Carbon farming topic for discussion on Banks Peninsula

We teamed up with Beef + Lamb NZ in September to bring industry professionals and farmers together to share information on how to add income from carbon into their farm business.

Around 30 local farmers attended the event in Duvauchelle to find out how native and exotic forestry can be incorporated within the farm landscape to complement current operations.

“It’s great for farmers to get all the information so they can find the right tree for the right place, and make an informed decision for their property,” Beef + Lamb NZ’s Briar Huggett said.

Native forestry reversion

Our Land Management Advisor for Banks Peninsula, Harry Millar, has noticed an increased awareness among landowners about the potential benefits of entering the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

“There are wider benefits that can come from the introduction of trees in appropriate areas of the farm. With loess a common feature in Peninsula topsoils, erosion is a common issue. The right tree species in these areas can make a substantial difference.

“Most of the landowners I have spoken to have a real interest in native reversion, which is great for a number of reasons. It usually means that areas are revegetated with species that will survive which helps to enhance biodiversity values as well,” he said.

Millar said native forestry reversion can be more economic than planting, meaning the upfront costs are less, with seed sources already present being utilised.

Forest management key consideration

Management is key for permanent forestry, not just during the planting stage, but also as the forest grows. 

Biosecurity, herbivore population management, seed dispersal of natives, and species interactions are all key considerations when thinking about permanent forestry on farm.

Forestry Ecologist Dr Adam Forbes specialises in native forest ecology and restoration.

He said that no one size fits all for permanent forestry and that the climate dictates your approach, but ecological management of permanent forestry secures longevity of the forest.

Forbes is employed part time by Te Uru Rākau/Forestry NZ to assist with native forestry aspects of the One Billion Trees Programme.

The strong demand for Forbes’ services in the North Island has led to the appointment of a second Restoration Ambassador, Josh Foster.

Foster is available to offer complimentary advice on indigenous forestry, and support landowners in applying for grants available under the One Billion Trees Programme.

Emissions trading scheme

South Island Forestry Consultant Phil Orme covered a variety of topics, including the ETS, He Waka Eke Noa/Primary Sector Climate Action Partnership, where to start when thinking about establishing forestry, and basic calculations for those starting their forestry journey.

“Being involved in the forest industry since 1980 has given me lots of different experiences,” Orme said.

“The single biggest change during this time has been the introduction of the ETS and the opportunity for landowners to be rewarded for doing the right thing by the land.”

“Incorporating carbon into your farm business isn’t just about numbers, but the right species in the right place and joint action so that we can work collectively to do a little bit over a long time, leading to large-scale positive outcomes,” he said.

Regional and district forestry rules

Our Resource Management Officer for Forestry, Sarah Helleur, is responsible for working with the forestry sector and landowners to ensure they are compliant.

Helleur is available to offer landowners advice and assistance before progressing forestry plans.

“It’s important to understand how incorporating carbon farming into an existing farm business works, before progressing to consultants and making solid plans.

“Engaging early with us allows you to see whether forestry will fit your land type and consider what needs to be done before getting too far down the planning process,” she said.

Helleur can be contacted by email at or by phone on 027 275 4251.

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