Role of Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service

Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service is the Government’s principal forestry advisor, and plays a leadership role in the forestry sector.

What we do

Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service provides the focus and direction needed to strengthen and grow the forestry sector in New Zealand. We’re the Government’s principal forestry adviser, and we:

  • regulate forestry and develop forestry policy
  • manage forestry programmes like the Emissions Trading Scheme
  • promote sustainable forestry in New Zealand and overseas
  • manage forestry funding, grants and information services.

Supporting the Government's forestry goals

Forestry is one of the pillars around which the Government will build a sustainable and economically vibrant future for New Zealanders. Because forestry is regionally-based, it delivers economic and environmental benefits for all of New Zealand. It provides a source of employment and a career pathway for both skilled and unskilled workers, along with an economically viable alternative use for less productive land.

The Government has set 8 goals for forestry that Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service is charged with completing.

These goals are:

  1. Seeing increased public awareness of the importance of forestry for creating an economically and environmentally sustainable future, and increased numbers of New Zealanders participating in the One Billion Trees Programme and in broader tree and forestry initiatives.
  2. Supporting Māori to reach their forestry-related economic and cultural goals through forestry and trees. This includes training and skills development to increase the direct benefits Māori landowners get from the trees on their land.
  3. Supporting increased productivity within the forestry sector and regions to maximise economic benefits.
  4. Creating a strong, stable, and reliable labour market which enables safe and rewarding lifetime careers in forestry.
  5. Better environmental and climate change outcomes for New Zealand.
  6. A stable investment environment enabling greater investment confidence in the forestry sector.
  7. A stronger domestic market for wood products, and security of supply for wood processors.
  8. Helping the transition to a low-emissions economy by replacing petroleum-based products with wood products, and enabling carbon farming through the sale of carbon credits.

Our funding programmes

One Billion Trees Programme

Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service runs the One Billion Trees Programme, which is the Government’s flagship forestry programme. The programme will deliver improved social, environmental and economic outcomes for New Zealand by planting one billion trees by 2028. 

Matariki Tu Rākau

Your community can apply for funding to plant trees as living memorials to honour New Zealand's heroes.

Hill Country Erosion Fund (HCE)

The HCE Fund is a partnership between Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service, regional councils, and landowners. Funding is aimed at:

  • planning for and treatment of erosion-prone land where the main treatment is tree planting, including appropriate species for natural vegetative cover
  • implementing sustainable land management practices
  • projects in coastal, alpine, or hill country areas (previously only targeted at hill country regions).

The HCE Fund is open to all regional councils and unitary (territorial) authorities.

Our regulations and schemes

Part 3A Forest Act 1949

Part 3A of the Forests Act applies to indigenous (native) forests on private land, and covers the harvesting, milling, and exporting of indigenous timber from existing or regenerating indigenous forest.

Emissions Trading Scheme

The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is New Zealand’s domestic carbon market.

We manage forestry in the ETS, along with the Ministry for the Environment and the Environmental Protection Authority under the Climate Change Response Act 2002.

National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry

The National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF) are regulations made under the Resource Management Act (RMA). The regulations provide a set of nationally-consistent rules for plantation forestry that cover 8 forestry activities, from land preparation right through to harvesting.

We developed the NES-PF in partnership with the Ministry for the Environment and will continue to review it with the Ministry for the Environment and the Department of Conservation, to ensure we have regulations that provide the best environmental outcomes.

Permanent Forest Sink Initiative

The Permanent Forest Sink Initiative (PFSI) was one of the government's sustainable forestry programmes. It enabled landowners to receive carbon units through the creation of permanent forests.

In December 2018, the Government announced it would discontinue the PFSI, and introduce a new permanent post-1989 forest activity into the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to replace it.

Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service can help move participants across to the ETS.

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