Forestry gets favour in environmental stakes: ES

Nicol Horrell, chairman of Environment Southland.
John Hawkins

Nicol Horrell, chairman of Environment Southland.

Environment Southland has expressed concern that forestry operators will be allowed to operate at lower environmental standards than others, under new government rules.

A report to an Environment Southland meeting on Wednesday says a national environmental standard for plantation forestry was enacted in July and will come into force next May.

The national standard covers all activities relating to plantation forestry including earthworks, river crossings and mechanical land preparation.

Councils such as Environment Southland are not permitted to set rules more stringent than the national standards, except in limited circumstances, a report to Environment Southland councillors, written by senior policy planner Tanith Robb, says.

"The regulations are more lenient than many of the rules in the proposed Southland Water and Land Plan.

"As such, forestry operators will be able to operate at lower environmental standards than other resource users in Southland," Robb says.

The national environmental standards for forestry were passed despite Environment Southland earlier expressing concerns they could undermine its ability to manage the environmental effects of plantation forestry in the region.

The national standards would allow small wetlands to be disturbed, including by building a river crossing over a wetland under .25 of a hectare - whereas under the proposed Southland Water and Land Plan it would be a non-complying activity.

Among other differences, the national standards also say mechanical land preparation must not occur within 5m of a river less than 3m wide, or a wetland larger than .25 hectare. Whereas, depending on the slope, the proposed Southland  Water and Land Plan may have required a 20m setback and no mechanical cultivation on slopes greater than 20 degrees.

Land sustainability officers currently work with forestry operators to increase awareness about environmental effects, but the national standards eliminates the need for such conversations, Robb says.

Ad Feedback

The national forestry regulations also limited Environment Southland's ability to take compliance action against forestry operators when adverse effects were reported.

Environment Southland chairman Nicol Horrell said the national environment standard for plantation forestry appeared to give one sector a more lenient pathway.

"I am concerned about that."

Robb, speaking at the meeting, said the risks associated with forestry harvesting were significant in respect to sedimentation and erosion.  

"Small wetlands and small streams can deteriorate which is something we were trying to mitigate in the [proposed] Southland Water and Land Plan."

 - The Southland Times

Comments

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

Stolen car causes house fire

A car, stolen and set alight, caused a house fire in Albany.

A car was taken in the early hours of the morning, driven a kilometre and lit on fire in a stranger's driveway.

Drones seek out invaders

Drones have been deployed to capture trespassers at the Defence Force's weapons range in South Head.

Intruders are causing repeated disruptions to military operations in Auckland.

Police tackle LGBT discrimination

Constable Nick Preston walked Auckland Pride Parade 2017 hand in hand with Queen La Quisha, left, and Ima Ballsdrop, right.

The thin blue line will get a splash of rainbow, if plans to introduce compulsory LGBT education for recruits goes ahead.

Gay couple to marry at pride parade

The prize package includes photography, videography, flowers, styling and a free celebrant and ceremony as well as ...

A same-sex couple could win their dream wedding and exchange vows in front of a crowd of more than 50,000.

Wellington

Biggest economic shift since '84 video

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern, after announcing Labour would form a government with NZ First.

OPINION: There will be a sea change to the government's role in the economy starting with a big housing intervention.

Labour's top priorities

Prime Minister elect Jacinda Ardern at her media conference after it was announced Winston Peters was forming a  ...

What are Labour's top priorities now they're in power? And who will make the magic happen?

Masseur denies indecent allegations

Keith Dobson, 53, faces 11 charges of indecent assault on six female former clients.

Allegations of indecent touching during massage "flabbergasted" former Hutt masseur.

Napier not keen on Māori seats

Napier City Council civic buildings

Maori council wards 'perceived as creating a division' by some Napier residents.

Canterbury

No longer a loos-loos situation

Neighbours are satisfied with the conditions of the resource consent, which means Hire King will have to build fencing ...

It's win-win for central city businesses after a portaloo lot that drew ire is granted consent.

Cops raid city gang pad

Armed police raided the Christchurch Headhunters pad on Vickerys Rd early on Friday morning.

Operation targeting the Head Hunters' Christchurch pad believed to be linked to major police investigation.

House fire puts woman in hospital

A house on Rogers St in Sydenham, Christchurch became engulfed in flames early on Friday morning.

City fire crews were called to separate blazes at a house and a factory overnight.

Opinion: Let's ditch the rego fee

Motorcyclists pay much higher registration fees based on the logic that they tend to be injured more badly in accidents ...

We should pay to register drivers, not vehicles, as we can only drive one car at a time.

Waikato

Girl from Morrinsville our next PM

Jacinda Ardern on the campaign trail.

The girl from Morrinsville, who once worked at the local chippie, will be our second youngest PM.

Ardern at the helm

Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern will be the country's new prime minister.

Jacinda Ardern will become prime minister as the Labour Party regains power after nine years in the cold.

Masseur  denies touch allegations

Keith Dobson, 53, faces 11 charges of indecent assault on six female former clients.

"I would never do that," he told the court.

Retired farmer sailing away

Roy Woolerton, 80, spent 16 years building his catamaran, but it's now in the water at Westhaven Marina in Auckland.

The hand-built 14.5m offshore cruising cat has two engines and four double berths

Taranaki

Action aplenty on offer

David Bruce is looking forward to the Scale Ship's Regatta in Hāwera this weekend.

