passes through Kaingaroa Timberlands.

The entire cropped area has already undergone a first rotation harvest, which means there is full harvest infrastructure in place, with most of the roading material sourced from an on-site quarry.

A small first rotation stand of about 16.2ha, harvested over the summer of 2017, will be replanted with a new second rotation crop this month.

The forestry rights for sale are for a single rotation over the existing crop, with no replanting obligations.

The land is to be handed back to Te Manawa o Tūhoe in an industry standard condition suitable for replanting.

The annual land rent is set to 20 per cent of 6 per cent of the government land value. The landowner will share 26 per cent of the stumpage in exchange for an 80 per cent reduction of rental payments.

Searle says the Bay of Plenty region is regarded as one of the best areas to grow a commercial pine forest in the country, with multiple large-scale foresters investing in the region.

“This is underpinned by an efficient export port at Tauranga and multiple domestic processing options, including the Norske Skog pulp mill at Kawerau.

“There is also a substantial network of contractors to support the industry from forest management, harvesting crews, silviculture, roading, and cartage operators.”

As well as Norske Skog, domestic processors include Oji Fibre Solutions, which operates mills in Tokoroa and Kawerau; Whakatāne Boardmills; Red Stag Timber in Rotorua; Claymark Sawmill in Katikati; Tenon in Taupo; Pukepine in Te Puke; and Sequal Lumber in Kawerau.

The Port of Tauranga, located some 90km northwest of the forests, is New Zealand’s largest port by export numbers.

In 2016 it exported more than 4.5 million tonnes of logs through three berths ranging from 180m to 223m on the Sulphur Point wharf, which has a permitted maximum draft of 12.5m.

Searle says this is an excellent opportunity to acquire the rights to two substantial forests in one of New Zealand’s leading silviculture regions.

“With a quality crop, an excellent location, and abundant domestic processing and export options, we’re expecting strong expressions of interest in these premium cutting rights.”

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