Lake Taupo Forest has a planted area of around 23,000 hectares, and is effectively made up of two parts:
The forest was begun in 1969, when the Trust signed a lease with the Crown. Under this arrangement the Trust provided the land and the Crown provided the funding and expertise to establish and manage a forest on the lands. The profits (“stumpage”) are shared on a ratio relative to each party’s contribution. The lease is now finishing, and as the first rotation trees are harvested, the land comes out of the Crown lease and is replanted by the Trust using its share of the first rotation profits. In this way the Trust increases its fully-owned area by around 900 ha per year. It is scheduled that by 2021 all of Lake Taupo Forest will be Trust-owned, and harvesting of the second rotation will commence. The age-classstructure of the forest is presented below.
The forest is mainly Pinus radiata, nearly all of which is pruned and thinned with the aim of producing a high quality tree crop. The trees are grown on a 30 year rotation. The forest is being harvested at a level of 500,000 m3 per annum, a rate which can be sustained indefinitely. The logs produced are sold to a wide range of mills, with between 20% and 25% being exported in log form.
Lake Taupo Forest is managed by NZ Forest Managers Ltd, a privately owned forest management company which undertakes contract management of forests. NZ Forest Managers is based in Turangi and has a long history with this forest. Their work is overseen on behalf of the Trust by Lake Taupo Forest Management Limited. The Trust is happy to have these proactive and dynamic companies involved in the management of its forest.