Much debate has taken place over many years about how to stem the importation of illegally logged wood into New Zealand, because of the serious effect it has economically and environmentally in the country of origin.

Illegal logging overseas occurs when trees are felled:

  • In violation of national laws
  • By logging of protected species
  • By extraction of more timber than authorised
  • Obtaining logging concessions through corrupt practices

The main species attracting attention has been Kwila, used principally for decking but also outdoor furniture and the like.

In April 2011, a landmark industry consensus was reached in New Zealand to import and sell only timber from Indonesia that has credible verification of legality.

This agreement came into effect in September 2011, and is fully supported by ITM.

While Indonesia has been cited because of its Kwila exports to New Zealand, other countries that will fall under examination at some time in the near future include Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, West Africa and South America.

What can builders and consumers do from here?

Certified verification is the only way to be sure of the legality of the imported timber you purchase, and at ITM we support that 100%.


  • FSC Forest Stewardship Council
  • PEFC Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification
  • CERTISOURCE Scientific DNA Verification, tracking from tree to customer
  • TFT Tropical Forest Trust
  • SGS Societe Generale de Surveillance
  • SMARTWOOD Rainforest Alliances verification programme

For full assurance about the origin of the imported timber you are considering, talk to your local ITM store or go to for further information. For information on addressing illegal logging and associated trade policy go to: