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Buy Local – Buy NZ Wood

With the current post-lockdown focus to ‘buy local’, the NZ Forest Sector Forum is posing the question – why isn’t New Zealand consuming more New Zealand wood and wood products?

According to MPI, approximately two-thirds of New Zealand wood is exported. Almost $6.93 billion was exported from NZ in 2018-19. On the flipside, New Zealand imported over $1.5 billion worth of wood products in 2019. So why are we importing a huge amount of wood products when we grow so much ourselves?

Wood products cover products that come from the woody part of the tree, and can be anything from logs to wood chips, sawn timber and railway sleepers to wood pulp. Uses for wood and wood products are constantly being reinvented, from multi-story construction to soft and absorbent toilet paper.

Wood is also one of the most environmentally friendly materials available. Trees absorb carbon from the air and lock it in wood. Therefore, when you build, create, or use wood it locks away that carbon. Similarly, if you consume NZ wood, it promotes NZ landowners to plant more trees to supply that wood demand. More demand for wood products = more trees = more carbon locked away.

In addition, over 65% of NZ wood is independently certified verifying it’s sustainability of production. That coupled with the small amount of energy it requires to produce compared with other products on the market, and its biodegradable properties make it the environmental choice.

NZ already grows and processes a surplus of these products (as seen by export figures above). So, given there are no supply issues, why aren’t everyday kiwis consuming more NZ wood, especially in this time of buying local?

Does the everyday New Zealander know where their wood products or wood alternatives come from? Do they know that wood products purchased locally, grown and processed here in New Zealand, support approximately 30,000 New Zealand jobs?

We can support regional NZ by using NZ wood products in a range of areas, from our packaging and hygiene products to our paper and construction materials. There’s never been a better time to buy local and buy NZ wood and wood products.


Extra Reading – Facts about wood – did you know?

  • Uses for wood are constantly being reinvented. It can now be used to construct multi-story high rise buildings, as seen in this British Columbian 18-story accommodation building that was constructed in record time (3 months!) using an engineered wood product call CLT (Cross Laminated Timber). Wood is even used in some shoes, as seen in these All Birds sneakers which are made using wood pulp
  • New Zealand’s production forests can produce an extremely diverse array of these wood products, which are all grown, managed, certified, and manufactured locally in our own country. From knot-free plywood panels and clearwood decking for your home renovations to soft and absorbent toilet paper, these can all be supplied by our very own, locally grown and sustainably managed production forests
  • New Zealand superannuation is linked to the heart of NZ forestry located in Kaingaroa forest. The more NZ wood consumed locally, the more we are helping provide pensions to everyday New Zealanders (and that’s just the start of the benefits)

About NZ Forest Sector Forum

The New Zealand Forest Sector Forum is a collective of New Zealand Forestry Industry representatives. Acting as a point of contact for the industry with Government and other relevant bodies, the Forum aims to engage on issues of common interest or concern to the industry. Visit:


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