For private forests:(Was: Re: Sustainable indigenous forestry in N Z)

Brian Sandle bsandle at
Tue Feb 15 21:18:55 EST 2000

Brian Swale <bj at> wrote:

Brian Swale
> A lot of the discusson on this topic misses the point on what is
> happening in New Zealand with regards to sustainable forestry in
> the beech forests of the
>  South Island. West Coast.
> It has absolutely nothing to do with agroforestry in New Zealand.
> Agroforestry is  regarded in New Zealand as the use of valuable
> tree crops in (usually high value) pastoral farning enterprises
> such as outdoor beef, dairying or sheep. The tree  species may be
> Pinus radiata, very carefully tended, or species of eucalypt,
> walnut oak, ash,  robinia, acacia or what  have you also very
> carefully tended.
I introduced agroforestry becuase I believe that that is where the 
efforts should be going.
Euan Mason from the University of Canterbury School of Forestry, and 
whose name appears on your website below, says he runs the agroforestry 
course. An exam paper question gives:
( )
"The average NZ farmer is indifferent towards forestry. What are the 
major reasons why this is the case and why do they have so few commercial 
plantations on their farms?"
The exam paper (for agroforestry stage 4 and farm forestry stage 5)
did have a question about help to trees from legumes (I 
guess of which clover is one) growing nearby, from the nitrogenation. 
Lotus is the plant mentioned, but very little on the interrelations of 
tree crops with other crops and pasture animals, the bones of 
> Timberlands West Coast, an artificial construct of the 1897 Laboiur
> Government  which did away with the highly productive New Zealand
> Forest Service.and sold  the forests to mailnly overseas companies,
> is a government-owned company with  just two shareholders, both
> Ministers in the Cabinet. It was set up to manage and  use
> indigenous forest. 
   Linkname: Native Forest Action
   Last Mod: Wed, 15 Sep 1999 06:03:11 GMT
       size: 1700 lines  
Though the Goverment which has just been voted out was intending to 
privatise it.
   Native Forest Action
   Media Release
   14 January 1999
   A source within Timberlands West Coast Ltd (TWC) has leaked
   information to Native Forest Action (NFA) revealing that the SOE is
   being positioned for privatisation.
   The source has revealed that three Japanese companies have expressed
   interest in buying TWC - with one of the overseas companies being the
   most likely contender.
> In November 1999 the newly elected  Labour  minority government,
> using fallacious  argument promulgated by protectionist groups such
> as the Royal Forest and Bird Society,   obtained a lot of vital
> "green" vote from the dense urban electorates in the far northern
> metropolis of Auckland.  Without this green vote they would not
> have got into power.
Of New Zealand's conservation lands 26% are in Westland, which has only 
1% of New Zealand's population. If we had to live there to have a say we 
would destroy what is there.
> A major plank of their election campaign, as far as the
> Auckland/Coromandel green vote was concerned, was that Labour would
> put an immediate stop to the process that  was just getting under
> way in a statutory Land Use Planning Court, that Timberlands  West
> Coast had begun in order to be able to lawfully commence managing
> some of their Nothofagus beech forest sustainably for high value
> timber using helicopter log extraction.
Helicopters were supposed to cause less damage, but really they open up 
areas of primaeval forest formerly inaccessible. Besides they were not 
being run by Westlanders.
  The planned rate of timber
> extraction was just 50% of the natural rate of mortality, and they
> intended to harvest mainly moribund trees. 
Mainly moribund trees?
Euan Mason from the University of Canterbury School of Forestry, and 
whose name appears on a website below, said it was only moribund trees 
to be felled.
Euan says he does not have time to discuss with me on the newsgroup 
about the following concept, though he has plenty of time for discussing 
with others. He says it should go to the environment court. I can only 
presume, his being a forest modeller and author of one of the papaers 
mentioned below that he feels it has some substance:
The dying trees, those with dieback, have it often because borer have let 
in pests. Therefore the dying trees will have a lower useful rate of 
saw log timber than the 20% available from clear felling of beech.
Therefore, especially with the $90 per tonne helicopter cost the scheme 
is unlikely to pay enough for the conservation claimed to be such an 
important factor in promoting the scheme:
> They planned to go to extraordinary effort to ensure the continued
> existence of threatened wildlife, mainly birds and bats, but
> including some plants including mistletoes.
On another thread Euan Mason has said there is an estimate of $250 
million needed to be spent on conservation in New Zealand. I am not sure 
if that is just for the conservation lands. Since a quarter of the 
conservation lands are in Westland that would mean over $80 million is 
needed there.
The beech scheme was aimed at nearly 100,000 trees annually. That would 
mean $800 is needed from each tree just for conservation in Westland.
That would be more than is realisable from a tree.
> The new Labour Prime Minister, Helen Clark, is well known from the
> 1980's as having a  grest dislike and mistrust of forestry
> professionals and their association with indigenous  forests.
> The people who are campaigning for the resumption of the Land Use
> Planning Court hearings consider that the future of professional,
> ethical, forestry indigenous forests in NZ is at stake.
Decisions of a court depend on who sits on it.
Nearly all the GE field trial applications were granted consent by the 
ERMANZ authority. But now with the change of govt and the promise of a 
GE enquiry, Monsanto have withdrawn a transgenic wheat field test 
application. I discuss on the over-exagerated 
claims for GE crops. They are a lottery with maybe some 5% gain on 
average to be balanced against risks of lost markets &c. (Not that it 
is GE rape, but rape has been sold mixed with swede seed to Southland 
farmers, causing great trouble - 
we could easily lose our organic market from having GE stuff here.)
> The proposals of Timberlands for the management of their Nothofagus
> beech forest are a ground-breaking worls-wide example of what might
> be achieved for the productive conservation  of natural forest.
I would say Bruenig would be more intersted in moving unsustainably 
logged beech forest to sustainably logged forest in New Zealand. Euan 
Mason claims I am side tracking when I say that.
From: "Dave Joll" <jollian at>
Subject: Re: Mosses vs runoff (Was: Re: Native forests)
Date: 20 Nov 1999 00:00:00 GMT
Message-ID: <943049780.472647 at>
Newsgroups: nz.politics,nz.general
Brian Sandle wrote in message <943017877.772340 at>...
>Or about the mountains of beech  chips waiting export license in Southland?
I haven't heard about any flooding of the coastal streams
running through the beech forest being logged in the Alton
or Longwood areas - and in any case, the land being logged
is privately owned land, the management of which should
not be of any concern to you.
But the Timberlands estates were to be privatised.
> Part of the argument is the beech growth models available from
> Landcare Research, a Crown Research Institiute, which have been
> used as evidence against the management proposals by  government
> ministers and others.. Many people find, and refereed papers are
> about to appear  which will argue, that these models are severely
> flawed.
Papers? Which besides Euan Mason's in NZ Forestry (that is old journal 
> They may be downloaded from
> (version 2) and
> e (version 1)
> An online history and ongoing commentary may be found at 
> keep an eye on this one as we are adding material all the time
So you are working together with Euan Mason. What do the Lincoln 
University agroforestry trial people think about the economics of the 
> and the Timberlands site is well worth looking at; try 
> w/overview_contents.html
> (also use the left-hand menu)
> and
See it incriminate itself with the huge logging of rimu in 1995 after 
pine plantations had been opened to large scale loggin and were 
supposed to be taking over from rimu under the Accord.
> Don't hesitate to look at these, because it is quite on the cards
> that government pressure may see these pages taken down in the
> foreseeable future. 
Or they will disappear because they are too self-incriminating.
> Brian Swale
Brian Sandle

More information about the Ag-forst mailing list