Clutha District Council Media Release
Thursday, 1 December 2016
Council sells some of its forestry
At a Council meeting in November, Clutha District Councillors agreed to sell some of Council’s forestry following a tender process.
Council has been reviewing its forestry portfolio since October 2014, on the basis that forestry is an investment and getting the best return for our ratepayers is critical.
Council received advice throughout the review from forestry industry and land valuation experts, and also took into consideration views expressed during public forums from farm forestry experts.
Council needed to compare what the market was prepared to pay for the forestry with the forecasted earnings from not selling, and therefore a comprehensive marketing plan was agreed and the forestry was advertised for sale in 2016.
Tenders for the sale of Council’s forests closed on 4 November 2016.
In total 12 tenders were received and Council accepted the offers from two tenderers on the following lots; Hillend, Milton, Lawrence, Kaitangata, Slopedown, and Port Molyneux.
Together these two tenders add up to $6.6 million and were considered to be strong offers.
When compared to the projected future earnings for retaining those forests it was determined that the best return to the ratepayer would be obtained by selling rather than holding onto them.
The net proceeds from the sale can be protected so it can’t be used for any other purpose except investment to provide an annual return to ratepayers.
Individual offers for the Invertiel, Heriot and Tapanui lots were not considered high enough to accept and these are likely to be remarketed in the future or retained until they are ready to harvest.
Council is aware some community members were opposed to sales but after considering all industry expert advice, and with the strong offers that were received, the forestry blocks being sold will provide the best return to ratepayers.
Mayor Bryan Cadogan said he was happy with the process that culminated in the sale.
“I’m extremely comfortable with the fact that the best long-term returns will be achieved for the ratepayers now and into the future.
This is another example of our Council’s determination to pursue efficiencies and it is my intention the proceeds from the sale will help offset rates for generations to come.”
- Media Release comments can be attributed to CEO Steve Hill except for the comments clearly made by Mayor Bryan Cadogan.