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 (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 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's been planted specifically for commercial purposes and will be harvested.

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

Do I need a consent?

These checklists will guide you on whether the activity requires a resource consent. Guide for NES plantation forestry:

Afforestation [PDF, 100 KB] 
Earthworks and Land Disturbance [PDF, 103 KB] 
Harvesting [PDF, 101 KB]  
Stream crossing [PDF, 102 KB]  
Replanting [PDF, 107 KB]  
Forestry quarrying [PDF, 102 KB]

Where local rules apply 

Under Regulation 6 of the NES-PF there's a range of situations where our Tairawhiti Plan rules still apply. Check 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

If you have any questions email us at forestry@gdc.govt.nz 

If consent is required

The NES Forestry Activities Consent Application Guidelines [PDF, 190 KB]  outline the information required with a resource consent application.

Management plans

For earthworks, harvesting or forestry quarrying (including the use of borrowed pits) you are required to prepare and submit management plans for each activity.

Management plans are required for consent applications and permitted activities.

These checklists will guide you on what's required with a management plan:

Earthworks and Harvesting Management Plan Checklist [PDF, 97 KB]

Quarry Erosion and Sediment Management Plan Checklist [PDF, 90 KB]

Applying for a forestry resource consent

To apply for a forestry consent under NES-PF you need to:

Submit a completed Resource Consent Application Form [PDF, 315 KB]
provide all the information as outlined in the guide, and
provide the relevant management plan.

Note: Writable PDFs must be saved to your computer first before you fill it in and email it to us.  Email applications to RClodgements@gdc.govt.nz 

Permitted activities

Council must be notified of any forestry activities which meet the permitted activity standards, they are • afforestation  • earthworks  • river crossings  • forestry quarrying  • harvesting.

Permitted activities must be notified to us on the form below with the required management plan, at least 20 working days and no more than 60 working days prior to the activity starting.

Notice to Undertake Permitted Plantation Forestry Activities [PDF, 112 KB] 
Writable PDF save it to your computer first before you fill it in.

Note: you must also submit a management plan with your notification.

Email both your form and management plan to forestry@gdc.govt.nz

Helpful links and information 

If you have any questions please email us forestry@gdc.govt.nz  

Other resources

The National Environmental Standards(external link) for Plantation Forestry

The Tairawhiti Resource Management Plan - shows where the NES-PF applies and when our rules prevail over the NES-PF.

Tairawhiti Maps(external link) - the erosion and susceptibility classification and associated layers, NZLRI, geology and soil types.

The Ministry for Primary Industries has developed guidance

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

Forest Practice Guides(external link) - best practice guides for forestry activities.