Our history

Where we have been and where we are heading.

Discover our journey
Ernslaw One establishes itself in New Zealand, purchasing Tapanui, Sands and Whangapoua Crown Forest License as well as the Conical sawmill from the Crown.The sawmill is renamed Blue Mountain Lumber and rapidly expands including the installation of a second line and then a finger jointing and remanufacturing plant, employing 230 staff on a double shift at its peak in the late 90s. Blue Mountain Forest in Tapanui was originally established in 1900 and many of the stands purchased were second or third rotation.
Ernslaw One enters into a Joint Venture with Ford’s Nurseries in Oamaru to grow large volumes of Douglas-fir seedlings for a large afforestation programme in Otago/Southland. Ernslaw purchased Ford’s share in 2002 and renamed it Oregon Nurseries which continued until it was sold in 2017.
Ernslaw One makes further acquisitions of six properties in the Manawatu/Whanganui region.
The first Radiata pine trees are planted at one of the Titoki properties. This was the first of a number of farmland properties purchased in northern Wairarapa and established in radiata pine. Further acquisition of South Island hill country farmland began in Clutha and Southland with planting predominantly in Douglas-fir.
Following the acquisition of harvesting rights for the Ngai Tahu owned Blue Mountain Forests in Tapanui in 1990, Ernslaw One is offered the opportunity by Iwi to purchase Blue Mountain Forests land (around 12,000ha) in 1998. Ngai Tahu purchased the land as part of their settlement in 1996, but soon after decided to divest itself of forest land, providing the opportunity for Ernslaw to purchase.
Ernslaw One is offered the opportunity by Ngai Tahu to purchase Naseby Forest (land and trees) – the capital of curling and kōura. Ernslaw One entered into a log supply contract with Naseby Lumber which was built to supply green Douglas-fir framing into the local market.
Ernslaw One donates a piece of land within Naseby Forest to the community for the development of a luge track and curling centre to further the unique recreational activities in the area which provide year-round tourism opportunities.

Since the indoor curling centre was opened in 2006, at a cost of $1.3 million, there has been significant positive benefits for the surrounding Maniototo District and Central Otago as a whole.
Following the receivers for Huaguang Forests offering some of its estate up for sale, Ernslaw One was given the opportunity to purchase Mangatu, Ruatoria and Tokomaru Forests on the East Coast, making it the single biggest expansion of Ernslaw’s estate.  This expansion required the establishment of an office in Gisborne and the East Coast operation now employs over 35 people and more than 165 contractors.
Prime Sawmill in Gisborne is purchased to process Ernslaw One’s pruned logs and supply clears (timber without any knots) into the US market.  The sawmill was consolidated into WPI when Ernslaw One purchased WPI in 2008 and closed in 2009 after unfavourable trading conditions and soaring exchange rates during the GFC.
Ernslaw One purchases Winstone Pulp International (WPI), including Karioi Pulpmill and Tangiwai Sawmill alongside Karioi CFL, as well as Waimarino forests which includes Atihau, Ngaporo and Pipiriki Forests leases. Blue Mountain Lumber in Otago was closed down after several years of unfavourable trading.
Ernslaw One sells more than 500,000 carbon offsets (AAUs) to the Norwegian Government - the first international carbon credit sale by a New Zealand company and the world's largest forest-sink sale at that time. This was hailed as the start of a possible major export revenue earner with "enormous potential" for Otago and Southland.
Ernslaw One investigates the long-term benefits and potential revenue of freshwater Kōura farming. KEEWAI was established, a hatchery built and 1800 ponds were formed to grow Kōura. While the South Island freshwater crayfish is classified as one of New Zealand’s native species under threat due to the degradation of freshwater habitats, it thrives in well managed plantation forests.
The purchase of existing forests and farmland for afforestation in Marlborough and the Manawatu / Whanganui region add to the company’s estate.
Ernslaw One’s aquaculture division, KEEWAI, was awarded Best in Class at the NZ Food Awards, for its kōura (freshwater crayfish).  Environment Southland’s Southland Community Environment Award went to Ernslaw One for its use of areas that are unsuitable for growing trees, to farm freshwater crayfish. Hundreds of ponds were created in frost zones, unplanted riparian areas near waterways and in powerline corridors.  Environment Southland noted that Ernslaw One has taken sediment reduction to the next level with its dedication to environmental sustainability and protection of the local ecosystems.
Ernslaw One continues to innovate and service their loyal customers.