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Newsletter 53, January 2010

Newsletter 53, January 2010

New Zealand Farm Forestry Association
P.O. Box 1122


Farm Forestry Newsletter
January 2010 No.  53

In this issue
Opinion: Green rating actively encouraging concrete and steel

Climate corner: Carbon trading

Forestry Approved Code of Practice & Best Practice Guidelines review

Review of Key Parts of the Biosecurity Act 1993

Deadline for notifying deforestation coming up

Forest Industry and Wood Availability Forecasts

Land and Water Forum’s website

Continuous pyrolysis moves a step closer for sawmills

New Scion bioenergy report

Double-digit growth for wood pellets in next 5 years

Future Forestry Finance 2009


Patrick Milne
-North Canterbury
-Central canterbury
-West Coast

Vice President

John Dermer
-Middle districts

Newsletter editor
Dean Satchell

National Executive

Denis Hocking
-Taupo & Districts
-Hawkes Bay

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

Elections for NZFFA National Office-Holders at the Invercargill Conference in April 2010
Patrick Milne,
the current NZFFA President, retires at the Invercargill Conference after serving a 2-year term and an additional 1-year term.  Patrick remains on the Executive for a one year as Immediate Past President.  Current Vice President John Dermer of Middle Districts Branch is the only nomination for President.

National Executive members retiring by rotation at the Invercargill Conference in April are Denis Hocking (North Island) and Ian Jackson (South Island).  Denis Hocking is not available for re-election.  One extraordinary vacancy for South Island Executive member is being carried forward from previous years.  The remaining members of the Executive, unaffected by this year’s elections, are Neil Cullen (South Island) and Dean Satchell (North Island).

Nominations received for North Island Executive Member are Hamish Levack (Wellington Branch) and Angus Gordon (Middle Districts Branch).  As an extra vacancy will be created by John Dermer becoming President, the number of North Island nominations will equal the vacancies.
The only nomination for South Island Executive Member is Ian Jackson.  Thus one vacancy remains for a South Island Executive Member.  Nominations from South Island branches are being called for this remaining vacancy.  If you are interested in proposing someone as a nominee (even yourself), please do so at your branch’s annual meeting or otherwise contact the officers of your branch.  Nominations close on 17 March 2010 and the forms are available from NZFFA National Office.  Note National Executive nominees are usually expected to attend the Conference Council meeting at which the election is held.

Next Meeting of National Executive – 11 February
The February meeting focuses on the budget and planning for the 2010 financial year and upcoming events like Conference.  Please advise your Executive member of any other matters you want raised.

Agenda items for the Invercargill Conference
A reminder for branch annual meetings of the opportunities to propose agenda items for meetings at conference.  There are (at least) three available forums:
Branch Management Meeting – concerned with running of branches and internal organisation of the association.
Council Meeting – The governing body of the association and key link between the branches and the National Executive.  Where the Executive reports on its performance during the year and new policy is formulated.
Business Session of AGM – where the major issues affecting the association can be reviewed and all members present have an opportunity to have their say.
Agenda items and notices of motion must be sent to National Office before 15 March.

Opinion: Green rating actively encouraging concrete and steel
The Green Building council continue to make us second rate citizens until certification is a realistic option for small growers. Looks like wood will need to be fsc certified to earn points which is not currently realistic for small growers, leaving alternative species out in the dark. As for radiata, evidence is growing that architects have a rather low opinion of the timber, and especially treated radiata (NZIF newsletter 4/12/09, account of Akld NZIF meeting). Currently Australia are negotiating an agreement on whether or not their RMA equivalent could be seen to be "sustainable" under the Australian GBC (A report on the sustainable management of New Zealand's forests and the Montreal Process is available on the MAF website).
To add insult to injury Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) research which had been previously completed by Barbara Nebel at Scion (funded by WPA and the government) has not been accepted as a basis for assessing the performance of materials in a residential rating tool as it is seen by GBC to be "at the early stages of research". Doesn't seem that hard to me for green building to be based on robust Life Cycle Analysis with carbon footprinting such an essential part of dealing with climate change.
Are GBC dragging the chains or are concrete and steel interests pulling the strings? Dan Mcallum has prepared an excellent paper on Nelson Forests supply chain, which was analysed from cradle to market using a carbon calculator developed for Nelson Forests. The calculator follows life cycle analysis (LCA) principles and methodologies from leading international standards.

