Buzz from the Beehive
The interests of Māoridom are being given special mention in government proposals for forest management through the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).
According to the announcement from the Beehive, a group of “Māori and other technical forestry experts” will help redesign the settings of the Emissions Trading Scheme permanent forestry category, so it better supports long-term indigenous carbon sinks.
The ethnicities of the “other” experts are not specified.
Moreover, the Government says it aims to make sure New Zealand is genuinely reducing emissions, while enabling restoration and replanting of native forests in which indigenous wildlife can thrive
“… and that we are doing so in a way that works for tangata whenua.”
The proposed changes are intended to come into effect from 1 January 2025.
Ministers are encouraging anyone involved in forestry or with an interest in the primary sector to provide feedback through the consultation process.
The announcement of the forestry consultation can be found on the Beehive website along with news that our ever-busy Ministers are …
Hailing the start of construction on Taranaki’s largest ever roading project
Māori come before other community interests in this announcement, too.
The press statement says
“Associate Minister of Transport Kieran McAnulty was joined this morning by Ngāti Tama, local councillors and board members, project representatives, and community to mark the official start of construction on Taranaki’s largest ever roading project, Te Ara o Te Ata: Mt Messenger Bypass.”
The project is expected to create more than 70 added jobs, and around $25m a year in spending with Taranaki businesses.
Te Ara o Te Ata is a key part of the Government’s investment of over $422 million in Taranaki roading, McAnulty said, but he did not give the cost of this particular project.
Announcing a $10.1m spend that seems to have been overlooked on Budget Day
The Government’s Budget 2022 investment of $10.1 million over four years in maternal mental health will result in better and more widely available care for new and expectant mothers around the country, Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall said today.
The funding will be invested to fill gaps in care identified by last year’s maternal mental health stocktake and will result in more support in the regions.
The packages will help support an estimated 700 people once all funding is implemented by the end of the fourth year of investment.
The $10.1 million will be available to add more clinical and non-clinical staff, as well as packages of care to provide more supports to whānau with higher needs including home-based supports.
And then there’s the forest-management announcement, headed Planting forests that are good for nature, climate, and the economy.
We are told a public consultation is being opened on how forests are managed through the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF), including:
- Giving local councils more control over where forests are planted
- Managing the effects of exotic carbon forestry on nature
- Improving wildfire management in all forests.
- Addressing the key findings of the Year One Review of the NES-PF
The statement confirms that the permanent forest category of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will open on 1 January 2023.
The consultation is described as a step toward delivering the Labour Party Manifesto commitment to empower local councils to decide which land can be used for plantation and carbon forests through the resource consent process.
Proposals include broadening the control by local authorities over the planting of exotic forests in their districts and whether to widen the scope of the regulations to include permanent exotic afforestation (exotic carbon forests).
Feedback is invited with the opening of public consultation on the National Environmental Statement for Plantation Forests (NES-PF).
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says:
“This consultation supports the Government’s aim to balance the type and scale of afforestation happening across New Zealand – to get the right tree in the right place
”We are addressing concerns about the impacts to the environment and on rural communities from the potential conversion of productive farmland to exotic carbon forests.”
The forestry sector makes an important contribution to our economy, communities, and the environment, O’Connor acknowledged,
“…and it is vital that the sector grows in a way that is productive and sustainable.”
Forestry Minister Stuart Nash said greater investment in forestry is being made due to the significant increase in the carbon price, forestry’s role in reaching our emissions reduction goals, and demand for wood products.
“However, large-scale change in land use for exotic carbon forestry, if left unchecked and without any management oversight or requirements, has the potential for unintended impacts on the environment, rural communities, and regional economies.”
The proposed changes include local government having more discretion to decide on the location, scale, type and management of plantation and exotic carbon forests in their districts.
Feedback is being sought on options for giving local councils more control over which land can be used for afforestation including both plantation and exotic carbon forests, through the resource consent process.
Climate Change Minister James Shaw said it was crucial to make sure the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry and the Emissions Trading Scheme work together to deliver Government priorities on climate action and biodiversity.
“Planting trees is no replacement for reducing gross emissions. Even so, the NES-PF and the Emissions Trading Scheme still have to work together to make sure the settings are right for restoring and replanting native forests. It will take some time to get this right, but that is what we are working to achieve.
“Right now, the rules put in place by previous Governments are not working. A rising price for carbon credits has created a strong financial incentive to establish new exotic forestry plantations. At the same time, the NES for Plantation Forestry doesn’t apply to permanent exotic forests.”
Now that New Zealand’s first-ever plan is in place to cut climate pollution in every part of the country – backed with $4.5 billion of investment – the Government aimed to make sure forestry is environmentally sound.
Ministers confirmed that the Government will maintain its long-term goal of enabling permanent forests to transition to natives over time. Further work will need to be done to determine the best way to achieve this.
To allow time for this work to be completed, and following consultation, the permanent forest category will remain unchanged for now and come into effect on 1 January 2023.
Stuart Nash said exotic afforestation is a key component of New Zealand’s response to climate change, but increasing carbon prices in the NZ ETS may lead to higher-than-expected levels of exotic carbon forestry
A group of Māori and other technical forestry experts will help redesign the settings of the ETS permanent forestry category, so it better supports long-term indigenous carbon sinks.
James Shaw said successive Governments for decades have tried to deal with our biodiversity and climate crises separately.
“But the reality is, neither will be successfully resolved unless both are tackled together. This is why we need to make sure we are genuinely reducing emissions, while also enabling restoration and replanting of our native forests, in which our indigenous wildlife can thrive – and that we are doing so in a way that works for tangata whenua,” James Shaw said.
Find out more about the consultation and have your say at https://www.mpi.govt.nz/consultations/national-direction-for-plantation-and-exotic-carbon-afforestation
Find out more about the next steps for the NZ ETS permanent forest category at https://www.mpi.govt.nz/consultations/managing-exotic-afforestation-incentives
Latest from the Beehive
6 OCTOBER 2022
Construction starts on Taranaki’s largest ever roading project
Associate Minister of Transport Kieran McAnulty was joined this morning by Ngāti Tama, local councillors and board members, project representatives, and community to mark the official start of construction on Taranaki’s largest ever roading project, Te Ara o Te Ata: Mt Messenger Bypass.
Hundreds to benefit from additional maternal health support
The Government’s Budget 2022 investment of $10.1 million over four years in maternal mental health will result in better and more widely available care for new and expectant mothers around the country.
Planting forests that are good for nature, climate, and the economy
Feedback is invited on Government plans to improve the way New Zealand manages forestry to ensure it works for nature, the climate, local communities, and our economy.