Minister: Change could stop communities destruction

Wednesday 4 May 2022

Farmers fearing for the “destruction” of rural communities by carbon credit pine forests want to see a plan from the Government to improve things in areas where farming jobs have disappeared.

With many New Zealand farms having been converted to forestry due to rising carbon prices in recent years, feedback last week closed on a proposal to change settings in the Emissions Trading Scheme, where permanent plantings of exotic forests, like pine forests, would be excluded from the scheme from next year.

Damien O’Connor, the minister for trade and agriculture, fronted up to a packed Pongaroa Hotel in rural Tararua on Tuesday night about the changes. He said they would move to stop permanent forests being pine trees, that should instead be native trees.

The passionate crowd aired their concerns about what forestry has done to the sheep-and-beef farming area, as recently many farms have been converted to carbon credit pine forests, leading to a loss of farming jobs.

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Photo: Trees planted near stockyards west of Pongaroa

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