Dean Satchell

Climate corner: Carbon Trading
Dr Gavin Kenny, Earthwise Consulting Ltd responded to my editorial in Newsletter 52:

Carbon trading was never a sensible response to climate change. As quoted in this recent report  “the current emphasis on carbon price as the key element of the climate change solution is dangerously misleading.”  The very first IPCC assessment, published in the early 1990s, talked about the potential co-benefits of a combined approach to adaptation (responding to the effects of climate change) and mitigation (reducing or offsetting GHG emissions).  Somehow talk of co-benefits got lost, a handful of scientists focused on impacts and adaptation assessment through the 1990s, and a heap of people got interested in mitigation, particularly the economists.  As climate change has become more of a reality (for those who believe the science, and I am one who does) there has been increased attention to adaptation over the last decade and more talk of ‘co-benefits’.  So what do co-benefits mean?

In a practical sense it means doing what smart farmers, including farm foresters, have been doing for decades.  If you draw together the lessons from practical farmers, which I have been doing for the last 9 years, you get a comprehensive picture of farm resilience.  A resilient farm with trees for multiple benefits, with well managed soils (eg. minimal or no reliance on N fertiliser, a focus on building or maintaining organic matter and deep rooted pasture) and well managed pasture, stock and water, has in-built capacity to buffer against climate extremes (and climate change) and is providing multiple benefits in terms of carbon storage and reduced emissions.  It’s common sense to the farmers who are doing this sort of thing.  But unfortunately it hasn’t really been on the radar of our politicians and many of our scientists.

My view is that if we want to be really serious about climate change, and our collective future even if you don’t believe in climate change, then investment in developing a true ecological mosaic as a foundation for a truly sustainable economy (the two go hand in hand) would be a far more sensible approach.  It would be the best investment any government could make for our future.  We need to be looking at everything we can do to protect and enhance our land and water resources ... building long-term resilience is the real solution.  If we get the ecology right the economics will follow.  To achieve that will require a level of intelligence and wisdom that exists within NZ (if you know the right people!), but has been sadly lacking in our political leadership for too long.

Thanks Gavin. Editorial comment always welcome. Theres a good article here on the question of whether the fate of the worlds indigenous forests—and their people—will rest on the ability of industries to pay for preserving distant trees rather than reducing emissions closer to home.

Oh....For those of you interested in cash for your forest carbon, Greenair has completed the sale and the money banked for the first sale of collated N. Z. carbon credits (involving multiple forestry owners).
As for the value of carbon markets, I would draw your attention to this article:
The next big scam: carbon dioxide
and this website:
Carbon Watch
Dean Satchell

Report: Forestry Insurance, Risk Pooling and Risk Mitigation Options

 The NZU regime penalises a reduction of sequestered carbon by requiring surrender of NZUs to the Government. Such a reduction may occur from harvesting or from adverse events such as disease, fire or wind throw.
There are two main risks associated with carbon sequestration under the NZU regime. Firstly there is the risk of adverse events (referred to as “technical risk” in the report) unexpectedly reducing sequestered carbon and creating a NZU liability. Secondly there is the risk (referred to as “market risk” in the report) that NZUs may have been sold to generate pre-harvest revenue and at harvest time the forest owner may need to buy NZUs to surrender to the Government. However at harvest time the market price of NZUs may be higher than when NZUs were sold.
Pooling of risk is a possible way that both these risks may be mitigated. Forestry in a New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme examines the economic and legal issues related to pooling and managing risk.

