Southland has a well established forestry industry and supports a range of commercial forest species.
Southland also has the youngest age profile of the ten wood supply regions in New Zealand which means there is significant potential to increase harvest volumes. The region's processing infrastructure has developed as harvest volumes have increased, and now serves the industry well. Forestry employs around 1,650 fulltime equivalent workers in the Southland/Otago region. Ninety nine percent of wood is sourced from planted exotic forests, and 1% from natural forests, which are sustainably managed.
Wood Energy South
Great South in conjunction with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) have co-ordinated the Wood Energy South project - aimed at improving air quality and growing the wood energy market in Southland. Great South is still committed to support the development of the wood energy market. You can find case studies, practice paper, information on suppliers and more here.
The project was funded over three years (2014-2017) to lower energy-related carbon emissions in Southland, improve air quality and demonstrate the cost and life-cycle benefits of wood-chip and wood-pellet fuelled boilers utilising local waste wood. It provided local employment capacity building and business opportunities.