Minutes of a meeting of the Forestry Advisory Group

Held in the Ruma Waimārama, Floor 2A, Civic House, 110 Trafalgar Street, Nelson

On Tuesday 10 September 2019, commencing at 4.05p.m.


Present:               Mr J Murray (Chairperson), Her Worship the Mayor R Reese, Mr A Louverdis and Mr P Gorman

In Attendance:     Chief Executive (P Dougherty), Lachie Grant (LandVision),  Sam Nuske, Mike Buschl and Mitch White (PF Olsen Ltd) and Governance Adviser (E Stephenson)


Apology:              Councillor Acland (not accepted)

The meeting was adjourned at 4.06p.m. and reconvened at 4.27p.m.



1.       Apologies


          An apology was tendered by Councillor Acland. The motion to receive and accept the apology was moved but not seconded and therefore lapsed.

2.       Confirmation of Order of Business

There was no change to the order of business.

3.       Interests

There were no updates to the Interests Register, and no interests with items on the agenda were declared.

4.       Public Forum 

There was no public forum.

5.       Confirmation of Minutes

5.1       30 July 2019

Document number M4372, agenda pages 5 - 7 refer.

Resolved FAG/2019/012


That the Forestry Advisory Group

1.     Confirms the minutes of the meeting of the Forestry Advisory Group, held on 30 July 2019, as a true and correct record.

Murray/Her Worship the Mayor                                                         Carried



6.       Forestry Update - Number 9 -  September 2019

Document number R10380, agenda pages 8 - 32 refer.

Group Manager Infrastructure, Alec Louverdis, spoke to the report highlighting that the Douglas Fir harvesting and poisoning list was getting shorter, indicating excellent progress.

He noted that a meeting for interested Tantragee Block residents had taken place, with two residents attending. He had since written advising all residents that the work was being planned for January 2020. Following a suggestion that February would be preferable as children would be back at school, it was noted that this was most likely when the work would take place. Mr Louverdis advised the group of a request for Council to provide a place for residents with shift work to sleep during the day during harvesting and noted that officers would work through this. He said that a plan would be developed, including a Traffic Management Plan (TMP), which would be talked through with all the residents in advance of the work and would also potentially involve a media release. Sam Nuske (PF Olsen Ltd) noted that felling around the private/NCC boundaries and power lines had been completed.

Her Worship the Mayor advised of a comment that she had received from Mr Steven Gray about logging trucks down Tory Street and it was noted that truck protocols had been in place for several years regarding specific hours of use and control of chains to mitigate noise. Sam Nuske  was asked to ring Mr Gray.

Discussion took place regarding fire risk. Mr Louverdis confirmed he had spoken to relevant Parks staff of the need to take Parks and Reserves fire risk to the relevant committee.

Lachie Grant (LandVision) noted  a typo on agenda page 14 (Attachment 1) noting the overall fire risk should be high, not low. Overall this was the risk for all blocks. There were some options on the right hand side of the table to try to reduce the fire rating. He noted that one of the options was to prune to remove fuel low down on the trees, and that this was a critical point for the Brook/Fringed Hill block. He said that if they were going to be pruned, a decision needed to be made with some urgency.

Discussion took place on the extent of pruning, Mr Nuske said that the smaller zone could be pruned, but with the expansion of mountain bike tracks, it would be safer to do the whole block. The cost would be approximately $3,500 per hectare, but that commercially, pruning did not make sense at the moment, but may well in the future. Peter Gorman said that he felt that was an expensive way of dealing with the fire risk. It was confirmed that Council had insurance for fire, but that this issue was more about preventing fire risk spread in the first place.

Discussion took place regarding risk and triggers and management of recreation in Nelson-Tasman and Marlborough. It was suggested that discussion with the Mountain Bike Club, landowners - Ngāti Koata, and Council’s Parks and Reserves staff, was required to look at options of closing tracks in time of high fire risk. Mr Louverdis said that he would coordinate with the Parks and Reserves team for a proactive management approach and involve Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ).

It was agreed that no decision on pruning would be made at this meeting and that the matter would be discussed sometime in the future.

Further discussion took place regarding the need to look at memorandums of understanding (MoUs) for mountain bike tracks to check fire risk elements, which should be put in place prior to work being done on any tracks in the forestry estate.

It was noted that Mr Louverdis would look at the need for a fire break at the Brook – York Valley landfill.

Mr Louverdis noted that today’s visit would be written up and logged as a safe work observation (SWO), with Peter Gorman providing his observations. Peter Gorman agreed it was a well-run operation. Mr Murray confirmed that this would be logged as a SWO for him also. It was noted that an independent audit had taken place that morning at the site for PF Olsen and that this would get logged into the PF Olsen system.

Discussion took place regarding sonic measuring and the tension between volume and value of trees harvested.

The financial result for this year, which was a reflection of current log prices, was noted and that there had been a small increase in export log prices in September, but the domestic price was still stable.

It was noted that the Maitai catchment bridge was still on track for this financial year and the one in the Roding catchment would then follow.

Discussion took place on the Harvesting Plans. It was reiterated that future events through the forestry network would need to involve and secure specific approval from the GM Infrastructure, representing the Council’s forestry interests.

Discussion took place regarding alternative species, which Mr Grant was coordinating. It was noted that the biggest problem was gorse and that mulching was very expensive.

It was noted that the draft Forestry Stewardship Management Plan would be brought back to the group at a later date, prior to going out for consultation.

Discussion took place regarding revenue and it was noted that Council had received more revenue than predicted with 12% volume more per hectare and 6% more revenue per tonne, despite being 6% up on costs.

The Chairperson thanked all those involved with the group and said that he felt they were getting good outcomes for the forests.

Resolved FAG/2019/013


That the Forestry Advisory Group

1.       Receives the report Forestry Update - Number 9 -  September 2019 (R10380) and its Attachments (A2256013, A2255860, A2257694, A2253872, A2251919 and A2251918); and

2.       Receives the fire risk assessment of forestry assets (A2256013) of Report R10380; and 

3.       Notes the fire risk assessment undertaken on Parks and Reserves assets (A2255860) of Report R10380.  

Murray/Her Worship the Mayor                                                         Carried




There being no further business the meeting ended at 5.12p.m.




                                                         Chairperson                          Date


                                                         Chief Executive                     Date