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NZ Farm Forestry Association Media Statement, 18 June, 2015.

National Environmental Standard –Plantation Forestry

The NZ Farm Forestry Association is heartened to see that the proposed NES for Plantation Forestry was released for public consultation in Rotorua yesterday by the Dr Nick Smith, Minister for the Environment, and Jo Goodhew, Associate Minister for Primary Industries.  It now moves into a third consultation stage, with a view to being passed into law by mid-2016.

Eight meetings were held for Farm Forestry Association members and other small scale forest owners (SSFOs) to help shape and balance the consultation document as part of the development process.

At the launch, Angus Gordon, NZFFA Environment spokesperson, said, "Our members and other SSFOs face different issues from the larger forest owners, not least being that we usually do not have an industry expert on staff who would be totally knowledgeable with all the industry rules.  It will be easier to learn the rules and to not fall between the cracks."

The key benefit for all foresters is that there will be a single set of over-arching and consistent national requirements that all Councils and plantation forest owners need to learn and operate to, which would replace existing district and regional Council plan rules for managing plantation forestry.  They will know what they are allowed to do and what they are not allowed to do as of right.  Situations outside those can still be applied for, but will require stringent proof that they will not harm the environment.

Consistent rules over the whole of the country will make it easier for the industry as a whole and forest owners in particular to be able to plan and carry out their work with certainty, notwithstanding that special and/or localised rules may still be imposed by Councils to accommodate specific local situations.

Arriving at this point has been a long process spanning nearly a decade, with the FOA/FFA Environment Committee carrying out a lot of the work, and we commend MPI for continuing in their dialogue with industry.

We encourage all plantation forest owners to engage in this consultation process.

For more information refer to the MPI website.

For further comment, contact Angus Gordon, NZFFA Environment spokesperson, 021 111 4767,

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