Councillors signal value of Gordon Kear Forest ownership
19 February 2018
Councillors signal value of Gordon Kear Forest property ownership
Palmerston North City Council’s Finance and Performance Committee has today unanimously voted to recommend that Council retain ownership and consider ways to enhance the community environmental value of the 678 hectare Gordon Kear Forest property, south of the city.
The property currently includes 250 hectares of native forest and 401 hectares of young plantation forestry.
Council began a review into its long term ownership of the property, following the first forestry harvest in 2016. The report was presented to the Committee this morning and confirmed the area’s important social and environmental values, including carbon storage, biodiversity, water supply, recreation, soil and water protection.
The Committee then unanimously voted to recommend that Council retain ownership and consider ways to enhance the area to maximise its value to the city.
“Today’s decision signals the continued value Council places on the area as a significant natural asset and its potential to create better social and environmental opportunities for Palmerston North,” says Fiona Dredge, Council’s Business Development Executive.
“Not only this, but the commercial pine plantation is expected to provide a return of around 6% across the current rotation – in line with national forestry investment returns.”
Further recommendations to Council included undertaking investigations relating to recreational uses and future city water supply options on the property.
The recommendations will be voted on as part of a full Council meeting.