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Matahi and Oponae forests

Matahi and Oponae forests

The Crown is to buy a 20-year forestry right over the Matahi and Oponae trees owned by Matariki Forests for $11.83 million.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Michael Culllen and Forestry Minister Jim Anderton said today that the underlying land was the subject of a complex grievance dating back to the original purchase by the Crown in 1896.

“The purchase will allow an opportunity for the grievance and surrounding issues to be dealt with.”

Jim Anderton said the forests would be managed for the Crown by the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry’s Crown Forestry division. Crown Forestry currently manages the Crown's interest in 25 forests around the North Island with revenues in excess of $85 million a year.

“Crown Forestry’s role is to manage the forests and the leases to best effect pending the resolution of outstanding Treaty of Waitangi claims and other issues. It works with other Crown agencies such as the Office of Treaty Settlements.”

The combined title area of the two forests is 3,483 hectares, comprising a range of age classes.

Under the terms of the agreement, during the twenty year term of the forestry right, the Crown or Matariki Forests may purchase the other’s interests in the property. The Crown’s option to purchase the land is assignable to Te Kotahi a Tuhoe, the Tuhoe entity mandated for Treaty negotiations.

Matariki Forests is New Zealand’s third largest forestry company. It is a joint venture company owned by a consortium of international investors and managed by Rayonier New Zealand.


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