[5 August/Stuff]

According to the Overseas Investment Office, a forest sale to overseas investment company New Forests was likely to advance the Government’s plan to plant one billion trees over 10 years. New Forests intended to prune more of the trees, increasing the likelihood the wood would be supplied to domestic processors. New Forests Associate Director, MaryKate Bullen, said while all its investments were managed by local firms, they worked closely to help with operational efficiencies, and forest certification. The OIO allowed the purchase of a 38 percent stake in Wenita Forest Products and full ownership of Otago Land Company. New Forests promised more protection for indigenous vegetation and wetlands, control against animal pests, and more public access. New Forests was attracted by strong housing markets, rising demand for hardwood chips and softwood logs in China, easing currencies and low shipping rates. Investors in New Forest funds are mainly other superannuation funds.