Forestry Approved Code of Practice & Best Practice Guidelines review
NZFOA, FITEC and other forest industry representatives will be running a project through the first half of 2010 that will see a review of the DoL Approved Code of Practice for Safety and Health in Forest Operations and the 18 FITEC Best Practice Guidelines covering a wide range of forestry related operations and activities.
We are keen to have involvement from as much of the industry as possible and this includes the likes of the Farm Forestry Association.
I would be interested in hearing about what level of involvement your association might like to have in this project. Options range from having representation on the steering committee to nominating subject matter experts to be involved in review of rules and best practice for specific activities to assisting with communication of the project and project outcomes to those involved in the industry.
As the first stage of the project, we are developing a survey that will be circulated to people involved in the industry. This will gauge the level of knowledge and use of the existing documents and also survey some options for how the documents may be packaged in the future i.e. one document containing rules and best practice / a separate rules book plus 2 or 3 best practice guides combining some of the exiting guides / status quo.
This survey should be ready for circulation early in 2010 and I would be keen to discuss ways of getting the survey out to your members.
I look forward to your thoughts on how FFA might want to be involved In this project.

Mark Preece (FITEC)


Review of Key Parts of the Biosecurity Act 1993
The Minister for Biosecurity plans to introduce a Biosecurity Amendment Bill into the House during the second half of 2010. He has asked MAF to finalise policy proposals by mid 2010.

Changes in technology, new approaches to managing risk, and a drive for improved efficiencies mean that the Biosecurity Act 1993 has not kept up with the changing face of New Zealand’s biosecurity system. The project will focus on the need for change in key areas rather than reviewing all aspects of the Act.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) has prepared an information paper  (115 KB) to introduce the priority areas of the Act that appear to warrant amendment. For each of the main subject areas, the paper sets out the drivers for change, what should be different in the future and what might change in the Act. It has been produced to aid discussions on what might form the basis of specific changes to be introduced later this year.

Deadline for notifying deforestation coming up

The New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is reminding owners of pre-1990 forest land that the deadline for notifying deforestation is coming up. If deforestation of more than 2 hectares of pre-1990 forest land occurred between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2009 the person responsible is legally required to notify MAF by 31 January 2010.

Deforestation after 31 December 2009 of more than 2 hectares of pre-1990 forest land must be notified to MAF within 20 working days of starting the deforestation by the person responsible (usually the landowner). Notification must be made using the notification form available at

Forest Industry and Wood Availability Forecasts

MAF’s Forest Industry and Wood Availability Forecasts provide information about plantation forests and the wood processing industry in each wood supply region. They include forecasts of wood availability from 2006 to 2040, and comment on the opportunities and constraints facing the forest industry.

Land and Water Forum’s website
The Land and Water Forum’s website is now online - you can view it at

Continuous pyrolysis moves a step closer for sawmills
New Zealand sawmilling industry guru/pragmatist Doug Stewart has hit the mark again with another innovative step towards closing the loop with energy generation on sawmill sites. For sawmill managers it's an exciting and truly "green" technology development. Stewart's pyrolysis process for producing gas for site use from wood residues is rapidly moving closer to commercial scale operation and production. As of this week - continuous scale installation is now up and running in Rotorua.
This article is on Friday Offcuts

New Scion bioenergy report
cion has recently released the fifth and final report under the three-year Bioenergy Options for NZ study. Transition Analysis considers the potential for energy supply of woody biomass from existing forests and drivers for change in NZ’s energy supply. The earlier reports are: Bioenergy Options – Situation Analysis, Bioenergy Options – Pathway Analysis, Research and Development Strategy and Analysis of Large-scale Bioenergy from Forestry. The reports are available here

Double-digit growth for wood pellets in next 5 years
Wood pellets are underpinning the emergence of a new commodities business in biomass. The key driver is bioenergy and Pöyry expects double digit growth in pellet markets over the next five years. These are the main findings of the study "Wood Pellets - The Bioenergy Feedstock Solution - Global market, players and trade to 2015" published by Pöyry Forest Industry Consulting.
The global wood pellet market is and will continue to be a growth area. The current and future demand for wood pellets is strongly driven by the world's need to develop renewable forms of energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For more see Friday Offcuts

Future Forestry Finance 2009
How does post-recession forestry in Australasia stack up financially?   4-5th March 2010, Auckland

Conference Topics will include:

Ask for 10% discount for NZFFA members.

Farm Forestry - Headlines

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