New Zealand's Timber Industry


The story of the timber industry in New Zealand is a fascinating one; with its existing indigenous forests and the introduction of exotic forests.

Timber and its related industries have played an important role in the New Zealand economy.

The Museum represents an important part of our heritage, how the industry evolved from the back breaking days of clearing bush by hand and with bullocks to the highly specialised  logging of the 21st century. This museum is unique, not only is it one of the few museums in New Zealand specialising in the timber industry, its location is in the heart of what has been the most thriving timber district in New Zealand for over one hundred years.

Taupo Totara Timber Company, New Zealand Forest Products, Putaruru Timber Yard Ltd , Ellis & Burnand Ltd have all been major contributors to the development of the Museum and have permanent displays of their company histories on show. In more recent years, Carter Holt Harvey has donated records, photographs and mill equipment to the museum to add to the comprehensive history already on display.

Although originally set up as a museum portraying the local timber industry's history it quickly expanded to encompass the national timber industry as a whole.

Since its inception the museum has been indebted for the tremendous support received from: the local community, community organisations, the tireless volunteers, the Putaruru Timber Museum Society; the Timber industry locally and nationally for their knowledge and expertise, machinery and financial support; local businesses who have donated materials or supplied them at cost; local government, the labour provided through labour department, PEP, Workskills and the Department of Corrections and for grants received from organisations like NZ Lotteries Commission, Pub charity and Transpower.