Forestry is a key part of New Zealand’s economy.

New Zealand is a significant producer of wood products for the Asia-Pacific region, and the international reputation of our forests has captured the attention of investors for many years. 

Forests are also a critical carbon sink and have a role to play in the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and for voluntary offsetting towards being carbon neutral.

We have worked alongside the forestry sector for over 30 years and are well-placed to guide clients through the legal issues affecting their businesses.

We help our clients adapt to significant change within the sector – including an increased focus on meeting climate change commitments, ‘right tree, right place’, competing demands for products, processing and export issues, increased demand for biofuels and a constantly changing regulatory environment.

Our services include corporate advice on the acquisition of forestry assets, including New Zealand's overseas investment regime, tax structuring and joint ventures.

We assist clients with operational arrangements (from planting and harvesting to processing and exporting) and long-term supply arrangements.

We have specialist expertise in the ETS, both in respect of earning and trading carbon credits and entering into off-take agreements with emissions producers, and the role of forestry in becoming carbon neutral.

Work Highlights

Matariki Forests Group (New Zealand's third largest forestry company)

We have advised on numerous projects, including the establishment of AVA Timber log export JV with Hancock Natural Resource Group Australasia Pty Ltd, creating NZ's largest log export JV operation.

We have also advised on the $167 million investment in it by London-listed Phaunos Timber Fund, and on the purchase of forestry land and assets and ongoing forestry management issues.

New Zealand Carbon Farming

We advise on its New Zealand wide forestry leasing program, acquisition of existing forest land and farm land for new forest plantings for its ETS program.

Harvard Management Company, Inc (investment arm of Harvard University)

We have advised on its New Zealand forestry and farming investments, including the sell-down of its stake in Kaingaroa Forest (valued at approximately US$650 million) to Canadian pension fund Public Sector Pension Investment Board.

Port Blakely

We have advised on the acquisition of multiple forests, preparing template operational arrangements and providing tax and corporate structuring advice.

Emissions reduction

We have advised emissions-intensive businesses on using forestry as part of their emissions reduction strategy.


We advised on the purchase of a 1,800-hectare commercial pine forest as part of a native forest regeneration project in the Hunua ranges aimed at better preserving Auckland's water supply.

Offshore investors

We have advised many timber investment management organisations (TIMOs) and overseas investors, including Matariki Forests, Soper-Wheeler, Port Blakely, China National Building Materials, The Campbell Group, Hansol and Global Forest Partners.

Our Experts