New Zealand Journal of Forestry (1992) 36(4): 8–13
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry
Indigenous forest management in New Zealand
The cessation of logging in practically all of the State's West Coast indigenous forest occurred after a long battle with environmentalists, but not until national production was assured from plantations, largely of Pinus radiata. Attempts had been made to manage indigenous forests on a sustained-yield basis, but this proved difficult and logging in the nation's last extensive lowland podocarp forests on the West Coast persisted, as did government-sponsored proposals for the industrial utilisation of the beech resource (Nothofagus spp) right up until the late 1980s. Finally, pressure by environmentalists persuaded the Fourth Labour Government to drastically reduce the cut, and declare a total prohibition on logging in practically all of South Westland. Following two accords with industry and environmentalists, the years of debate and confrontation seemed to be at an end. The Labour Government adopted simplistic environmental and economic policies, separating non-profit-making activities from profit-making ones: 'conservation' on the one hand and 'development' on the other. Indigenous logging was substantially circumscribed, except for in a small area managed by a subsidiary of the New Zealand Forestry Corporation - a State Owned Enterprise. Yet, whilst the latter was subject to free-market policies and State forests and other subsidiaries of NZFC have been or are in the process of being privatised, the full force of these government measures have not been applied to State indigenous forests on the West Coast.
Keywords: Indigenous Forest Management and Policy, New Zealand