Land & Forest
The Lake Taupō Forest Trust controls an area of 33,733 hectares, consisting of 30,804 hectares (91 per cent) originally leased to the Crown for forestry and a further 2,929 hectares that were never part of the Crown lease. This additional area includes Te Rangiita Blocks, Te Whenua Block, Te Whakao 1, 2 and 3 blocks, the Waiotaka Blocks and the Mangakoura Blocks. A final land block owned by the Trust is the general freehold land block on which the LTFT office sits.
The land comprises 68 Māori land blocks and 15 blocks owned freehold by the Trust. Of this area, 24,207 hectares (71 per cent) are planted in forest.
Around 98 per cent of the forest is planted in Pinus radiata, and the remaining 2 per cent is mainly Douglas Fir, Eucalyptus, Cypress and Larch. Planting commenced in 1969 and was completed by the late-1980s. Harvesting commenced in 1994, and the harvested areas are being replanted each year, thus creating the second rotation crop.
In 2000, the Crown and Trust agreed to change the terms of the lease from a 70-year, two-rotation arrangement to a one-rotation lease. As a result, leased land is now returned to the Trust following the harvest of the first rotation crop. The Crown is due to finish the lease in July 2021 and the Trust will then start receiving 100% of forestry income.
Lake Taupō 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 Tūrangi and has a long history with this forest. Their work is overseen on behalf of the Trust by Lake Taupō Forest Management Limited.