TIMBERLANDS – AN OVERVIEW
Timberlands is the largest supplier of exotic logs on the West Coast, contributing an estimated 90 percent of local production. Approximately 60 -70 percent of these logs are processed on the West Coast, the exceptions being log grades such as chipwood which are currently unable to be processed locally.
In forestry and directly related activities there are approximately 470 people employed on the West Coast, which represents around 4% of the total workforce of the region. Further employment is also created in indirect occupations.
Timberlands important role as a local employer is reflected in the fact that the company provides work to nearly half of this workforce, some 200 in total. Salaried and part time employees constitute 32 of these, the other 140- 160 being made up of forestry and operational contractors and their employees.
The availability of a skilled local workforce is a key ingredient in the future prosperity of West Coast forestry. The existing forestry workforce is highly skilled with forestry workers having access to a wide range of skill development courses at certificate, diploma or degree levels.
The forestry sector contributes between $35 – 40 million to the West Coast economy per annum, or roughly 10% of its total output. The forest industry has the potential capacity to generate $75-90 million annually within the next decade.
Timberlands makes a significant contribution to the local economy with an annual income of around $25 million, the majority of which goes back into the region.
The company is one of the largest rate-payers in the region with payments made to the Westland, Grey, Buller and Tasman District Councils, and also the West Coast Regional Council. The company’s rates include payment on land it reserves from production.
Timberlands and the West Coast Community
Timberlands makes major contributions direct to the West Coast community as one of the larger businesses operating in the region.
After visiting and enjoying the lush sceneries in the forest, you can visit Pocket casino for a round of casino games.
The company recognises the importance of education with strong support for local schools ranging from early childhood to tertiary levels. Initiatives include school-enterprise support visits and presentations, sponsorship of industry related polytechnic programmes, establishment of a regional science quiz, participation in the nationally-based “Forestry Insights” series and an associated “Forest Week” programme.
The Timberlands university study scholarship enables young people from the West Coast to attend university and obtain qualifications of relevance to the forestry industry. One new scholarship is offered each year. The company also provides summer vacation work for tertiary students.
Timberlands’ support of cultural, sporting and recreational pursuits and programmes has enabled a large number of young West Coasters to become actively involved in gaining valuable physical and social skills. These programmes include sponsorship of junior sport in many forms, cultural activities involving the arts and crafts and support for environmental enhancement projects.
The company’s forests are open to the public except in operational areas. Activities range from nature walks to mountain biking and car rallies.
Hunting is permitted outside of normal working hours in the company’s forests subject to an access permit and provision of a firearms licence where appropriate.
The company’s forests are also a regulated source of firewood for personal domestic purposes, with access by way of permit and subject to a user code of safety standard.
Individual and corporate gold prospectors and miners are able to mine and prospect for gold or other minerals in Timberlands forest, provided that appropriate licenses and permissions are obtained and restitution is required for any damage done.
The greatest potential return to the West Coast from forestry will be through the continued development of timber processing on the West Coast.
The West Coast is fortunate in having a number of factors which lend themselves to processing locally including:
a high quality log resource suitable for a wide range of uses
a highly skilled labour force
internationally certified management systems
local government support
Timberlands is actively encouraging the further development of processing on the West Coast to maximise the return to the West Coast community.