Moepuku Forest harvesting

Moepuku Forest is due to be harvested because of the danger of decaying trees falling into the harbour.

Moepuku Forest is located between the Head of the Harbour and Charteris Bay in Whakaraupo. The block was planted between 1981 and 1984. 

The forest is being logged because the trees are mature and starting to decay with old age. This will pose a problem in the future if they are left as they will be prone to breakage, damage from wind and could pose a large environmental problem in the future if left to rot and fall into the harbour.

Plans to harvest pine trees on Moepuku Peninsula have been put on hold while the forester and Christchurch City Council discuss whether resource consent is needed for the logging activity.

Addressing community concerns

There is some community anxiety around the removal of the pines and the effect on the environment. 

Read below FAQs for more information.

Why is the forest being logged now?

The trees are mature and starting to decay with old age. This will pose a problem in the future if they are left as they will be prone to breakage, damage from wind and could pose a large environmental problem in the future if left to rot and fall into the harbour.

Are all 50 hectares of pines meant to be removed?

Yes, but all native vegetation must be left.

What will happen to the forest after the pines are removed?

The block must be replanted under the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which states all forestry planted before 1989 has to be replanted if harvested. The forestry company is working with the landowner to replant with some slower-growing conifer species (for a commercial crop) as well as enhancing/expanding the existing native vegetation.

What role does Environment Canterbury play?

We're not removing the pines. The pines will be removed by the landowner and their forestry contractor.

Our role is to ensure all rules and regulations under the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF) and the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan (LWRP) are complied with. To do this Environment Canterbury will visit the site to ensure compliance.

What rules need to be followed when harvesting?

The landowner and their forestry contractor must comply with the NES-PF which allows for the harvest to proceed as a permitted activity. There are very strict rules under these standards that foresters must adhere to in terms of harvest management, sediment, erosion control, etc. 

The block also falls under the high soil erosion zone within Environment Canterbury's LWRP, so there are strict sediment discharge rules attached as well. 

Is there a sedimentation control plan in place?

Yes there is a sediment and erosion control plan.

How will we ensure any negative environmental effects from the logging are mitigated?

We will be monitoring the harvest to ensure the provisions of the NES-PF and any other relevant legislation are met.