Total stock of exotic forest planted in New Zealand

By ownership type, year ended March 1952–2018, millions of hectares


Until 1987, the statistics were compiled by the New Zealand Forest Service. The figures for 1987 onwards are estimates from NEFD surveys.
The total planted forest areas have been estimated independently from new planted forest areas.
Prior to 1987, "State" refers principally to the forests planted or managed by the New Zealand Forest Service. Since 1987, "State" refers primarily to the forests owned or managed by State-owned enterprises and West Coast and Maori lease forests managed by the Ministry for Primary Industries.
Private afforestation figures are based on incomplete historical data, and considerable estimation has taken place.


Afforestation: The planting of trees for the primary purpose of producing wood or wood fibre, on land that has not previously been used for growing planted production forests.
Forest area: Net stocked planted production forest area.
Net stocked forest area: The planted production forest area occupied by trees, excluding mappable gaps such as landings, roads and other unstocked areas.

Data provided by

Ministry for Primary Industries

Dataset name

National Exotic Forest Description 2018


How to find the data

At URL provided, select 'National Exotic Forest Description 2018' > 'Download 2018 the NEFD tables [XLSX, 114 KB]'.
Some sheets were combined by Figure.NZ for processing purposes.

Import & extraction details

File as imported: National Exotic Forest Description 2018

From the dataset National Exotic Forest Description 2018, this data was extracted:

  • Sheet: Forest area
  • Range: C9:E82
  • Provided: 222 data points

This data forms the table Forestry - Planted production forest area 1921–2018.

Dataset originally released on:

May 09, 2019

About this dataset

The National Exotic Forest Description (NEFD) provides a detailed description of New Zealand’s planted production forest to help with resource policy planning and industry development.

Purpose of collection

To maintain an authoritative, high quality database of New Zealand’s production forests.

Method of collection/Data provider

The NEFD surveys known forest owners and managers with at least 40 hectares of planted exotic production forest. The survey is run on a two-yearly cycle, where all known forest owners with 40 or more hectares of forest are surveyed one year (census), and the next year only owners with more than 1,000 hectares (sample).