 The weather isn't looking too bad and there's a heap of things to do and see over the weekend.

Programme's results video

Ethan Penny ,14, has finished the  Whānau Pakari programme, but enjoys the exercise part so much he still joins in.

Obese kids and teens were faster, healthier and happier overall if they stuck to the programme.

Driver trapped after crash

Burgess Park where a crash occurred on Friday morning.

Driver clipped a kerb and crossed the centre line before hitting a bank, police say.

Cheap tickets to fill big top

Trevor Kelly, aka Trombo the clown, decided to slash the price of tickets to his show.

Trevor Kelly found people just couldn't afford to see the circus, so he slashed the prices.

Manawatu

Welcome to Koputaroa

Signs of the country life are evident at Koputaroa.

WELCOME TO TOWN: Twinkies and Zap flavoured milk are fond childhood memories.

BNZ on the block

Staff at four wider Manawatū banks could lose their jobs after a proposed restructure.

Marton BNZ may close and 17 jobs are at risk at four wider Manawatū branches.

Labour back in power

Winston Peters announces a coalition deal with Labour.

Jacinda Ardern will become prime minister as the Labour Party retakes power after nine years in the cold.

Where did the Turbos go wrong?

The Heiden Bedwell-Curtis-captained Turbos won four of their 10 games.

For a second-straight year, the Manawatū Turbos were left sitting one point outside the playoffs.

Nelson

Dam consultation plan gets nod

05102017 NEWS PHOTO/ CHERIE SIVIGNON

Tasman district councillor Dana Wensley.

It's time for the public to have a say on the proposed Waimea dam.

Military manoeuvres

Military light operational vehicles involved in Exercise Southern Katipo 2017 roll off the HMNZS Canterbury at Port Nelson.

 Nelson gets a glimpse of the Southern Katipo military exercise as soldiers and supplies roll out of Port Nelson.

Fruit jobs in balance

T&G Foods plant in Nayland Rd, Nelson will either be sold, consolidated or shut.

Apple processing plant in Nelson faces closure amid dropping volumes of juice fruit.

Charge follows scare

A policeman at the Stoke Railway Reserve looks for a man who was allegedly seen with a knife in the area.

Police charge teen with possession of an offensive weapon after knife scare in Stoke.

Marlborough

Doggie Gold Card with benefits

Winston Peters may leave a political legacy with pooches at Marlborough if a doggie Gold Card goes ahead.

Winston Peters may unwittingly leave a political legacy at Marlborough as councillors consider a Gold Card for dogs.

Bar's new lease of life

Paddy Barry's Irish Bar, on Scott St, closed in 2017.

The owner of the Yard Bar and Cartel is seemingly looking to open a third.

The rise and fall of a highway

NCTIR project manager Zach Knutson at a culvert at the south end of the Pines.

Road workers cutting a swathe through the quake damage find themselves surrounded by walls of dirt and crumbling asphalt.

The cats nobody wants

Manager, Kaycee Polkinghorne (pictured) said sending the cats to Wellington gave them a better chance of adoption.

Thirteen cats took an early morning flight to Wellington on Saturday hoping for a fresh start.

South Canterbury

When Taiyo met Tom video

Japanese student Taiyo Watanabe finally met his hero gold medal winning shot put world champion Tom Walsh in Timaru on ...

Aspiring Japanese shot putter surprised by unexpected meet and greet with hero Tom Walsh.

'Wonderful news' video

Labour MP Jo Luxton

"So many people in NZ need this," Rangitata-based Labour MP says

Testing criticised

Consumer NZ's advice to people who burned firewood was to make sure the wood was well-seasoned.

Consumer NZ says low-emission woodburners could still cause significant pollution.

$820k revamp for hospital

Henderson Building foreman Simon Bartlett carrying out construction at the Bidwill Trust Hospital.

Bidwill Hospital's nine surgeons will be based on site once upgrade is complete in June.

Otago

ORC boss loses job

Peter Bodeker's contract as the Otago Regional Council's chief executive will not be renewed.

The Otago Regional Council's chief executive is out of a job after the council decided not to renew his contract.

Racing boss turns to golf tourism

Owner of Highlands Motorsport Park and Hampton Downs, Tony Quinn.

Highlands Motorsport Park boss Tony Quinn wants to build a golf course and residential development at the back of his racetrack.

Pilot Graeme Frew confirms Full Noise for Wanaka

Reno rookie of the year, Graeme Frew.

Record-breaking rookie Reno racer Graeme Frew to bring V-12 powered Yak-3 aircraft to Wanaka's airshow.

Aerial rat attack in Matukituki Valley

Native robins are thriving at Aspiring Flat after being reintroduced to the area several years ago.

DOC opens new front in the Battle for our Birds in the Mt Aspiring National Park near Wanaka.

Southland

Ardern: 'Honour and privilege'

Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern will be the country's new prime minister.

Jacinda Ardern will become prime minister as the Labour Party regains power after nine years in the cold.

Tania needs new liver

James Hargest College science teacher Tania Lineham is in need of her second liver transplant, her first was in 1995.

An award-winning science teacher is in urgent need of a second liver transplant.

Woman steals $100k

Court gavel.

A Southland woman stole more than $100,000 from her employer because she wanted to start her own business.

Manapouri art on display

Manapouri Art Group treasurer Kathy Singleton with some of her work.

Light and dark is the theme of the Manapouri Art Group's 13th labour weekend exhibition.

Ad Feedback