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Change in forestry regulations welcomed

woody debris Picture3

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little has welcomed the government's changes to forestry regulations.

Recent changes will see local Councils having more authority over where new forests are located, harvesting practices and slash removal. Forests planted for carbon sequestration will now be managed in the same way as plantation forests.  

The National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF) have been renamed the National Environmental Standards for Commercial Forestry (NES-CF) to reflect that the rules now include carbon forests deliberately established for commercial purposes and set expectations for harvesters.

From November 2, Councils can plan rules, in consultation with their communities, controlling where forests are located.

Mr Little said these are the most significant changes to forestry regulations in a long time.  

“This is about bringing forestry in line with other industries and land use activities. Woody debris/slash caused massive damage in Cyclone Gabrielle, particularly to infrastructure like bridges, and highlighted the need for better regulations on forestry. It is a shame it took a disaster to demonstrate an issue we in Wairoa have been talking about for decades.

“I had been working with Environment Minister David Parker well before the cyclone, including local site visits, which ensured he understood the need to give Councils greater control. The new national standards will put more power over commercial forestry in the hands of the local authorities which will now be able to have rules in their plans controlling where forests are located.

“Thank you to the government, particularly Environment Minister David Parker for listening to our concerns, taking appropriate action and putting the power back in the hands of local communities.”

Photo caption: Woody debris and slash caused massive damage in Cyclone Gabrielle and highlighted the need for better regulations on forestry. Around 20,000 m3 of woody debris material has been recovered and stockpiled on Wairoa beaches and reserves to date.

11 October 2023

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