NZ Wood is a major promotional and development programme to promote New Zealand forests and wood resources to improve our economy, society and our whole way of life. It was launched in 2008.

The forestry and wood industry is New Zealand’s third largest industry, contributing an enormous amount to our economy and making up over 12% of New Zealand’s export earnings. Public interest in climate change and the environment has never been higher which makes it a great time to highlight to all New Zealanders the benefits of growing forests and using wood. Growing forests absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and by choosing wood over other products we reduce the amount of CO2 emissions. Forests and wood fight global climate change.

Components of the programme
The NZ Wood programme is a comprehensive range of projects and initiatives managed by a cross-section of the forestry and wood industry. The aim is to promote New Zealand forests and increase consumption of wood and wood-based products. By choosing wood we are contributing to New Zealand’s commitment to the fight against climate change, and creating a better world.

The Beginnings
The programme comprised a number of phases including

  • Research and development to ensure the programme was supported by a sound evidential research base
  • Development of strategies based on the research from phase one in the major areas of activity, such as the web and brand development
  • Building the perception of wood as the ‘hero’ product and cementing the idea that using and growing more wood is in the national interest – from social, economic and environmental perspectives
  • Changing usage and behaviour patterns so New Zealanders use, enjoy and consume more wood.

Key components of the programme included:

  • Industry workshops
  • Research
  • Roadshows
  • Forums and Industry panels
  • The NZ Wood brand
  • NZ Wood website
  • Promotion and advertising
  • Design resources
  • Training initiatives

The Future
The NZ Wood management team and founding members continue to work on new and innovative ways of promoting and growing the use of NZ grown wood here and around the world and maintain strong links with experts in the industry.

Current projects include: –

  • The NZ Wood Timber Design Awards
  • An enhanced partnership programme

Partnership in the programme
By becoming NZ Wood partners, companies can share in the active promotion of the industry.

The aim of partnership is to participate in the campaign to revitalise and grow interest in this valuable, environmentally friendly and flexible product.

The partnership scheme is currently open to all members of the following NZ Wood founding organisations:

  • New Zealand Forest Owners Association (FOA)
  • Wood Processors& Manufacturers Association (WPMA)
  • New Zealand Farm Forestry Association (NZFFA)
  • Douglas-fir Association
  • Timber Design Society

Forest Growers (FOA and FFA) are responsible for forest promotional activities while generally the processors undertake promotion in the added value area, including the annual Timber Design Awards.

The first three years of the NZ Wood programme were jointly funded by the forestry industry and government, initially through the Forest Industry Development Agenda – FIDA, administered by MAF (now MPI). Currently, NZ Wood is funded through industry contributions from the New Zealand Forest Owners Association, The Wood Processors Association and the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association and the Douglas-fir Association.

The Founding Members of NZ Wood
The founding members of NZ Wood are members of the Wood Council of New Zealand (Woodco).

