In the media
Nelson Forests is celebrating three significant anniversaries on the eve of its sale to OneFortyOne Plantations (OFO) – the 90th anniversary of the planting of the first trees in Golden Downs, the 25th anniversary of its current owner Global Forest Partners (GFP) becoming a 49 percent shareholder in the company, and the 10th anniversary of GFP becoming a 100 percent shareholder.
“Celebrating this cluster of anniversaries is really significant for us,” says Lees Seymour, the Managing Director of Nelson Management Ltd (the management company for Nelson Forests). “The Golden Downs planting anniversary, in particular, is not only a significant milestone for our company but for our wider community.
“I’m sure those who did the initial planting work could never have imagined what that forest estate would mean over the decades that followed in terms of generating jobs, but also because of the role it plays in providing habitat for native flora and fauna and as a great environment for recreational activities like hunting, moutain biking, and Nelson Tasman’s Great Taste Trail.
GFP’s Chairman and CEO Peter C Mertz travelled to Nelson from New Hampshire, USA to celebrate the milestones with Nelson Forests’ staff, contractors, and suppliers at a large event at the Rutherford Hotel on 2 December.
“The Nelson team has demonstrated world-class leadership employing the very best sustainable forestry practices over the 25 years we have been invested in this enterprise,” said Mertz to those at the celebration. “I am very proud of what they have accomplished establishing themselves as a preferred supplier of high-quality wood for manufacturing customers both in New Zealand and throughout Australasian markets.”
Mertz noted that Nelson Forests has a strong culture of safety and a track record of environmental management and community involvement which has been broadly used as the benchmark for performance in the New Zealand forestry industry.
“Lees Seymour and his team have shown leadership in safe work practices, community engagement, customer service and continuous improvement. We believe they are now ready for the next chapter of their success story as a part of the OFO family.”
Seymour himself thanked staff, contractors, and suppliers for everything they do to embody Nelson Forests’ core values and to support the business’ success. “We have a big impact across the globe,” said Seymour. “It doesn’t matter what job you do within the business, it’s important.”
Nelson Pine Industries’ Managing Director Murray Sturgeon also spoke about the company’s work to support the domestic timber processing industry and the benefits that the Nelson Tasman region has enjoyed from having a stable supply of high-quality logs from well-managed forests.
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About Nelson Forests:
Nelson Forests manages 78,000ha of forest in the Nelson/Tasman and Marlborough regions and the Kaituna Sawmill near Blenheim. Nelson Forests is currently 100% owned by investment funds, advised by Global Forest Partners LP, a US-based timberland investment management organisation. In December 2017 an agreement was reached regarding the sale of the business to OneFortyOne Plantations (OFO), a leading Australian forestry company. The transaction is subject to Overseas Investment Office (OIO) approval and is expected to close during 2018.