Reporoa-based sawmilling company, Donelley Sawmillers in conjunction with Abodo Wood, have joined forces with Rotorua Lakes Council to complete phase two of the inner city revitalisation project at the former City Focus site.

Donelley Sawmillers will supply timber for all the wooden products at a reduced rate while its marketing arm, Abodo, will provide expert research and development consulting advice around how the design can be achieved

Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick today acknowledged the partnership saying it would build on Rotorua's wood first policy and show case an innovative wood design as a major part of the inner city revitalisation programme
Donelley Sawmillers managing director Aaron Donelley, born and bred in the Rotorua district, said he was delighted to be involved in such an iconic project.

"The wood is environmentally friendly and a sustainable product from our own back yard, the Kaingaroa Forest," he said.


"We will be working with radiata (pine). It is chemical free, competes with hardwood and is locally sourced. We're a local sawmiller, we want to support Rotorua and we're surrounded by wood, so why not use it?"

Rotorua Lakes Council adopted a Wood First Policy in April 2015 recognising that Rotorua sits at the heart of New Zealand's forestry and wood industry, and that approximately 40 per cent of the country's wood is harvested within 100km of the inner city. The policy encourages use of wood products to support the district's wood industry and in this case locally sourced timber processed within our district.

Donelley's, based in Reporoa, employs 60 people and wants to continue to support and invest in the Rotorua and Bay of Plenty community.

Bespoke Landscape Architects are currently undertaking the detailed design for the project which is expected to be completed mid-March at which time it will go out to tender.

"This is incredibly exciting to hear of this contribution from Donelleys, a long standing family in our community with a history of saw-milling and of being innovative millers," said Mrs Chadwick.

"It is fantastic that their brand is now going to come right into the heart of the city with such a generous offer. It is also a lovely link again with someone else that we value in our community."
Abodo Wood is a New Zealand based designer and manufacturer of healthy exterior wood products, specialising in durable, natural wood products.

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Marketing director Daniel Gudsell said Abodo sources its raw material from certified forests in the region.

"Rotorua's 'Wood First' initiative recognises the economic, environmental, cultural and social significance of 'wood' within the community and it is our pleasure to support such a project in Rotorua, as well as showcase what timber can achieve," he said.