Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Impending Government Decision On West Coast Rimu

NEW ZEALAND SCHOOL OF FORESTRY PRESS RELEASE

Impending Government Decision On West Coast Rimu Forest Management

Associate Professor David Norton, an internationally recognised conservation biologist from the University of Canterbury’s School of Forestry, says that the Government can make a genuine commitment to sustainable resource management when deciding the future management of Crown owned West Coast rimu production forests. Government is poised in the next few weeks to decide whether existing rimu supply contracts will be allowed to run their full term or be terminated.

Prof Norton says that we should clearly distinguish the unsustainable overcutting of rimu forests in the Buller, including Orikaka forest, from the sustainable management of Okarito and Saltwater forests in south Westland. The overcutting of Orikaka forest is totally unacceptable with no ecological justification and should be stopped immediately he says.

The sustainable management of south Westland rimu forests at Okarito and Saltwater is, however, quite different. Okarito and Saltwater forests were gazetted for sustainable management in 1984 prior to the West Coast forest accord and cover an area of only 9500 ha. Both forests had been extensively affected by previous unsustainable logging. Prof. Norton is in a unique position to comment on the management of these forests having independently audited the ecological consequences of the forest management practices carried out by Timberlands between 1993 and 1998.

While any management of a forest has some impacts, Prof. Norton could find no evidence to suggest that current sustainable management in Okarito and Saltwater was having any significant impacts on indigenous biodiversity within these forests. Single trees were harvested using helicopters, with harvested trees being spread across a range of tree sizes rather than just being the largest trees. Selection of trees for harvest aimed to remove only already dying trees, but, with no more than 50% of trees expected to die actually being harvested. No silvicultural treatments such as improvement felling or thinning were used in forest management. Prof. Norton did, however, identify some areas in which Timberlands could enhance its forest management practices and understands that the company is planning to implement these changes in its future management.

Prof. Norton said that forest management being implemented in Okarito and Saltwater is one of only a few examples of ecologically-based sustainable management of old growth temperate rainforests world-wide. He said that no forest management is perfect, and the key to successfully integrating forest management for both timber production and biodiversity conservation is to take an adaptive management approach where management is being informed by research results and where research is based on actual management. Given the extensive information already available for these forests, their ongoing sustainable management has the potential to provide valuable information for the sustainable management of native forests elsewhere in New Zealand and internationally. Stopping the south Westland sustainable rimu management would hamper promotion of sustainable harvesting as a replacement for destruction of tropical rain forests for instance.

Prof. Norton challenges the Government to show its commitment to environmental sustainability in two ways. Firstly, it should immediately stop unsustainable Buller over-cut. Secondly, it should commit itself to on-going sustainable management of Okarito and Saltwater forests with adequate safeguards in place including independent audits, perhaps by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s office.

ENDS

Associate Professor David Norton can be contacted by phone at 03-364-2116 or by email at d.norton@fore.canterbury.ac.nz

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

UK Cabinet Backs Deal: Gordon Campbell On The Latest Roll Of The Brexit Dice

Brexit has left the British public looking like a nation of Wellington bus commuters. In both cases, the unholy mess bears no resemblance to what people were promised or the spin being used to justify it.

In both cases, the only sane response – to go back to the way things were and write the whole thing off as a ghastly mistake – is deemed to be utterly out of the question. More>>

 
 

14/11: Two Years’ Progress Since The Kaikoura Earthquake

Mayor John Leggett said it was a day for reflection, but also a time to recognise the work by many people to support progress towards recovery made across Marlborough since November 2016. More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO:

Appointments: New High Commissioner To Australia Announced

“Dame Annette King needs no introduction given her long running career as a parliamentarian where she has previously held a number senior Cabinet portfolios, including Justice, Police and Health. She also was Parliament’s longest serving female MP with 30 years’ service,” said Mr Peters. More>>

ALSO:

Two Years Since Kaikoura: Silvia Cartwright To Lead Inquiry Into EQC

“The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Royal Commission Into Child Abuse

Obviously, it is good news that the coalition government has broadened the scope of its Royal Commission into the abuse of children, beyond its previous focus on children in state care. More>>

ALSO:

Cases Delayed: Court Staff Refuse To Handle Sentencing Papers

Dozens of court cases have reportedly been delayed, as court staff escalate industrial action at two Auckland courts by enforcing a ban on handling sentencing papers. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Primary Teachers Rolling Strikes

RNZ Report: More than 100,000 primary school students in Auckland will be home from school today as teachers and principals walk off the job for the second time this year. It's the start of a week of rolling one-day strikes around the country, after the collapse of contract negotiations last Thursday. More>>

ALSO:

"Process Was Sound": Inquiry Into Haumaha Appointment Released

The Inquiry’s purpose was to examine, identify, and report on the adequacy of the process that led to the appointment. It found the process was sound and no available relevant information was omitted. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels