SFF Project Summary

Project Title: Pilot study for identification of unaffiliated forest owners
Grant No.: L12/096

Contact Details

Name of Applicant Group: Wellington Branch, NZ Farm Industry Association
Contact Person: Hamish Levack
Address: 5 Paparata Street
Telephone 1: 04 4766 787
Telephone 2:
Email: hlevack@xtra.co.nz

Project Details

Status: Finished
SFF Funding: 5,000
Total Project Funding: 10,000
Proposed Start Date: May-12
Proposed Finish Date: Jun-12
Region: Wellington
Sector: Forestry
Sub-sector: Farm forestry
Topic: Decision management and support

Final Report

Output report for the Wellington Branch of the NZFFFA: Identifying Unaffiliated Forest Owners

Project description

The NZ Farm Forestry Association seeks to establish names and contact addresses of those unaffiliated small forest owners who have planted exotic forests since 1989.  Not being members of any industry organisation, it is difficult to contact these owners.  All forest growers are recorded in one of a number of data sets nationally, but the Privacy Act prevents data sharing of individual this information without the party's consent.  Identifying these forest owners will enable them to become involved in industry discussions and coordinated harvest planning to smooth the harvesting peak that is likely to occur as a result of the forestry planting boom in the 1990s.

The issue/opportunity

Around 15,000 small forest owners are not members of any industry body.  They own 500,000 ha of exotic forests due for harvest from 2020.  That harvest could briefly push national log production up threefold, from 20 million m3 a year to over 60 million m3, creating destructive pressures on rural roads, markets and log prices.  We want to contact these owners to inform and educate them about the industry and its dynamics, to encourage them to spread their harvest over a longer period and reduce the impacts by creating a more sustainable cut. 

The context/background

If the owners could be identified and persuaded to spread their harvest, it would have obvious benefits for all forest owners, local authorities, harvesting crews and log marketing companies; and by improving market stability would help attract investment into further processing.


Using GIS software we will overlay the national MAF LUM dataset of post 1989 forests, which was developed from high-resolution satellite imagery, with the land information cadastral database to identify exotic forests by location, area, shape and landowner.  The GIS software will create a spreadsheet with the landowner, location (address, land title and grid reference) and forest area.  We will then process the results through other software which will separately identify the non-postal addresses, by region.  We will take the Southern North Island region (Wellington City, Hutt City, Upper Hutt City, Porirua City, Kapiti Coast, South Wairarapa, Carterton and Masterton) and find the correct postal addresses for the owners in the area, using NZ Farm Location maps, local directories and local knowledge.  Where the landowner is a company we will do a Companies' Office search to identify the address for service. 

Existing members of the NZFOA and the NZFFA will be marked on the schedule to highlight the unaffiliated owners in the results.

Each branch of the NZFFA will be encouraged to identify the unaffiliated forest owners in their area from the national spreadsheet.  Lessons learned in the pilot for the SNI will be used to streamline the address validation process before it is offered to each branch.