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Proposal to allow councils to charge for monitoring permitted activities under the NES-PF

What's proposed

A recent amendment to the Resource Management Act allows for a National Environmental Standard to include a provision which allows councils, if they choose, to charge a fee to monitor specified activities permitted under the Standard. If the council does decide to set fees, it will decide the amount in consultation with the local community. Councils already impose charges for monitoring consent activities.

Enabling councils to charge for monitoring of permitted activities will ensure that councils can cost recover for monitoring and enforcement as they would if the activity was regulated through a resource consent.  Councils will retain full discretion about where, when and how often to carry out particular monitoring and enforcement activities.

It is proposed to include a provision allowing councils to charge fees for monitoring permitted activities in the National Environment Standard for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF). All other aspects of the NES-PF were the subject of public consultation in late 2015, and it is now close to being finalised.

The scope of this consultation is limited to this new proposed provision.

Permitted activities under the NES-PF

One of the objectives of the NES-PF is to improve efficiency in the forestry sector. This is achieved by providing a single, consistent set of forestry management rules for the whole country, using a risk-based approach. Where activities are permitted, conditions have been developed to control potential adverse effects, such as erosion and sedimentation of waterways, by specifying what must be achieved. Where necessary, forestry operators would be required to provide the appropriate council with management plans specifying how they are to implement those conditions.

It is the government’s intention that the regulations set a standard for good practice in forestry; activities in the regulations are only permitted where foresters can comply with the range of conditions attached to the activity that control detrimental effects. Where they cannot comply with those conditions they must seek resource consent for the activity.

Consultation document

Making your submission

The public is invited to make submissions on this new proposed provision of the NES-PF by 5pm on 16 June 2017.

You can submit your views online using the  Surveygizmo submission template or email

Make sure you include in your email submission:

  • the title of the consultation document in the subject line of your email
  • your name and title (if applicable)
  • your organisation's name (if applicable)
  • your address.

While we prefer online or email submissions, you can send your feedback by post to:

Spatial, Forestry and Land Management
Regulation and Assurance Branch
Ministry for Primary Industries
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6011
New Zealand.

Submissions are public information

Any submission you make becomes public information. Anyone can ask for copies of all submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we must make the information available unless we have a good reason for withholding it. You can find those reasons in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA. Please tell us if you think there are reasons to withhold specific information in your submission. Reasons might include that the information is commercially sensitive or personal. Any decision MPI makes to withhold information can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may require the information be released.