Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Forestry
The Government has committed to a strong regional presence for Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand), with the construction of a new Forestry Hub in Rotorua announced by Forestry Minister Shane Jones today.
Speaking at a blessing ceremony at the site of the new building, Scion’s Rotorua campus, Minister Jones said the Forestry Hub, which will be shared with the Department of Conservation, will ultimately house some 50 Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) staff, with 25 of those from Te Uru Rākau.
“In order for us to strengthen and grow the New Zealand forestry sector, it is important that we build a strong and dedicated regional presence, as was outlined in the Coalition Agreement,” Shane Jones said.
Te Uru Rākau is currently scaling up to support the delivery of the government's forestry goals.
“The current office, also located on Scion’s Rotorua campus, has been assessed as no longer fit for purpose and an alternative solution was required to accommodate the growing number of regional staff.
“The purpose-built facility will be constructed with sustainable construction techniques, including using New Zealand grown timber for both the structural and visible parts of the building. A new build provides an opportunity to demonstrate the value of wood for building and will show case the opportunity to use timber grown and manufactured in New Zealand more extensively.
“Using New Zealand-engineered timber will deliver a range of benefits – social, environmental and regional – and see the creation of jobs and renewed investment in forestry, processing, manufacturing, construction, and prefabrication.
“This ties in nicely with the Rotorua Lakes District Council’s Wood First policy which encourages the use of wood products to support the district's vital wood industry. So we’re right at home here,” Minister Jones said.
The Forestry Hub will be built from a combination of engineered timber columns, posts, portals and trusses, and the external envelope will feature a selection of timber elements that will mimic the surrounding natural environment.
Aside from its natural beauty, engineered timber provides a very strong, low carbon alternative to steel and concrete. It is also relatively light and has outstanding earthquake and fire resilience.
“As well as demonstrating the versatility of wood, this new building will cement Te Uru Rākau’s important relationship with Scion.
“Scion Campus has been identified as a good location for the new build. Staff will be able to enjoy the facilities this campus offers, and collaborate with the wider Scion team and their Department of Conservation colleagues,” Shane Jones said.
The building is expected to be completed by late 2020.
The Forestry Hub will be built by a developer, who will determine the design and size of the building. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) will work with the developer to ensure it meets their requirements.
The Ministry for Primary Industries and the Department of Conservation will be tenants within the new building and the potential developer will be covering the building costs.
MPI is currently finalising contractual arrangements with a developer. Until these arrangements have been finalised we are unable to discuss this further.
Concept drawings will be made available once contractual arrangements are in place.