The New Zealand Forest Accord

This accord is between the New Zealand Forest Owners' Association (Inc.), the New Zealand Timber Industry Federation, the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association, the New Zealand Wood Panels Manufacturers' Association


the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand (Inc.) together with the following environmental or recreational organisations who collectively comprise the New Zealand Rainforest Coalition:

Environment & Conservation Organisations of N.Z. Inc.
Federated Mountain Clubs
Friends of the Earth
Beech Action Committee
Pacific Institute of Resource Management
World Wide Fund for Nature (N.Z.)
Japan Tropical Forest Action Network
Tropical Rainforests Action Group


Maruia Society


  • define those areas where it is inappropriate to establish plantation forestry
  • recognise the important heritage values of New Zealand's remaining natural indigenous forests and the need for their protection and conservation
  • acknowledge that the existing area of natural indigenous forest in New Zealand should be maintained and enhanced
  • recognise that commercial plantation forests of either introduced or indigenous species are an essential source of perpetually renewable fibre and energy offering an alternative to the depletion of natural forests
  • acknowledge the mutual benefits emanating from an accord between New Zealand commercial forestry enterprises and conservation groups and the example that this unique accord can provide for the international community.

1. The parties agree that for the purposes of this accord a native tree is defined as any indigenous woody plant which ultimately forms part of the canopy of a naturally occurring forest in the locality under consideration and also includes any indigenous tree species which attains a diameter at breast height of 30cm or greater.

2. It is the policy of N.Z.F.O.A. that members, when establishing plantation forests, will exclude form land clearing and disturbance all areas of naturally occurring indigenous vegetation with the following characteristics:
  1. any area of 5 hectares or greater which has an actual or emerging predominance of naturally occurring indigenous tree species of any height.
  2. any natural indigenous forest vegetation of between 1 and 5 hectares in area with an average canopy height of at least 6 metres which is practical to protect. This recognises that in some instances small pockets of native vegetation within a commercial forest cannot practically be protected from disturbance. However, viable stands will be excluded from clearance and every reasonable effort made to ensure such areas are not damaged in subsequent forestry operations.
  3. any vegetation recommended for protection in a survey report in the Protected Natural Areas Programme or classified as a Site of Special Wildlife Interest (S.S.W.I.) in a published report by the former Wildlife Service.
  4. in ecological districts where such surveys have not taken place, areas that would qualify as a Recommended Area for Protection (R.A.P.) or S.S.W.I. in the professional opinion of the Department of Conservation, using established criteria for such surveys.
3. The parties support the production management and harvest of naturally occurring indigenous forest only where such activity is conducted on a sustainable basis and principally for the production of added value solid wood products in New Zealand. A "sustainable basis" is considered to be a rate and method of tree extraction that does not exceed the replenishment so that the forest ecosystem in the area under consideration is maintained in perpetuity.

4. The conservation groups undertake to:

acknowledge the importance of plantation forestry as a means of producing wood products and energy on a sustainable basis while promoting the protection and conservation of remaining natural forests, and to
promote these understandings both within New Zealand and internationally.

5. The parties agree that this accord excludes high country Crown land, Crown pastoral leases and lands controlled by the Department of Conservation.

6. The parties agree that existing arrangements for the supply of native timber authorised by past Government decisions are not covered by this accord and that this accord will not be used by them to have effect on, nor to influence, negotiations with the Crown for forest arrangements referred to by the West Coast accord and the transitional arrangements in Southland.

7. The parties to this accord agree to meet from time to time to monitor the implementation and address issues which may arise.

Signed by the following parties, in Wellington on the 14th day of August 1991:

(D Henry) for New Zealand Forest Owners' Association (Inc.)
(H Rutherford) for The New Zealand Farm Forestry Association (Inc.)
(Uncertain) for The New Zealand Wood Panel Manufacturers' Association
(A Horton) for The New Zealand Timber Industry Federation (Inc.)
(K D Smith) for The Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand (Inc.)
(Catherine Wallace) for Environmental and Conservation Organisations of New Zealand (Inc.)
(G Harper) for Federated Mountain Clubs
(Bary Week) for Friends of the Earth
(V G Begg) for Beech Action Committee
(Molly Melhuish) for Pacific Institute of Resource Management
(Tom Higgins) for World Wild Life Fund for Nature (New Zealand)
(G B Rosoman) for Tropical Rainforest Action Group
(Guy W Salmon) for Maruia Society