30 Jun 2009

Northland forestry scheme seen as a success

5:30 am on 30 June 2009

A Northland Maori forestry scheme is being hailed as a success, despite needing a Government bail-out.

Treasury has written down its loans to Taitokerua Forests by $37 million.

Company secretary Warwick Syers says current low log prices threatened to push the company into insolvency. A restructured balance sheet now means the company has enough credit to last until harvesting is completed in 2023.

Waatea News reports the company was formed in the 1980s by the owners of 14 Maori blocks who were encouraged by Maori Affairs officials to plant pine on undeveloped land.

He says it's been constructive for the owners and the region.

Mr Syers says the company was set up for only one rotation, but some owners may choose to replant after harvest, or let the land revert to bush to avoid carbon penalties.