Malaysian Co. buys 264ha of Tuatapere land for forestry

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A Malaysian company has bought a second swath of western Southland commercial forestry land in the space of 11 months. Pine Plantations Private has been given Overseas Investment Office (OIO) consent to acquire 264 hectares of land at Happy Valley Rd, near Tuatapere, with a NZ$2 million investment.

The property is next to a NZ$4m, 457ha section that the Malaysian company bought in 2021. Both properties were farm land. Pine Plantations Private NZ independent director Peter Keach said foreign investment was required to meet the Government’s target of one billion trees being planted.

“If New Zealand is to meet its emissions targets, they won’t achieve it without forestry investment,” Keach said. The Malaysian investment at Happy Valley Rd was for commercial forestry, not carbon sequestration, Keach said.

“That’s not to say we won’t accept the carbon, we will still sell the carbon at some point.” PF Olsen was contracted to do the work, Keach said. Keach is a PF Olsen shareholder and former chief operations manager.

Pine Plantations Private will convert about 160ha of the Happy Valley Rd land into commercial pinus radiata forestry with the new forest to be planted by the end of 2024, the OIO says.

Harvesting of the new forest is due to commence in 2048, and replanting of a second rotation will commence once the first rotation of trees is harvested. The first half of the adjoining land was planted last winter, and the second half would be planted this winter, Keach said.

Both Pine Plantations Private investments were made under the OIO’s special forestry test. A bill to change the Overseas Investment Act is expected to be introduced in the coming months, which could make it harder for overseas investors to convert pasture to forestry.

Source: Stuff