SYDNEY, 2 July 2019 – New Forests is pleased to announce that it has finalised the acquisition of Hikurangi Forest Farms (HFF), based in Gisborne, New Zealand, on behalf of its investment clients.
HFF is one of the largest forestry estates in the Gisborne region and includes around 25,000 hectares of radiata pine plantation on 35,000 hectares of freehold, forest rights, and leasehold land. Significant investment has been carried out since the assets were acquired in 1997, building a high yielding and sustainable forest estate that is a significant contributor to the regional economy.
New Forests continues to implement an ownership transition plan incorporating continuity of operations. HFF directly employs 32 staff and spends over NZD 40 million per annum in the East Coast community. New Forests and HFF have undertaken initial engagement with key stakeholders, including local businesses, Tangata Whenua representatives, councils, and community groups.
“We are encouraged by the positive engagement with stakeholders through the transition period and look forward to further collaboration to support the long-term sustainability of this regionally significant forestry asset,” Matt Crapp, Director Operations for New Forests said.
As part of the ownership transition HFF has been renamed Aratu Forests Limited. A formal launch of the new rebranded business is planned in Gisborne in September 2019.
Aratu Forests Limited will continue to be responsible for the ongoing legal proceedings related to breaches of the Resource Management Act following the Tolaga Bay storm damage in June 2018. “We will be actively pursuing strategies under the relaunched business to ensure that our management practices learn from the outcomes of the Tolaga Bay storm and meet local regulatory and international third-party forest certification standards,” said Crapp.
Mark Rogers, Managing Director for New Forests’ Australia-New Zealand business said, “New Forests and our clients represent long-term, stable, institutional ownership that we believe will be a key enabler for the future sustainable growth of New Zealand’s forest industry.”
About New Forests
New Forests is an Australian-based international sustainable forestry investment manager that has been operating in New Zealand since 2005. New Forests has a New Zealand office in Tauranga and manages investments on the North and South Island, including the Timberlink sawmill business in Blenheim. Globally, New Forests Pty Ltd and its subsidiaries manage investments in around 550,000 net hectares of forests and timberlands across a global portfolio of nearly 1 million hectares of forestry and conservation investments. The firm is committed to investment strategies at the leading edge of forestry, land management, and conservation.
As global demand for resources grows, there is a need to increase productivity while ensuring the conservation of the world’s remaining natural forests. New Forests seeks to create investment strategies that provide lasting solutions to this challenge. Through responsible management of forests and other real assets, we create shared benefit for investors and local communities alike. New Forests has international reach, with offices and assets in Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, and the US. This gives us a global perspective combined with local expertise that allows us to understand and manage our assets more effectively.
To learn more, visit www.newforests.com.au.