National Environmental Standard – Plantation Forestry
The National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF) came into effect on 1 May 2018. The NES-PF are regulations under the Resource Management Act (RMA) and applies to any forest of at least 1 hectare that has been planted specifically for commercial purposes and will be harvested.
The NES-PF regulations aims to:
- set out technical standards, methods or requirements relating to matters under the RMA; and
- provide consistent rules across the country by setting planning requirements for certain specified activities.
The NES-PF regulations cover eight core plantation forestry activities that have potential environmental effects:
1.Afforestation (planting new forest)
2.Pruning and thinning-to-waste (selective felling of trees where the felled trees remain on site)
5.Forestry quarrying (extraction of rock, sand, or gravel within a plantation forest or for operation of a forest on adjacent land)
7.Mechanical land preparation
8.Replanting (use the flow chart links that are currently on the planning section page)
Before activities 1, 3, 4, 5 or 6 detailed above can take place, the Regional Council (and in some cases District Council) must be given written notice. Activities 2, 7 and 8 do not require notice, but the criteria in the NES-PF must be complied with.
Some activities may require the submission of additional information such as Earthworks Management Plans, Harvest Plans and Quarry Erosion and Sediment Plans. The NES-PF includes two schedules (Schedule 3 and Schedule 4) that lists the information that must be included in the management plans.
Most forestry activities are permitted by the NES-PF so long as foresters meet specific conditions to prevent significant adverse environmental effects from occurring. If foresters can't meet these conditions they need to apply for a resource consent.
For more information see the Ministry for Primary Industries website here: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/growing-and-harvesting/for...