The Coastal Forestry Harvest – What You Need to Know

The large forestry estate, partially located in the coastal areas between Kairaki and Waikuku, is due for harvest, which is expected to take place next year.

20170613_CoastalForestryHarvest_thumbMost of the Pinus Radiata trees are in excess of 25 years old, and were originally planted with commercial harvest the end goal, as part of the estate, which is owned by Council.

While the trees have contributed richly to the natural habitat in the area, their age means some do have the potential to be a hazard in the future, most notably in high winds.

Given the forestry was originally planted with a commercial outcome in mind, maximising the return on ratepayer’s investment is one of the driving forces behind the harvest for this activity.

Even so, Council is conscious of the potentially negative effects for certain parts of the community, and is planning for the future green growth potential in the area, even as plans for the intended harvest are drawn up.

In consultation with the Te Kohaka O Tuhaitara Trust, which owns some of the land on which the harvest will take place, Council is planning already for some of the harvested areas, including along the existing trails, to be replanted with natives species.

Preliminary discussions have also been held with the camping grounds in the area, although these will be advanced further once a definitive harvest and replant plan is put in place.

The adjoining map shows the 8 blocks (highlighted in yellow) that are planned to be harvested. The map also shows camping grounds and the coastal protection strip that is not being harvested, as well as the property held by the Te Kohaka O Tuhaitara Trust.   

So what happens next?

Council will be engaging a professional forestry company to undertake the harvest and re-plant.

Their task will include regular liaison with stakeholders and the community, as well as minimising any of the potential impacts that are associated with the process.

To find the best people available to do this, Council is running a two-step process to select the forestry contractor.

The first step, soon to be undertaken, is an Expressions of Interest (EOI).  

Among other criteria, this will focus on the capability and strategy presented by the contractors to mitigate the variety of potential impacts on the community as the work proceeds.

Harvesting operational activities such as traffic management in the area, accessing times for the trucks, and what work is done when, will all be considered as part of the tender process.

We will also be seeking any innovations the bidding companies can bring that could help reduce ongoing impacts.

The timing and nature of the harvesting, the replanting program, and options for fast growing wind screening areas will all be factored in before the successful contractor is appointed.

What involvement can the public have?

We want your feedback as to what strategies you would like to see put in place to help lessen the impacts of the harvest on the community.

To achieve this, Council will be consulting a range of stakeholders within the affected coastal communities about the harvest plan, including the local community boards and resident’s groups.

The feedback we receive will play an important part in the finalising of the tender documentation that will direct and guide the contractor in relation to the approach taken.

Timeline of work

Once the applications period for interested companies has closed, a short list of candidates will be compiled.

The evaluation of the various proposals from interested contractors will follow.

We anticipate a number of experienced operators will offer their services.

They will bring with them a number of techniques which will help limit the impacts on the community as the work is carried out.

The call for Expressions of Interest goes out later this month.

We expect to begin consultation with stakeholders and the wider community through August and September, with the feedback being incorporated into the final tender document of the successful company.

The successful tender will then go before Council to be assessed at one of the October or November meetings, before the contract is awarded.

It is unlikely that the actual harvest itself will occur until the autumn of 2018, with the replanting programme following.

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