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Briefing on the New Zealand Dryland Forests Initiative

Primary Production Committee

Briefing on the New Zealand Dryland Forests Initiative

The committee commends the work of the New Zealand Dryland Forests Initiative. NZDFI is a research and development project working to develop ground-durable eucalypt species suited to New Zealand’s dryland regions.

On Thursday the committee heard from representatives of NZDFI including its founder Paul Millen, and Chairman, Shaf van Ballekom. The vision of NZDFI is for New Zealand to be home to a multimillion dollar sustainable hardwood industry based on 100,000 hectares of eucalypt forests, by 2050.

The committee heard that planting hardwoods would diversify the forestry industry in New Zealand and enhance environmental sustainability; eucalypts combat soil erosion because they have extensive root systems and continue to grow after felling occurs.

Eucalypts are highly adapted to grow in areas of low rainfall making regions such as the East Coast ideal planting locations. This would in turn boost economic opportunities in these regions.

The committee is following-up matters raised during the hearing of evidence and may report at a later date.

ENDS


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