New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2015) 60(3): 14–16
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry
With a nod to the RMA, a wander through the woods of time
Trish Fordyce *,1
1 Barrister and Solicitor, environmental law, RMA Commissioner. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: This is a personal account of part of my experience of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) and how it has dealt with forestry. By forestry I mean trees planted for a variety of purposes, which can include timber production, carbon sequestration, soil conservation and the like. The follow-up question is, taking my experience into account, would a forestry policy have changed RMA outcomes or would a policy change RMA regulation in the future? Up front I have to say that I do not know the answer to the follow-up question. My experience is, however, that in comparison to other rural productive activities there has been a lop-sided and uneven approach to dealing with the effects of forestry on the environment. I am not saying that there should not be RMA controls on forestry operations, but there should be a more even playing field. A multi-pronged approach, which could include a policy for forestry, should be part of the forest sector’s tool box to promote forestry as a sustainable land use in New Zealand. In reaching the above conclusion I have concentrated on considering only a few lines of enquiry, predominantly dealing with regional council controls on the impacts on erosion by rural production activities.