Our Forestry team considers a few things to look out for this year in the legal landscape of one of New Zealand’s most important industries:
- Developments in land use management regime applicable to exotic (non-indigenous) afforestation. The Ministry of Primary Industries recently sought submissions on proposals to change these national management standards, in response to concerns about the growth and extent of exotic forestry and its environmental, economic, social and cultural impact on communities – including the conversion of whole farms to exotic forestry. As the consultation period on the National direction for plantation and exotic carbon afforestation – Discussion paper (mpi.govt.nz) closed on 18 November 2022, we await further developments in this area.
- Regulation for industry service providers. The deadline for the mandatory registration of log traders and forestry advisors is approaching. Under the Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisors) Amendment Act 2020 all forestry advisors and log traders are required to register to operate from 6 August 2022. There is a one year period within which the registration must be completed (expiring on 5 August 2023) and failure to register can result in fines of up to $100,000. For more information on the Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisors) Amendment Act 2020, please refer to this article: Forestry reform impacts NZ log traders and advisors | Hesketh Henry
- Health and safety regulation around slash (tree waste left behind after plantation forestry activities) and how it is managed. This issue has come into sharper focus since slash management issues have been exacerbated by cyclone Gabrielle, particularly in areas such as Gisborne. A Ministerial inquiry into this issue has been announced: Inquiry to investigate forestry slash and land use after cyclone | Beehive.govt.nz
- Supply issues following cyclone Gabrielle, including damage to infrastructure and the knock-on impact for log exporters in sourcing and delivering cargoes for shipment.
If you would like further information about any of the matters discussed in this article, or how it may affect your business, please get in touch with our Forestry team or your usual contact at Hesketh Henry.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is current at the date of publishing and is of a general nature. It should be used as a guide only and not as a substitute for obtaining legal advice. Specific legal advice should be sought where required.