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

Gordon Campbell: On The Tax Working Group’s Road Map

Trying to analyse the interim report on the Tax Working Group (TWG) is like trying to review an entire All Blacks game, but at the half- time mark.

With so much still to be finalised, Sir Michael Cullen and his colleagues are going to need all the All Blacks’ fabled finishing skills to get a coherent, fiscally neutral package together by the February 2019 deadline. More>>

 

Meth Testing Report: Housing NZ "To Right Wrong"

Phil Twyford “Housing NZ acknowledges that around 800 tenants suffered by either losing their tenancies, losing their possessions, being suspended from the public housing waiting list, negative effects on their credit ratings or, in the worst cases, being made homeless.” More>>

ALSO:

No Reshuffle: Meka Whaitiri Removed As A Minister

Meka Whaitiri will be removed as a Minister with immediate effect... The decision was made after receiving a report into an incident that occurred on 27 August in Gisborne, involving Meka Whaitiri and one of her staff. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Equity Bill: Making History For Women’s Pay

The Equal Pay Amendment Bill, introduced to the House today, will make it easier for workers to make a pay equity claim , using a more simple and accessible process within New Zealand’s existing bargaining framework. More>>

ALSO:

Suffrage 125: NZ A Trailblazer For Women

“We acknowledge the work of Kate Sheppard, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, and all of the suffragists who tirelessly campaigned for the vote… Today we also need to ask each other: how we can continue to make our country a fairer and better place to continue the legacy of the suffragists.” More>>

ALSO:

Asylum: Refugee Quota Increasing To 1500

“The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, we will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services. We need to make sure we’re prepared for this change in policy.” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels