There are twelve million acres of publicly owned forests in New Zealand, including State forests, National parks and Crown lands, and some four million acres of privately owned forest, much of it on Maori land. The indigenous softwood resources (rimu, matai, totara, etc.) cover a million acres, less than seven per cent of the total forest area, and are estimated to contain in round figures six thousand million board feet of timber. The exotic forests cover 860,000 acres, about half in State Forests, and the rest established by private enterprise or local bodies.
In this country as in other British countries, most people are not forest minded, although the forests play an important role in our national life. To be forest minded means to have a practical, unsentimental appreciation of the role of the forests— in the conservation of water resources, the growth of timber, the prevention of soil erosion, sport, and the enjoyment of natural beauty. Forestry is an art born of necessity, the necessity of making the most of relatively limited forest resources. To derive the greatest benefit from our forests we must all take an interest in them and protect them.