Upcoming Changes to National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry

Upcoming Changes to National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry
Attention all forestry stakeholders! The world of plantation forestry is evolving. Effective from the 2nd of November 2023, the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry will undergo significant revisions. These changes come in the wake of the challenges posed by extreme weather events, particularly the detrimental aftermath of forestry ‘slash’. Additionally, the expanding scope and variety of exotic forestry demands a revisit to our existing standards.

Why the Change?
The increasing incidents of damage due to forestry ‘slash’ and the rise in land areas under exotic forestry have made it evident that the current standards need an upgrade. The enhanced standards not only empower local councils with decisive rights over forest locations but also extend the regulations to now apply to both plantation forestry and exotic continuous-cover forests (carbon forests) that are deliberately established for commercial purposes.

Meet the New Standards: NES-CF
The revamped National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry will now  be recognised as National Environmental Standards – Commercial Forestry (NES-CF).

Here’s a quick rundown of what this means:

  • standards on the way forests can operate.
  • enable councils to consider more factors when making rules about forestry in their plans, including its location.
  • require carbon foresters to plan out how they will meet environmental requirements for different forestry activities on their sites.
  • state clear rules for carbon forest harvest should this be undertaken.
  • have a new permitted activity standard for managing forestry slash on the cutover and some minor amendments to manage the effects of slash at harvest.

The Ministry for the Environment will collaborate closely with councils to ensure smooth implementation, while Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service is, developing tools for risk assessment and management, tailored for landowners and councils.

Do You Require Resource Consent?
For situations where the national standards might be challenging to adhere to, obtaining a resource consent will be mandatory.

Let’s Chat More.
If  you’re curious about the modifications or concerned about how they might impact your current or future forestry operations, we’re here to help, reach out for an initial chat about any potential consents you may or may not need.