New plantation forestry regulations

Monday, March 12, 2018

Plantation forestry is the third largest primary sector in New Zealand with significant economic and social benefits; however it has the potential to cause significant adverse effects on the environment.

Currently, forestry related activities are controlled by rules in district and regional plans. This is set to change as of 1 May 2018. Forestry activities will need to comply with new national standards. A national approach is being taken due to differences in standards across the country causing uncertainty and a disparity in costs.

The new rules cover eight plantation forestry activities all of which can be carried out as permitted activities if specific standards are complied with. If the standards are not complied with resource consent will be required. There will also be new tools introduced to help people to determine whether resource consent is needed. The new tools include an Erosion Susceptibility classification, Wilding Tree Risk calculator and a Fish Spawning indicator.

The regulations will be published under the Resource Management (National Environment Standards for Plantation Forestry) Regulations 2017. These regulations will not apply to every forestry area, only those above one hectare that were planted for commercial purposes. In addition, if the activity is occurring outside the boundary of the plantation forest these regulations will not apply. For activities where these standards do not apply, referral to the district or regional rules will continue to be applicable.

With just under two months until these new rules will apply, it is important to be aware of whether your works will be permitted or need resource consents.

For further information contact a member of our resource management team.


Disclaimer: the content of this article is general in nature and not intended as a substitute for specific professional advice on any matter and should not be relied upon for that purpose. 

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