  • The New Zealand Forest Owners Association (FOA)
    FOA represents the owners of New Zealand’s commercial plantation forests. It was set up in 1926 and is now one of the country’s most influential primary sector organisations. Its members own or manage more than 80% of the country’s 1.88 million hectares of plantation forests. With annual export earnings of $3.6 billion in 2006, plantation forestry is New Zealand’s third largest export earner. It is a major regional employer, with 8260 individuals employed in forestry and logging in 2004, and 23,402 employed in first stage processing. Investment by members in research and technology, supported by the NZ Government, means plantation forestry is highly innovative. This is reflected in the commitment of the association and its members to the highest standards of sustainable silviculture, environmental practice and workforce safety.
  • Wood Processors & Manufacturers Association (WPA)
    WPA is a member-based organisation representing companies associated with the primary processing of wood products. Members include those involved in pulp and paper, engineered wood products, manufacturing, sawmilling and re-manufacturing. The WPA represents companies responsible for the primary processing of up to 80% of New Zealand’s wood and, with annual export earnings of $3.6 billion, the forestry and wood processing industry is New Zealand’s third largest export earner. Additionally this industry sector has $1.5 – $2.0 billion of domestic sales.
  • New Zealand Farm Forestry Association (NZFFA)
    NZFFA represents the interests of farm foresters and smaller-scale forest growers. It was founded over 50 years ago on an ethic that combining trees with farming represented wise land use. Today it has over 2,000 voluntary members in 29 local branches.One of the association’s catch-phrases is “trees for all reasons” – shelter, shade, soil conservation, production, diversifying income, amenity values, and preserving and restoring native vegetation. Whilst the bulk of its members’ plantation forests are radiata pine, the association’s Action Groups focus on such special timber species groupings as cypresses, blackwoods, eucalypts, redwoods and indigenous forestry. In acting as an advocate for farm foresters and smaller-scale forest growers, NZFFA believes that cooperation amongst forestry industry organisations and working towards a consensus of common goals serves the best interests of all levels of participants in the industry.
  • The Douglas-fir Association
    Douglas-fir is the second most planted forestry species after radiata pine in New Zealand with over 115,000 hectares of plantations mainly in the cooler regions of the South Island. The Douglas-fir Association comprises 12 companies involved in either growing or processing and production of New Zealand grown Douglas-fir timber. Also known as NZ Oregon, it is well-known and well-utilised by industry specialists across the country. The Association was established in 2004 to co-ordinate and advocate industry-wide issues. It provides a credible and inclusive voice to promote the collective interests of Douglas-fir growers, processors and manufacturers at a national and regional level.
  • Timber Design Society
    The TDS exists to foster the designed use of timber. TDS is a Technical Group of IPENZ – the Institution of Professional Engineers of New Zealand. IPENZ is the professional body which represents and provides services for approximately 9000 professional engineers from all disciplines in New Zealand. The terms “engineering profession” and “professional engineer/engineering” are used by the Institution in the broadest possible way, to include all those who use a systematic process of analysis, design/synthesis and implementation, strive to operate in a responsible way, are governed by a code of ethics set by their peers, and engage in continuing professional development to maintain the currency of their competence.

The NZ Wood Brand Story
New Zealand is built on wood. Wood is the material that made our towns and cities, brought us power, fenced our lands, assisted our communications, put roofs over our heads. Wood was the reason productive plantations were established to provide the country with a rich renewable resource for export and domestic consumption. We are skilled with wood. Familiar with it. Maori have long treasured its magical properties for building and carving. And in the scientific development of wood, New Zealanders have long been world leaders.

Trees, forests and wood – these are intrinsic to every New Zealander’s cultural, spiritual and emotional landscape. We need to promote the value and importance of New Zealand wood as the immensely versatile resource it is – to growers, processors, specifiers, retailers and consumers alike. We need to do it in a way that is compelling, cohesive, positive, productive and ultimately life enhancing. That is why we have established the NZ Wood brand:

Why a better world?
Wood is one of the world’s most sustainable natural resources. While coal, oil, gas and minerals are all finite and steadily running out, wood is different.

In a world increasingly concerned with dwindling resources, atmospheric pollution and global warming, wood is the resource we can consume indefinitely, because we are able to constantly replace it. The more we use the more we grow. And the more we grow the better it will be for the planet.

But it’s not only better for the planet. We are creating a new, value-added market which will benefit suppliers, consumers, the economy and the environment – not only for this generation, but for generations to come.

We are on the eve of a ‘wood revolution
Wood is the perfect product for the green age and New Zealand is fortunate to have large forest plantations, room to grow more, a knowledgeable wood consuming society, and the technical expertise to continue to reap new value from this fantastic resource. We are at the leading edge of consumer action in the fight against climate change. This brand is all about growing and processing New Zealand wood in a sustainable, responsible way for us, here, now, and for generations to come. New Zealand wood is no longer just a commodity. It’s our national treasure.