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Western Southland forestry estate with carbon credentials for sale

A recently planted, professionally established and well-considered forestry estate in the Western Southland District bordering Fiordland National Park has come to the open market, offering opportunity for a new owner to leverage the extensive capital investment made by the vendors in recent years.

The property at 383 Lake Monowai Road, Monowai comprises a proposed 691ha landholding (subject to survey) to be subdivided off Westend Station, a large sheep and beef property that has been faithfully farmed intergenerationally by a well-known rural Southland family.

The forestry estate has a net stocked area of 456ha planted in Pinus Radiata during 2022 and 2023 at a desirable stocking ratio of 1,100 stems per hectare. There are also regenerative native trees on the property.

This pine plantation has been under professional forestry management from ground preparation through to planting, release spray and post-planting stages including blanking to create a robust and promising estate.

A creditable 90 percent survival rate has been achieved for the young trees which are planted at 200-400 metres above sea level (MASL), with the majority being sub-300 MASL.

Initial roading is in place to help future-proof the plantation from a maintenance, monitoring and eventual harvest perspective.

The vendors are currently working towards confirming the emission trading scheme (ETS) status through the averaging system. After careful planning and implementation of the plantation, the ETS application has been lodged and once the ETS status has been confirmed, the subject landholding will be subdivided off.

Describing the opportunity as a turnkey carbon and timber forestry investment, Shay Moseby and Hayden McCallum, Country & Co. Invercargill in partnership with Bayleys are marketing the property for sale on behalf of Westend Station by deadline private treaty, closing 19th December.

Having progressed the forestry component of their successful hill country sheep and beef station with the same attention to detail as the rest of their farming operations, Moseby says the vendors now wish to release some capital to advance plans for increasing productive capacity on the farm and to further other opportunities, with a flexible approach to the sale process.

“They identified that the best and highest use for this traditionally less productive hill land would be forestry given its aspect and contour, and the potential income stream that carbon adds to traditional forestry investment,” he says.

“As businesses and corporates look to offset their emissions, the carbon market holds significant potential for forest owners and with the ball rolling on establishing this property’s ETS status, a new owner can pursue the carbon potential offered here while growing the timber investment year on year from the production forest.”

Moseby says the vendors would consider retaining an interest in the asset as either an equity partner or by keeping up to 100ha of the forestry land themselves, so enquiry from interested parties is encouraged so that purchasing options can be actively explored.

McCallum says the hard work and capital input already undertaken streamlines the path for a new owner.

“Greenfield forestry conversions are typically characterised by prolonged timeframes and compliance constraints so this ready-to-go estate takes away those handbrakes,” says McCallum.

“You have the trees, the land and the potential carbon credits overlaid with the fact that the vendors did extensive homework before embarking on the planting regime.

“Naturally, prospective purchasers should undertake their own due diligence with regards carbon and timber production parameters and obligations.”

Further underscoring the fundamentals of this forestry estate is its proximity to New Zealand’s southernmost port, Southport in Bluff and the numerous sawmills and processing facilities in the district including Craigpine in Winton, Niagara near Invercargill and Daiken in Mataura.

The subject property is around 31km from Tuatapere – the nearest service town, 135km from Invercargill city and 184km from Queenstown.

The Lake Monowai area lies south of Lake Manapouri and borders New Zealand’s largest national park, Fiordland National Park which is internationally recognised as part of the wider UNESCO World Heritage site, Te Wāhipounamu (Place of the Greenstone).

Ministry for Primary Industries figures show forestry returns an annual gross income of around $6.6 billion to the country, making up 1.6% of New Zealand's gross domestic product, with forestry and wood products being New Zealand's fourth-largest export earner, just behind horticulture.

Click here for more information on the listing.

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