The parent company of Swedish retail giant Ikea has acquired 5,500 hectares of New Zealand farmland for forestry plantation. A statement from the firm said the project would be managed by Ingka Investments, the investment arm of Ingka Group and Ikea.
The property, Wisp Hill Station, is located in the north Catlins in Otago. An area of 330ha will be planted with radiata pine seedlings and the long-term plan is to have a total of 3,000 hectares, more than 3 million seedlings, planted in the next five years. The remaining 2200 hectares would be left to naturally regenerate into native bush. The first planned harvest will take place 29 years after planting at the end of the first rotation.
A lease back requirement would allow previous owners, the Ward family, to properly phase out their operations over a minimum three-year period. The purchase agreement became unconditional with the approval of the land acquisition by the Overseas Investment Office on August 27.
“We are delighted to expand our forestry portfolio into a new country and this investment demonstrates our long-term commitment to New Zealand. Responsible forest management, reforestation and afforestation all form part of the solution for climate change, and we are committed to enhancing carbon removal through our forests.
“Our commitment to responsible forest management means taking proper care of the environment, respecting the needs of the local communities and setting high standards for the business partners we work with,” Ingka Investments Managing Director Krister Mattsson said.