New wood processing plant for Gisborne
The amount of wood harvested across the Tairawhiti region is expected to nearly double in volume over the next five years, and to remain at that level for the next 30 years. With only 4% of the current supply of logs being processed locally, the region has significant capacity and opportunity to grow a sustainable wood processing industry:
- The volume of wood necessary to support the development of the sector.
- A good supply of appropriately zoned land close to the port.
- A reliable energy supply and roading network.
The market is recognising this potential. Eastland Community Trust is investing $4.7m into a joint venture with Wood Engineering Technology Ltd (WET) at the former Prime sawmill. The $9.4m joint-venture, WET Gisborne Ltd (WGL), will turn lower-grade logs into high-value structural lumber and could create 120 direct jobs over the long term. Activate Tairawhiti has been closely involved in the initiative.
Up to 600 new jobs in the next five years
A further 600 jobs could be created over the next five years, due to the volume of trees reaching harvest maturity. These jobs will support further employment in management, transport, training and support services.
Activate Tairawhiti is working with the Eastland Wood Council and and sector training providers, to ensure there are enough trained employees available to meet this demand.