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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (1992) 37(2): 21–25
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Research article
Riparian buffers in New Zealand forestry

J.W. Gilliam , L.A. Schipper , P.N. Beets and M. McConchie

This article discusses the concerns and ideas of regulators, forest owners, and researchers relating to riparian buffers in New Zealand forests, in order to further understand the current practices and questions regarding retirement of riparian zones following forest harvesting and planting. The riparian buffer issue is of increasing importance in New Zealand as the area of forests due to be harvested is rapidly increasing and many of the areas to be harvested are on more difficult terrain.
The perceived advantages and disadvantages of riparian buffers in New Zealand forestry were: water quality protection from sediment, the economic cost of riparian buffer retirement, riparian improvement of habitat, public image, maintenance of riparian areas once established, and the harbouring of pests (e.g. possums) and weeds in riparian buffers. We identified areas in which future research is required in order to answer questions that foresters and regulators posed.

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