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Proposed Climate Change Forestry Regulations changes

Update – 10 December 2019

Consultation extended

Te Uru Rākau extended the deadline for submissions until 5pm on Wednesday 15 January 2020.

Have your say

The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is a major tool for reducing New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions. Between 2015 and 2019 the Government reviewed the ETS and consulted with New Zealanders on potential improvements. Proposed changes to the Climate Change (Forestry Sector) Regulations 2008 were under consultation until 5pm on 15 January 2020.

Consultation document

Forestry regulations discussion paper [PDF, 1.5 MB]

What was proposed?

There were 2 sets of proposed improvements in the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Bill 2019, which was introduced to Parliament on 17 October 2019.

  • Proposals to help reduce complexity and other barriers to forest owners being part of the ETS – led by Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand).
  • Proposals to strengthen the ETS so that it is a credible and well-functioning scheme to help New Zealand meet its climate change targets – led by the Ministry for the Environment (MfE).

The major forestry improvements in the Bill included:

  • the introduction of averaging accounting
  • the introduction of permanent post-1989 forests
  • allowing foresters using averaging accounting to offset their liabilities by planting an equivalent forest elsewhere
  • foresters using averaging accounting and permanent post-1989 foresters won’t have to pay back NZUs after adverse events like storms or fire
  • a number of technical and operational improvements.

The Climate Change (Forestry Sector) Regulations 2008 will be amended to determine the operational detail of changes – for example, how averaging accounting will work in practice, or what the penalties will be for clear-felling permanent forest.


We held 3 public meetings around New Zealand during the consultation.

Christchurch Crowne Plaza
764 Colombo St, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch
Wednesday, 27 November
  5pm – 7pm
Rotorua Copthorne
328 - 348 Fenton Street, Rotorua
Monday, 9 December
  5pm – 7pm
Nelson MPI
19 Vickerman Street, Port Nelson, Nelson
Thursday, 12 December
  5pm – 7pm

We also held a series of small technical workshops to focus on the detail of the regulations. 

Making your submission

People had until 5pm on 15 January 2020 to make a submission about the proposed changes to the regulations.

People could submit just on topics that were important to them, or the full range of proposals.

There were 3 ways to make a submission.


Use our online submission form


Write a submission and email it to

We asked that you send your submission as a:

  • PDF, or
  • Microsoft Word document (2003 or later version)


You could write a submission and mail it to:

Climate Change Forestry Regulations submission
Ministry for Primary Industries
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6140
New Zealand.

What to include

Submissions should include:

  • the title of the consultation: Climate Change Forestry Regulations
  • your name
  • your organisation's name (if you are submitting on behalf of an organisation)
  • your postal address
  • your telephone number
  • your email address.

Download a template for your submission [DOCX, 131 KB]

Submissions are public information

Submissions will be held by Te Uru Rākau. Any submission you make becomes public information. People can ask for copies of submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we have to make submissions available unless we have good reasons for withholding them. That is explained in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA.

Tell us if you think there are grounds to withhold specific information in your submission. Reasons might include that it’s commercially sensitive or it’s personal information. However, any decision to withhold information can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may require it to be released.

Te Uru Rākau may post all or parts of any written submission on its website. We’ll consider that you have consented to its publication unless clearly stated otherwise in your submission.

Select committee submissions

The Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Bill introduces the major policy changes to the ETS. Submissions on the policy changes will be made through the Environment Select Committee.

Major policy changes to ETS forestry

Find out more