Shane Jones accepts there are concerns over forestry policies

Newstalk ZB ,
Publish Date
Thursday, 6 June 2019, 8:26PM
Shane Jones says that he is speaking to officials and seeking information on the impact of forestry policies. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Forestry Minister Shane Jones says that government policies are not having a negative effect on 

Native tree planting is being ramped up across the country as landowners take up planting grants worth nearly $1.5 million.

$118 million worth is up for grabs, with a target of two-thirds natives, but there are concerns that the forestry plans is forcing people out of jobs. 

Forestry Minister Shane Jones says the aim is not whole farm conversions, but to turn lower-producing land into an asset.

He told Heather du Plessis-Allan that he has asked for new figures from officials to see if there is any evidence to back up concerns, but notes that many of the activists are a "stalking horse for the National Party".

However, Jones says he is open to "tweaking some of the settings". He says one of the concerns is around people 'carbon farming', the act of growing forests and sell the environmental credits to investors. 

"Our expectation is that people will continue to buy and sell land in the rural communities, but if carbon farming is proving to be a threat to the viability of Wairoa's of the world, it's not unreasonable for the Mayor to bring it to our attention."

Jones accepts the concern but does not believe that government policies are having an impact. 

He says there has been no decision made by Cabinet to raise the carbon cap, which is currently sitting at $25 a tonne. Jones says that he cannot comment on whether it will be raised by 2022, as he is not planning beyond the next election. 

36 One Billion Trees Fund applications have been approved so far, covering 1,100 hectares.


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