The harvest of just over 11-hectares of forest, between Ti Point and Leigh Roads, started on July 10, after being delayed by nearly four years..
The forest was planted 24 years ago on a former landfill site owned by Auckland Council and, in 2013, it was expected to return $150,000.
However, the harvest was postponed in April 2013, when two live and two dead kauri snails, a protected species, were found on the site.
Since then, 50 snails and 22 eggs have been relocated to Auckland Zoo.
Contractor Woodbank is carrying out the harvest in two stages. Nearly eight hectares will be cut in the first six weeks and is expected to return close to 4500 tonnes of wood.
The final 3.6 hectares will be cut in summer and is expected to yield about 2200 tonnes. Woodbank director Darrin Collett says this will happen between January and March next year to avoid environmental damage through wet weather logging.
He says Council has chosen to harvest now as the market is favourable. There are also safety concerns that the trees could pose a threat to neighbouring properties during a storm.
Woodbank has a procedure in place to protect any remaining snails, which involves creating a 20-metre wide perimeter around the snail and relocating it.
Department of Conservation communications spokesperson Nick Hirst says the snails are not actually native to the area.
“They were relocated in the 1980s from Northland where they are native,” Nick says.
Council says no commitment has been made to spend the money on local projects.