Assessing your land

In assessing your land you will need to know the following:

  • What are the existing trees on your land – location, type, age?
  • How much will you plant?
  • How much will it be worth?

Once you’ve used the map to find out how much land you have that qualifies, you can then plug these numbers into a calculator created by Motu to see how much money you would make by re-purposing your land into forest.

You must not rely on the information in this calculator as an alternative to advice from an appropriately qualified professional.  If you have any specific questions about any matter you should consult an appropriately qualified professional.

The calculator allows you to change the:

  • current NZU price,
  • rate at which you expect this price to increase over time,
  • age of existing trees (if any),
  • discount rate (in order to calculate earnings in present-day dollars),
  • per hectare cost to establish native forest, and
  • number of hectares you have available.

The calculator will then give you an indication of:

  • the cash you could receive upfront for 20 years of carbon units in advance from a contract with an emitter,
  • the revenue after accounting for establishment costs and financial support from funding programmes (i.e. ECFP and One Billion Trees),
  • a steady annual flow of income, and
  • the cash that would be owed if you cleared your land of trees in 20 years’ time.


Some of the land blocks in the Waro Project have acquired funding to employ a broker to help out with understanding eligibility for carbon farming. Funding has come from:

“[Forestry] was a way of utilising the land. I guess we’re just thinking, well, there’s supposed to be some money coming out of it, which we may not see but our children and grandchildren will see.”

Māori landowner

“[The intermediary] basically did everything… It would be difficult legally and probably ethically for us… if I was unsure if the person really knew much about the ETS and emission units. … I wouldn’t want to cut a long-term deal with them if they didn’t have sufficient advice, so having [the intermediary] there … made things quicker and… we both knew that he knew what he was talking about.”

Large scale emitter