The central North Island and Bay of Plenty are the principal forestry growing and harvesting regions in New Zealand and Kawerau's proximity to these forests provides outstanding softwood processing opportunities 2.4 Mb. The Kaingaroa Forest, which borders Kawerau, is the largest plantation forest in the southern hemisphere. The wood processing industry in Kawerau was established in the 1950's and now includes, log processing, pulp/paper/tissue manufacturing and dimentional lumber sawmilling. All processes use 100% sustainable feedstock.
Kawerau's industry is supported by a highly skilled and internationally competitive engineering and maintenance cluster. Based in the town, a diverse and complimentary range of businesses provide support for the forestry, energy, wood processing and pulp and paper industries. When undertaking major new construction projects, these companies can be called upon, along with engineering and contracting companies from the wider region to ensure that projects come in on time and budget.
Advances in technology and the commercialisation of these processes are opening up new opportunities in use of chemicals extraction for pharmacueticals, food, adhesives, paints and a host of other specialised markets.