Council likely to sell two forests

Blakely Pacific looks set to buy two forestry blocks, totalling just over 1100ha, from the Waimate District Council.

Its offer for the Athlone and Charnwood blocks was unanimously accepted by the council, subject to further public consultation.

The Athlone block has trees covering 736.9ha, while the leased Charnwood forest has trees covering 229.7ha.

The two blocks would complement the 3628ha of Waimate State Forest Blakely Pacific bought from Ngai Tahu in 2003, as well as the 29,609ha it already looked after elsewhere in New Zealand, Blakely Pacific managing director Phil Taylor said.

Waimate Mayor John Coles and councillors say the agreement is in the best interests of ratepayers.

In a statement, the council said councillors and staff had been working on the project for nearly two years and conducted an "exhaustive investigation" before agreeing to sell the two forestry blocks.

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