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Proposed improvements to the Permanent Forest Sink Initiative

UPDATE – 26 JULY 2017

NZ ETS review announcement

On 26 July 2017, the Government made announcements resulting from stage II of the New Zealand Emission Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) review. As a result, Ministers will receive officials' advice on a package of forestry decisions by mid-2018.

This advice will include options to align the administration of the PFSI with the Climate Change Response Act. This was a clear recommendation following the ongoing PFSI review. Aligning the legislative changes needed with work emerging from the NZ ETS review makes operational sense.

Consultation has closed


The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) sought your views on proposed improvements to the Permanent Forest Sink Initiative (PFSI).

Carbon stored by new forests is an important part of New Zealand’s response to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and climate change mitigation. The PFSI, introduced in 2006, was the first national scheme that allowed landowners to access the value of their forest carbon.

However, the permanent forests of the PFSI offer more than just long-term carbon storage. A permanent forest cover is the most sustainable land use for large areas of erosion-prone hill country. There are also other benefits:

  • reduced sedimentation of rivers
  • improved water quality
  • reduced flood risk.

Since its inception in 2006 the PFSI has been successful on a relatively small scale, with 16,000 hectares of land under permanent forest. A formal review of the scheme started in late 2013 and the proposals developed – which were being consulted on – reflected the views of many existing PFSI participants on how the scheme could be improved.

Through the review process a series of proposals were developed that focused on how:

  • the scheme could be better administered
  • it can attract more participants
  • more marginal land can be put under long-term forest cover

Another focus was the issue of forest permanence and potential to reduce liabilities in the event of adverse natural events.

This consultation builds on comments received in 2013 and sought your views on which of the proposals would have the best effect on enabling the PFSI to be an effective and accessible scheme.

Consultation began on 6 July 2015 and closed at 5pm on 14 August 2015. As part of the consultation process, MPI hosted a series of hui and public meetings around the country.

Discussion paper

How to make a submission

Submission could be lodged as an individual or as a group. Submission should have addressed as many of the questions set out in the discussion paper as possible.

Submissions closed at 5pm, Friday 14 August 2015.

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.