8 Oct 2019

Spreading forestry blocks ruining rural communities - farmers

From Checkpoint, 6:15 pm on 8 October 2019

Farming communities from Wairarapa to Wairoa are asking the government to put the brakes on forestry policies they say put the future of rural settlements at risk.

An RNZ investigation has found at least 36,000 hectares of farm land has been sold to forestry in the last 18 months, including highly-regarded sheep and beef stations.

The government has heavily encouraged new planting, through the One Billion Trees programme, changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme and a fast-track for foreign investors wanting to purchase land for forestry.

But as Kate Newton reports, rural settlements say the policies are having unintended social consequences.