New Standards for Plantation Forestry

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NES Plantation Forestry is a single set of national forestry regulations which replaces existing regional and district planning rules for plantation forestry, including farm forestry. Put simply, irrespective of who you are or where your trees are located, the same rules apply and everyone is working off the same page. This makes life significantly easier for plantation owners who span more than one district ensuring clarity and consistency of regulations.

The new standards turn good practise into standardised regulations which are tailored specifically to forestry industry.

NES regulates eight activities:

  • Afforestation (new plantings)
  • Pruning and thinning
  • Earthworks
  • River crossings (roads and tracks in the forest)
  • Forestry quarrying
  • Harvesting
  • Mechanical land prep (use of machines to prepare the land for planting, raking logging waste, ripping hard soils etc.)
  • Replanting (after harvesting)

The rules around these activities are structured by activity and risk. It’s set up so that most low risk activities are permitted, provided that specific conditions are met to prevent adverse environmental effects.

The risks are determined by threshold tests and encompass:

  • Erosions Susceptibility Classification
  • Fish Spawning Indicators
  • Wilding Tree Risk Calculations

By applying all the relevant threshold tests, you can easily determine whether your planned activity is ‘Permitted - with conditions’ or ‘Requires Consent’ (controlled or discretionary).

The new process requires interaction with councils, even for permitted activities, to ensure that councils have an overview of what is happening in their area.

Management Plans are required for all forestry earthworks, harvesting, quarrying and must be completed 20 days before activities begin.

If you are planning to manage your own Forestry block you need to have a clear understanding of the new regulations as failure to comply can attract significant fines. Those fines will apply to the Forest and/or Landowner irrespective of who carried out the work - be it you, your staff, contractors or subcontractors. If you need advice regarding the new NES or are seeking a forest management company fully versed in the act Northland Forest Managers can help.

Click here to download NES Regulations summary as provided by MPI.