John and Ben milling kauri


Since the 1980s, Mahoe Sawmills has been producing sawmills designed and made by sawmillers. Our sawmills are renowned for their efficiency and usability, these qualities have come about through decades of product development and improvements.

Mahoe Sawmills is owned and operated by the Bergman brothers, based in Kerikeri, Northland, New Zealand.  John Bergman always liked timber, he was always building or making something out of wood. When his younger brother Ben was pig hunting and found an old salvage kauri log, John approached the forestry to buy the logs. John and Ben Bergman started milling the high value salvage kauri in the 1980s in the remote hills of the Bay of Islands. Back then, the brothers travelled 1-2 hours on rough forestry tracks to access the logs with inaccessible logs heli-logged out of the forest. Their first mill was a light, custom built twin with a VW motor, inserted tooth blades and maximum 12” x 8” cut.

Milling Swamp Kauri

Mahoe sawmills are still used to mill swamp kauri. Swamp kauri is dug from the ground in the north of New Zealand, where buried trees can be 600 years old to 45,000 years old. The Kauri tree can live up to 2,000 years.

Original Mahoe Mills

In the early 1990s, a delegation of Russian visitors came to view the cheese factory operation at Mahoe Farm’s dairy unit. While visiting, they also saw the Mahoe sawmill and kauri timber yard. Liking what they saw, two units were ordered for shipment to Siberia. John and Ben Bergman had the background and knowledge to build the best, the requirements of mills that were reliable and durable for use in remote Northland were also the necessary attributes of a mill operating in Siberia.

Mahoe sawmills can now be found all over the world in the United States, Canada, Indonesia, Samoa, Papua New Guinea and as far abroad as Cameroon.

Fieldays & Events

Mahoe sawmills are regularly demonstrated at Fieldays events in New Zealand and Australia. One of our first events was the New Zealand National Fieldays at Mystery Creek in 1993 and we have been regular attendees ever since.

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