Proposed National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forestry

Closing Date:



3 August 2017 — NES-PF gazetted

18 January 2016

21 December 2015

Data released on the number of submissions received, and some of the key points raised by submitters.

Background to consultation

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) sought your views on the proposed subject matter of a National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF). This is a proposal to change how plantation forestry activities are managed under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). If implemented, an NES-PF would replace councils’ existing district and regional plan rules for managing plantation forestry. It would provide a nationally consistent approach that is responsive to local environments.

Formal consultation began on Wednesday 17 June 2015 and closed at 5pm on Tuesday 11 August 2015. A series of public meetings, and hui were held as part of the consultation.

Consultation documents and background information

Technical reports that have been used to develop and assess the proposed NES-PF:

Regulatory Impact Statement [PDF, 3.2 MB] MPI’s analysis of the proposed standard (some content has been withheld under the Official Information Act)
NZIER Economic Analysis [PDF, 1.5 MB] An independent assessment of the expected economic costs and benefits of the proposed standard
Scion Environmental Impact Assessment [PDF, 1.9 MB] An independent assessment of the expected environmental costs and benefits of the proposed standard

Erosion Susceptibility Classification (2011)

(Ministry for the Environment website)

A technical overview of how the Erosion Susceptibility Classification (ESC) has been developed and applied to plantation forestry
Revisions to the ESC (2015) [PDF, 2.8 MB] An overview of the changes to the ESC
Managing Changes to the ESC and incorporating detailed Mapping (2015) [PDF, 1.4 MB] Details the process for having the ESC classification for land updated and incorporating detailed mapping

Wilding Conifer Calculator [PDF, 51KB]

(A document on the NZ Wilding Conifer Management Group website)

A tool to assess the risk of wilding spread from afforestation. Assessment using this tool is required under the afforestation conditions.
Fish Spawning and Migration Report [PDF, 1.4 MB] A national assessment of freshwater fish species’ spawning and migration, and their sensitivity to forestry activity

2010 and 2011 NES-PF Proposal

(Ministry for the Environment website)

Details about the 2010 and 2011 proposals, including analysis of the submissions received

National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management

(Ministry for the Environment website)

An overview of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management

Public meetings and hui

MPI held public meetings and hui to provide information, answer questions and seek feedback on the proposal. The public meetings focused on the NES-PF, while the hui provided an opportunity to discuss the NES-PF as well as wider government forestry initiatives. Those who planned to attend could email

DatePublic meetingForestry Hui
Mon 6 July

Ministry for Primary Industries
25 The Terrace

Tue 7 July Forum North
Rust Avenue
11:30am NuFlo Centre
9 Wynyard Street
Wed 8 July Masonic Hotel
2 Tennyson Street
Mon 13 July Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre
1170 Fenton Street
11:30am Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre
1170 Fenton Street
Tue 14 July Lawson Field Theatre
Vogel Street
5:30pm Lawson Field Theatre
Vogel Street
Thur 16 July Palmerston North Convention Centre
354 Main Street
Palmerston North
Mon 20 July Tahuna Conference Centre
70 Beach Road
5:30pm Tahuna Conference Centre
70 Beach Road
Tue 21 July Beachfront Hotel
111 Revell Street
5:30pm Beachfront Hotel
111 Revell Street
Mon 27 July Riccarton Park Function Centre
165 Racecourse Road
5:30pm Riccarton Park Function Centre
165 Racecourse Road
Tue 28 July Telford - A Divison of Lincoln
498 Owaka Highway
5:30pm Invercargill Working Mens Club
154 Esk Street

Making a submission

Submissions could be made by:

Submissions closed at 5 pm, Tuesday 11 August 2015.

Information to include

The following information was required in submissions:

  • the title of the proposed standard you are making the submission about
  • your name and contact details (for example, phone number, address and email)
  • your organisations name
  • whether you support or oppose the standard
  • your thoughts on the proposed standard, with reasons for your views
  • any changes you would like made to the standard.

When commenting on specific draft rules, be as clear as possible which rule you are referring to and provide a reference, for example to the relevant page number, heading or text.

Submissions are public information

Note, your submission is public information. Submissions may be the subject of requests for information under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA specifies that information is to be made available to requesters unless there are sufficient grounds for withholding it, as set out in the OIA. Submitters may wish to indicate grounds for withholding specific information contained in their submission, such as the information is commercially sensitive or they wish personal information to be withheld. Any decision to withhold information requested under the OIA is reviewable by the Ombudsman.

Development of the NES-PF

2009 – Minister for the Environment, Hon. Nick Smith, approves a scoping project into national environmental standards for plantation forestry.

2009 to 2013 – The Ministry for the Environment (MfE) works with the commercial forestry sector, councils and other stakeholders to define the issues and draft preliminary conditions. Consultation is held in 2010 and 2011. Feedback shows further development of the proposal is needed.

2013 – Cabinet directs MPI to address inconsistent forestry planning.

2015 – Consultation opens on the NES-PF. 18,732 submissions are received from stakeholder groups and individual members of the public. 

2017 – Draft regulations are prepared and a draft circulated to a panel of technical experts to assess their clarity and workability. The panel includes representatives from councils, the plantation forestry sector and key environmental non-governmental organisations.

2017 (May to June) – Further consultation is held on a proposal to include a provision allowing councils to charge fees for monitoring permitted activities in the National Environment Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF). This follows an amendment to the RMA which allows councils to charge a fee for monitoring permitted activities under a National Environmental Standard.

2017 (June to August) – Draft regulations are revised after consultation. Final regulations under the NES-PF are approved by Cabinet and published in the New Zealand Gazette.

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