New Zealand needs continued foreign investment in forestry but it is unclear whether the new coalition Government will close the door on overseas investors, the Forest Owners Association says. It estimates that upwards of 1 million hectares of New Zealand’s 1.7m ha plantation forests are either directly owned or managed by foreign interests. Forest Owners President Peter Clark said New Zealand needed foreign investment, partly because the amounts needed were so big and for such a long time. “We’ve got $25-30 billion tied up in our plantation forests and if you restrict foreign ownership then it’s going to have to be New Zealanders. “We could do it with taxpayers’ money but you tie a lot of money up in forestry for a long time. That’s part of the reason why the Government got out of forestry in the first place,” Clark said.