Trees plantation

National Environmental Standards

For plantation forestry

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Forestry consents

The National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF) came in on 1 May 2018. 

The NES-PF objectives are to maintain or improve the environmental outcomes associated with managing plantation forestry activities, and to increase efficiencies and certainty of managing these activities under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). 

NES-PF regulations cover 8 core plantation forestry activities that have potential environmental effects:  
• afforestation  
• pruning and thinning to waste
• earthworks  
• river crossings
• forestry quarrying 
• harvesting 
• mechanical land preparation 
• replanting. 

Foresters who wish to undertake any of these plantation forestry activities will need to comply with the NES-PF.

The NES-PF applies to any forest of at least one hectare that has been planted specifically for commercial purposes and will be harvested.

NES-PF are regulations under the RMA that provide a nationally consistent set of standards to manage the environmental effects of plantation forestry activities. 

There's more information and guides on the Ministry for Primary Industries website(external link) 

Permitted activity standards

Forestry activities, which meet the Permitted Activity standards are required to be notified to us at least 20 working days and no more than 60 working days prior to the activity starting. The Permitted Activities that require notification are • afforestation  • earthworks  • river crossings  • forestry quarrying  • harvesting.

To notify Council of the permitted activities, please use this Written Notice Template
Email your written notice and any required management plans to

Forms - checklist and templates to help you

We have a writable PDF option for each form, please not save the form to your computer first before you fill it in and email it to us

Earthworks and Harvesting Management Plan Checklist [PDF, 212 KB]  [PDF, 112 KB] - Writable PDF
Earthworks and Harvesting Management Plan Checklist [PDF, 97 KB] - PDF

Notice to Undertake Permitted Plantation Forestry Activities [PDF, 112 KB] -  Writable PDF
Notice to Undertake Permitted Plantation Forestry Activities [PDF, 99 KB] - PDF

Quarry Erosion and Sediment Checklist [PDF, 152 KB] - Writable PDF
Quarry Erosion and Sediment Checklist [PDF, 90 KB] - PDF

If you have any questions please contact us at

Where our rules apply

Under Regulation 6 of the NES-PF there's a range of situations where our Tairawhiti Plan rules still apply. Check this information - it outlines where local rules still apply in our district [PDF, 155 KB]

The key parts of the Tairawhiti Plan where the rules still apply are in relation to: 
• Coastal Management  • Cultural and Historic Heritage  • Freshwater  • Natural Heritage

How Council will manage the new NES-PF

We will implement the NES-PF by:

Receiving notifications of various forestry activities that meet NES-PF permitted activity rules via email 

Requesting earthworks, harvest and quarry management plans accompany all notifications rather than Council requesting these separately. 

Monitor compliance with the NES-PF rules. 

Process resource consents and carry out compliance with activities that do not meet NES-PF rules or trigger a more stringent local rule.

What is required from foresters?

As a forester it's your responsibility to ensure that you: 

Notify Council of forestry activities captured by rules in the NES-PF.
The notification form can be used and be sent to 

Submit management plans with the notification to Council (earthworks, harvesting and quarrying). 

Be familiar with the new rules under the NES-PF and the guidance information to ensure you can comply. 

Be familiar with what local rules are more stringent. 

Apply for resource consent for activities that do not meet NES-PF rules or trigger a more stringent local rule 

What resources are available to assist? 

If you have any questions about the NES-PF, the process of notifications or resource consents , email them to  

The erosion and susceptibility classification and associated layers are now available online on the Tairawhiti Plan maps website(external link)

Other resources

On the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) website

Erosion Susceptibility Classification(external link)
Can be used to check erosion risk and whether activities will be undertaken on land which may require a resource consent.

Fish Spawning Indicator(external link) 
Can be used to assess environmental risks when disturbing rivers, streams, lakes, and wetlands when fish are spawning.

Wilding Tree Risk Calculator(external link)
For assessing for the risk of conifer species spreading to land outside the plantation.

NES-PF Guidance(external link) 
MPI has developed guidance to help understand and implement NES-PF

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