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Newsletter 44, May 2008

Newsletter 44, May 2008

New Zealand Farm Forestry Association
P.O. Box 1122


Farm Forestry Newsletter
May 2008 No. 44

In this issue

Farm Forestry Model

NZFFA Annual Report

NZIF conference

Illegal Logging

National environmental standard on ecological flows and water levels

NZ Forest Owners Association media release: Key needs to come clean on trees- 19 May 2008

Australia's State of the Forests Report 2008 released


Patrick Milne
-North Canterbury
-Central canterbury
-West Coast

Vice President

Denis Hocking
-Taupo & Districts
-Hawkes Bay

National Executive

John Dermer
-Middle districts

Ian Jackson
-South Canterbury
-North Otago
-Sthn High Country (north)

Neil Cullen
-Mid Otago
-South Otago
-Men of Trees
-Sthn High Country (south)

Dean Satchell
-Far North
-Mid North
-Lower North
-South Auckland

Farm Forestry Model
There has been no comment from councillors so hopefully this means the favoured option by your executive- the free resource/ banner advertising model as shown on the concept page -has been endorsed. Patrick has secured funding from MAF Sustainable Farming Fund for building the Farm Forestry Model online, so we can expect progress this year. Comment is still welcome, please email me.

NZFFA Annual Report
a limited number of copies of the NZFFA Annual Report document as presented to the Christchurch Conference are available on request from National Office.

NZIF conference
Denis & Patrick attended the Institute of Forestry conference in Palmerston North - the theme was 'Forestry & Agriculture - Collaborating for Sustainability' with particular reference to the Horizon's district.  Lots of issues were discussed but at the end of the day Farm Forestry was seen as the most successful model, one that is established and working and most likely to succeed.

Illegal Logging
Several meetings of forestry, Govt., retail and environmental groups have been held over the last 6 months regarding the illegal logging issue and preferred policies to try and stop the use of illegal wood in NZ.
  MAF commissioned a study by Jaako Poyry looking at the issue and it can be accessed through their website, though has not been formally accepted yet.
    All groups are opposed to illegal logging but controlling it and imports of illegal timber is not a simple issue.  It is normally not an issue for local, NZ wood, though there must be a bit of illegal indigenous timber floating around.  However there is thought to be significant volumes of illegally harvested wood amongst imports of tropical hardwoods, especially for kwila/merbau, where it is thought that around 10% of imports are from illegally harvested trees.  It is difficult to get an accurate figure as the chain can be very long with regular mixing of legal and illegal timber.
 Australia estimates their imports of illegal timber as being at similar levels.
    Note that at this stage the focus is on legality, not sustainability, which is a much more difficult issue to define and police.  If a foriegn Govt. allows unsustainable harvesting then it would be legally difficult to exclude that timber without having to impose the same standards and proof for domestic timber.  If FSC and/or other certification schemes with 'chains-of-custody' schemes were to be used for such proof, we would have to be certified.
    A joint forest industry - conservation groups statement is being prepared and a draft of a Govt. policy to try and ensure that all wood products used by Govt. agencies has been released.  This latter document also looks at sustainably harvested wood products and again certification comes to the fore.  FSC and PEFC are the two certification schemes with chain of custody arrangements, but the paper does recognise the problems of certification for farm foresters and is planning to look more closely at the issue.  It also recognises the risk of perverse outcomes where high energy, more environmentally damaging alternatives might wind up being used because wood cannot be demonstrated to be legal or sustainable.
    Illegal timber is recognised as undermining the market for legally harvested timber and especially the alternative species that we are
 trying to trickle into the market.  A recent study by James Turner (Scion) and others, backed by studies done elsewhere in the world, suggests that in the absence of illegal logging export log net prices in 2020 would be around 10% higher with other log prices up by 3-6%.  This could increase forestry returns by US$151/ha and return an extra US$177 million to the sector, equivalent to the removal of all international, trade tariffs.
Expect more on this issue. 

For further information contact Denis Hocking or Bruce Bulloch

National environmental standard on ecological flows and water levels
Notice for rescheduled public workshops on the proposed National
Environmental Standard on Ecological Flows and Water Levels

The Government is developing a National Environmental Standard (regulations) on ecological flows and water levels. The Ministry for the Environment is seeking public submissions, which must be received by 5 pm on Thursday, 31 July 2008.

Recognising the importance of establishing environmental flows and water levels is a critical part of effective water management. So, the Government is proposing to develop a national environmental standard under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA).

Please note that the workshops will address both an overview of the
 proposed standard and technical questions surrounding the scientific
There will still be six weeks for submissions on the discussion document following the last workshop.
Please rsvp again to with your
intentions to attend a specific workshop.  Alternatively you can ring
 or email Whitney Bouma on 04 439 7512 to lodge your intent.


Timeframe and locations of workshops

Wellington Monday 26 May 9-12pm
Wellington Regional Council, level 5.
142 Wakefield Street

Whangarei Tuesday 27 May 9-12pm
Kingsgate Hotel, 9 Riverside Drive

Auckland Wednesday 28 May 10:30-1:30pm
Mercure Hotel Auckland, 8 Customs Street

Napier Thursday 29 May 9-12pm
War Memorial Conference Centre, 48 Marine Parade

Palmerston Nth Friday 30 May 9-12pm
Palmerston North Conference Center, 354 Main Street

Hamilton Tuesday 3 June 9-12pm
SkyCity Hamilton Function Centre, 346 Victoria Street

Nelson Wednesday 4 June 1-4pm
Rutherford Hotel, Trafalgar Square

Rotorua Friday 6 June 10.30-1.30pm
Novotel Hotel, Tutanekai Street

Christchurch Monday 9 June 9-12pm
Copthorne Central, 776 Colombo Street

Cromwell Tuesday 10 June 9-12pm
Golden Gate Hotel, Barry Avenue

Dunedin Friday 13 June 10.30-1.30pm
Dunedin Centre, 1 Harrop Street

Whitney Bouma
Working with Local Government
Ministry for the Environment
direct (04) 439 7512
fax (04) 439 7705

NZ Forest Owners Association media release: Key needs to come clean on trees- 19 May 2008
Forest owners say National Party leader John Key needs to clarify what will happen to forestry if the legislation on a proposed ETS gets delayed until 2009. In the weekend Mr Key said National would not support the emission Bill in parliament unless it met six key principles. This, he said, would be a small price to pay for NZ getting the best ETS possible. NZ Forest Owners Association president Peter Berg says the proposed scheme has already had a hugely disruptive effect on forestry and a lack of clarity and further legislative delays will not be helpful. “ Forest owners are very unhappy with the Labour Government’s ETS as it stands,” he says.
“The one industry that actually absorbs carbon from the atmosphere is being forced to meet all the costs of its emissions – real and imaginary – from day one. In contrast, the deadlines for emitting industries are being constantly delayed.” Mr Berg says National is aware that Labour’s policies are inequitable and distortionary and 12 months ago, in its Blue-Green Vision, promised to do away with the new deforestation tax. “It is therefore of concern to us that Mr Key does not mention forestry in his six key principles and from statements made earlier this year appears to have backed away from his promise to do away with the new tax,” he says.
Forest owners entered the ETS on 1 January this year – the only sector to do so. However the legislation for the scheme is still with a select committee and with National no longer giving its support, the scheme may not become a legal reality for a year or more. “The principles that Mr Key has come up with are sound enough, but if putting them in place results in lengthy delays in both legislation and in other industries coming into the scheme, then the 1 January starting date for forestry will become untenable. The government’s policies have already created a huge level of doubt and mistrust. No-one is planting the new forests needed if NZ is to meet its Kyoto obligations post-2013. Our policy has always been all gases, all sectors, at the one time. Ideally we would like to see the scheme implemented before the election, with forestry treated on the same basis as all other industries. But if that is not possible, it is crucial that National and the minor parties urgently clarify where they stand.” For more information please contact Peter Berg (021 421 291).

Australia's State of the Forests Report 2008 released
- Plantations now produce two-thirds of the countrys log supply.
-The area of plantations increased from 1.63 million hectares to 1.82 million hectares over the last five years.
- While the area of softwood plantations has been stable for several years, the area of hardwood plantations has increased substantially, from 503,000 hectares in 2000 to 807,000 hectares in 2006.
- Hardwoods make up 45% of plantation grown pulp logs; softwoods provide 55% of the plantation pulp log supply and 98% of sawlogs.
(From Friday Offcuts)

Farm Forestry - Headlines

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