Submissions open on NZ’s NES-PF

Friday 14 Oct 2022

Public consultation has opened on how forests in New Zealand are managed through the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF), including:

- Giving local councils more control over where forests are planted
- Managing the effects of exotic carbon forestry on nature
- Improving wildfire management in all forests
- Addressing the key findings of the Year One Review of the NES-PF
- Confirmation that the permanent forest category of the ETS will open on 1 January 2023
- Māori and other technical forestry experts to help lead work to ensure the permanent forest category enables permanent native forestry, in line with the commitment in the Emissions Reduction Plan.

Feedback is invited on Government plans to improve the way New Zealand manages forestry to ensure it works for nature, the climate, local communities, and our economy.

Proposals including broadening the control by local authorities over the planting of exotic forests in their districts, including whether to widen the scope of the regulations to include permanent exotic afforestation (exotic carbon forests), with the opening of public consultation on the National Environmental Statement for Plantation Forests (NES-PF).

“This consultation supports the Government’s aim to balance the type and scale of afforestation happening across New Zealand – to get the right tree in the right place,” Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor said. ”We are addressing concerns about the impacts to the environment and on rural communities from the potential conversion of productive farmland to exotic carbon forests”.

“We are seeing greater investment in forestry due to the significant increase in the carbon price, forestry's role in reaching our emissions reduction goals, and demand for wood products,” Minister of Forestry Stuart Nash said. “However, large-scale change in land use for exotic carbon forestry, if left unchecked and without any management oversight or requirements, has the potential for unintended impacts on the environment, rural communities, and regional economies”.

“The proposed changes include local government having more discretion to decide on the location, scale, type and management of plantation and exotic carbon forests in their districts. We’re seeking feedback on options for giving local councils more control over which land can be used for afforestation including both plantation and exotic carbon forests, through the resource consent process. Councils would be able to decide based on social and economic factors which are specific to their areas and communities,” Stuart Nash said.

Submissions close on 18 November 2022.

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Find out more about the consultation and have your say by clicking here

Find out more about the next steps for the NZ ETS permanent forest category at

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