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20 November 1998
Comments close today on the Timberlands West Coast’s plans to sustainably manage beech forests in North Westland.
The State-Owned Enterprise has produced three proposed Management Plans governing the sustainable management of beech and beech/podocarp forests. The Plans are for the Maruia Working Circle Forests, the Grey Working Circle Forests, and an Overview Plan for Sustainable Beech Management.
The forests covered in the Plans are owned by the Crown and managed by Timberlands under the Deed of Appointment (1991).
The Government has appointed the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to facilitate and manage the consultation process, and the analysis of public comments. The design of the consultation process itself, and decisions resulting from it, rest with the Government, not with MAF.
MAF has received approximately 5000 public comments to date - far more than had been anticipated. The next step is the analysis of the comments.
All comments will be categorised according to the issue or issues they raise, and counted. Those comments which contain substantial information will also be analysed by an independent scientist. Discussions are underway with a prominent scientist, whose name will be announced once a contract negotiations have been finalised.
When completed, the reports of MAF and the independent analyst will be submitted to the Government. The final reports will also be made public. MAF had hoped to have the final report to Cabinet before Christmas, but due to the extension of the deadline and the large number of comments received, the final reports are not now expected to be ready until the New Year.
Media inquiries to:
Mike Jebson, Director, Sustainable Resource Management, MAF Policy (04) 474 4100
Debbie Gee, Director, Corporate Communications, (04) 474 4258