Guidance for forestry activities

NES-PF guidance on forestry activities that are relevant to you, and how to interpret the conditions for permitted activities.

About the activity guidance

For each forestry activity, MPI has information on relevant NES-PF regulations, including:

  • the activity definition – what is and isn't covered by the NES-PF
  • conditions you must meet for that activity to be permitted
  • how to determine when the activity requires resource consent.

The forestry activities


This guidance is for planting and growing plantation forestry trees on land that:

  • doesn't have plantation forestry, or
  • hasn't had plantation forestry harvested in the last 5 years.

Afforestation guidance [PDF, 187 KB]

Pruning and thinning-to-waste

Guidance for selective felling of plantation forest trees within a stand where the felled trees remain on site.

Pruning and thinning to waste guidance [PDF, 95 KB]


Guidance for disturbance of the surface of the land in relation to plantation forestry, including:

  • building forestry roads, tracks, landings and river crossing approaches
  • cut and fill operations
  • maintenance and upgrade of existing earthworks
  • forestry road widening and realignment.

Earthworks guidance [PDF, 475 KB]

River crossings

Guidance for construction, installation, maintenance and removal of river crossings for operation of a plantation forest, allowing vehicles or machinery to cross over water.

River crossings guidance [PDF, 324 KB]

Forestry quarrying

Guidance for extracting rock, sand, or gravel for forestry roads and other infrastructure, either within a plantation forest or on adjacent land.

Forestry quarrying guidance [PDF, 181 KB]


Guidance for:

  • felling trees
  • removing trees
  • thinning tree stems and removing them for sale or use (production thinning)
  • processing trees into logs, or loading logs onto trucks for processing.

Harvesting guidance [PDF, 174 KB]

Mechanical land preparation

Guidance for use of machinery to prepare land for replanting trees.

Mechanical land preparation guidance [PDF, 107 KB]


Guidance for planting and growing plantation forestry trees on land less than 5 years after plantation forestry harvesting.

Replanting guidance [PDF, 117 KB]

For guidance on planting trees on land more than 5 years after harvesting, see:

Afforestation guidance

Ancillary activities

There are 3 types of ancillary activities – that may occur at any stage during the lifecycle of a plantation forest – regulated under the NES-PF.

Slash trap activities – activities involving structures set in a river or on land to trap slash (woody debris) moved by water.

Slash trap guidance link [PDF, 140 KB]

Indigenous vegetation clearance clearance of vegetation that mostly occurs naturally or arrived naturally in New Zealand.

Indigenous vegetation clearance guidance [PDF, 134 KB]

Non-indigenous vegetation clearance – clearance of all other vegetation that:

  • doesn't meet the NES-PF definition of indigenous vegetation
  • is not a plantation forest tree.

Non-indigenous vegetation clearance guidance [PDF, 393 KB]

General provisions

Guidance covering the general provisions of the NES-PF that manage possible effects of plantation forestry activity, including:

  • discharges, disturbances, and diversions
  • noise and vibration
  • dust
  • indigenous bird nesting
  • fuel storage and refuelling.

General provisions guidance [PDF, 129 KB]

Other guidance

Last reviewed: