REPORTS: Specialty Wood Products Partnership (SWP)

The Specialty Wood Products Research Partnership aims to develop a high-value specialty wood products industry. The focus is on three key alternatives to radiata pine:

  • Douglas-fir
  • Eucalypts
  • Cypresses

The vision:  to create an industry which will generate $350 million of exports by 2030, driven by new plantings of diverse species, and regional growth.  This is a seven year, $14 million industry/government partnership which began in 2015.

Key activities

The SWP has three main research aims:

  1. Improving the value of the current resource – trees already growing
  • researching new products and processing techniques. The focus is on Douglas fir and non-durable eucalypts, mainly Eucalyptus nitens, E. fastigata and E. regnans.
  1. Improving the growth, form and wood quality of future plantings
  • developing novel tools and screening techniques to identify the best genetic material for the alternative species involved, and then breeding improved planting stock from selected populations.
  1. Developing integrated regional strategies
  • working with industry partners to get a good fit between regions where the various alternative species grow well and processing and marketing activities. The four main regions are :
    • East Coast North Island
    • Central North Island
    • Nelson/Marlborough
    • Otago/Southland.

Our seven-year research plan

The activities planned over the seven years of the programme under each research aim (RA) and their timing are described in full in the SWP Strategy Document (link when available). The research will be carried out by Scion, the University of Canterbury, and the NZ Dryland Forests Initiative.

Durable eucalypt trial at Waihapua, Hawke’s Bay

Veneer sheets made from E globoidea at Nelson Pine Industries Ltd.


Specialty Wood Products PSG Committee:

Peter Berg – SWP Chairman

Paul Adams – Forest Growers Research Limited

Phil de la Mare – Ernslaw One Limited

Angus Gordon – NZ Farm Forestry Association

Sean McBride – Juken New Zealand Limited

Bruce Manley – University of Canterbury, School of Forestry

Graeme Manley – Southwood Export Limited

Shaf van Ballekom – Proseed New Zealand Limited

Jez Weston – Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment


Speciality Wood Products TST:

Marco Lausberg – Chairman – Forest Growers Research Limited

Jack Burgess – Port Blakely Limited NZ

Mark Dean – Ernslaw One Limited

John Filmer – South Export Limited

Vaughan Kearns – NZ Farm Forestry Association

John Moore – Timberlands Limited

Kate Muir – Juken New Zealand Limited

Brendan Smith – Juken New Zealand Limited


Science Providers:

Clemens Altaner – University of Canterbury

Paul Millen – Vineyard Timbers Limited

Toby Stovold – Scion

Rosie Sargent – Scion