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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



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Timber Productions

Twelve per cent of the country's total production of timber is derived from the West Coast, most of it being cut in Grey and Westland counties. The real significance of the region's sawmilling industry lies in the 24 per cent of the total indigenous timber production which it supplies. Some of the largest remaining virgin and millable expanses of podocarp forest are in the region, rimu being the preferred timber. The beech forests are less favoured because the timbers are incompetitive with those of the podocarps. The silvicultural management of rimu is, however, complex and the regeneration of the stands difficult. Only in recent years has investigation into sustained yield forestry been undertaken and it is recognised that the period of regeneration is a long one. Consequently the exploitation of the more quickly and easily regenerated northern beech forests appears as a more attractive proposition, whilst the establishment of exotic forests on the steeper cut-over rimu lands is under consideration. The derelict condition of vast areas of cut-over land is a constant reminder of the exploitative attitude which has prevailed throughout the economic life of the region. The implementation of a successful and scientific management policy for the forests would be a major factor in refurbishing the region's economy.

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