Riparian native planting
in a plantation forest.

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Aratu Forests, one of New Zealand’s largest freehold forest plantations has entered into a 90-year ‘right to plant’ land management agreement with sustainable land-use company, eLandNZ – with the backing of Ūawanui, the Gisborne District Council and Crown research institute, SCION.

The scheme has been under development for many years and is set to create a permanent native forest buffer alongside waterways within Aratu Forests. In September 2021 the first trees were planted paving the way forward for native establishment.

The project will see eLandNZ progressively manage revegetation of streamside buffers within the Aratu Forests estate that are unsuitable for timber plantation. In the first 25-years the focus will be on establishing a permanent streamside native forest with primary species planted including manuka, belts of larger native trees in higher areas and flax in flood zones.

The specific environmental improvements will include greater biodiversity, improved water quality and reduce offsite wood debris movement during any future flood event.

Aratu Forests and eLandNZ recognise the relationship between Iwi and water, as well as the role of kaitiakitanga in managing our precious natural resources. The project is expected to create a series of partnerships with local iwi, council, businesses and communities over years to come.

About eLandNZ

eLandNZ Ltd is a sustainable land use company that has a proven track record of supporting land owners, Maori incorporations and intergenerational farmers convert unproductive and Riparian land to alternative sustainable land use including native and permanent forestry for carbon and also apiculture. eLandNZ manage the land change process end to end from reviewing the land to recommending options to implementation and maintenance.

For more information on eLandNZ click here.

About Aratu Forests

Aratu Forests Limited is a high-quality forestry estate and asset management business based in the Gisborne District of New Zealand’s North Island. They are committed to providing responsible, effective and efficient forest management solutions.

For more information on Aratu visit Aratu Forests.


Aratu Forest Ltd and eLandNZ are thrilled to have the support and ongoing involvement of a number of renowned and expert partners who believe in this initiative and the benefits that it will bring to the environment and local communities.
"The pilot riparian native forest scheme is another touchstone in the journey towards future proofing the ‘kaitiekitanga (custodianship)’ of our catchment and the legacy of environmental sustainability that we will leave behind for our mokopuna. "
Ūawanui Environmental Sustainability Project spokesperson - Victor Walker

Register your interest

The pilot planting kicks off this April with around 170 hectares of riparian land on the Aratu Forestry estate being prepared for planting later this year.

To receive updates on how this scheme is progressing, please provide your email address below and we will keep you up to date.

Go to Aratu Forests Website