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Wellbeing effects from native reversion at Pamoa Forest

Detailed financial modelling on planned native reversion of the Council owned Pamoa Forest shows the project will impose minimal costs to ratepayers.

Last year Council decided on a future composition for Pamoa of about 71 percent native trees and 29 percent commercial pine forest, with the primary intent of protecting the city’s water supply, while also producing an economically viable second rotation of commercial forest.

A report presented to Council today outlined the financial implications of this native and pine mix, mapped alongside the Long Term Plan 2018-2028 to show how it aligned with rates increases and overall debt.

Initial modelling shows loan funding will occur during the establishment of native forest, with forecast income matching outgoing maintenance costs by around year 15 of the project. The projections indicate a 0.3 percent rate rise.

An independent economic analysis of wellbeing effects has also been completed, taking into account economic, social, cultural and environmental wellbeing.

A cost benefit analysis was used to establish the financial return, while a societal return on investment has been used to establish non-financial return.

The economic wellbeing includes the value of a secondary commercial harvest, apiculture rental to Council, improved water supply security, as well as potential funding from One Billion Trees.

Cultural wellbeing showed the highest return in the analysis, noting connectedness to te mauri te ngahere and an increase in passive value of heritage areas.

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The report concludes the agreed upon native and pine mix will deliver a well-being benefit nationally and locally, and a small economic benefit to council.

In February next year an implementation report will go to Council, providing more detail about the work programme, including timelines and budget phasing requirements.

Additional background info:

Council bought the Pamoa forest block in 1989 after Cyclone Bola as a way of guaranteeing the long-term control of land use around the Gisborne waterworks – Mangapoike Dam and Waingake water supply pipeline.

In 1993 it entered into a joint venture with Juken New Zealand to manage the land surrounding the pipeline as a commercial forest. The land uses of commercial forestry and water infrastructure were considered complimentary, with pine planting providing soil stability through the maintenance of tree canopy, as well as pest plant and animal control.

Pamoa consists of approximately 1100ha of commercial pine forest and 500ha of native vegetation in various stages of regeneration and maturity.

With portions of the forest approaching maturity for harvest, Council needed to make a decision around the long term plan for the forest to inform planning and consenting.


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