Forestry Policy

Our forests sustain us, our environment and our economy.

Our Policy promotes a viable, stable and sustainable commercial forestry industry of both native and exotic timber species. It also recognises the spiritual, cultural (including rongoa Maori), and recreational value of our forests.
Our forests also clean our water, protect our soils, provide habitat for a range of plants and animals, as well as storing huge amounts of carbon, and our Policy is to protect these services. 
We want to protect, maintain and expand the 30 per cent of New Zealand that is in forest. We also want to contribute to the sustainable management of the world’s forests by ensuring that all wood products used or sold in New Zealand are sourced from legal, sustainably certified forests.

Key Principles

  • Protect, maintain, enhance and increase our indigenous forests.
  • Significantly expand diversity of species in our plantation forests, and manage and use them sustainably.
  • Protect soil, water and associated dependent indigenous ecosystems.
  • Develop and maintain a viable, innovative, and environmentally and socially responsible commercial forestry sector.
  • Retain and expand government ownership of state forests, unless they are required for treaty settlements.
  • Ensure that all timber and other wood products used or sold in New Zealand are sourced from legal sustainably certified forests.

Specific Policy Points

Ensure Wood Products are Sustainably Sourced

  • Ban the sale and import of all illegally harvested timber and wood products.
  • Require within 5 years that all wood products from indigenous forests be certified as sourced from sustainably managed forests.
  • Require all timber and wood products to have clear country of origin labeling.
  • Provide support to a national standard setting process for the Forest Stewardship Council certification scheme.
  • Work in partnership with both NZ and foreign companies on an international marketing program for New Zealand wood products that are certified as sustainably grown.

Protect, Maintain and Increase Indigenous Forests

  • Require a review of the performance of the harvesting plans and permits approved by MAF.
  • Increase the level of funding to DoC, MfE and MAF for pest control
  • Ensure that the Q E II Trust and Nga Whenua Rahui are adequately resourced
  • Increase incentives for private landowners with indigenous forest on their property to protect, maintain and expand their forests.

Research and Development

Support research & development beneficial to the forestry industry, including:

  • Projects on the use of wood and wood waste as an energy source;
  • Promoting wood as an alternative to energy intensive building products; and
  • Funding research and development into converting lignin and cellulose from wood into fuels, chemical feedstock and other products to replace oil and coal derived materials.

Increasing Genetic and Species Diversity in Plantation Forests

  • Work with industry to have at least 30% of plantation forestry in superior high value species in 10 years.
  • Investigate ways of restoring genetic diversity to our plantations, to make them less vulnerable to climatic and biosecurity threats.

Protect Biosecurity

  • Maintain a high level of biosecurity protection (as outlined in our Conservation policy).
  • Ban the commercial release and growth, development and field-testing of GE trees.

Support and Encourage Regional Based Forestry

  • Promote farm forestry on agricultural land, especially lower productivity, erosion prone land and sensitive catchments.
  • Encourage the establishment of collaborative marketing strategies for small lots of high value timber species.
  • Work with industry to address the need for new investment in large-scale manufacturing, to move away from low value log exports.
  • Assist development of local businesses doing nursery work, planting, environmental assessment, training, pruning, logging, processing and marketing.
  • Support the use of State pension funds to invest in NZ forestry as opportunity arises including buy back of forests.

Support Sustainable Management of Overseas Forests

Advocate for international initiatives to:

  • Assist developing countries to establish economic alternatives to forest clearance; and
  • Provide training opportunities in sustainable forestry for developing countries.

Read the full policy here