We received over 200 submissions! Thank you to those who took their time to read and respond to the Draft Plan. Hearings will be held on Monday 16 March, with deliberations on Friday 27 March. Councillors will make a decision at the Strategy and Policy Committee meeting on Thursday 21 May, and both the website and Newsline will be updated.
Read the submissions here:
Kingsland Forest, on the flanks of the Barnicoat Range that forms the backdrop to Richmond, is a plantation forestry block that has become a popular recreation destination for bikers and walkers.
Kingsland Forest is the least profitable of the plantation forests the Council owns and manages. Harvest cycles impinge on recreational use of the area and on biodiversity. Harvesting can also present a downstream risk to the urban community of Richmond, particularly given the more frequent storms we are experiencing in the District.
The private owners of the neighbouring Silvan Forest are planning to transition from a commercial forestry operation to a large-scale arboretum of natives and exotic species to better complement the mountain bike park within the forest. There are potential future synergies for Kingsland and Silvan Forest, both for future replanting and the development of recreational links.
A new harvesting cycle is about to start in Kingsland Forest. That cycle will take the next 20 years to complete. We need to decide now whether to replant pines for future harvest or to manage the forest solely as a recreational and biodiversity asset for Richmond, replanting in either native or permanent exotic species.
Kingsland Forest is one of several forests we own to raise revenue and reduce the demand on rates. Many of these forests, such as Moturoa/Rabbit Island and Kingsland, are also key destinations for recreation.
Kingsland Forest covers about 100 hectares, most of which is planted with pinus radiata. A significant proportion of these trees are due to be harvested in the next few years. There are also pockets of native species within the forest that are being restored through additional planting and pest control by active and keen volunteers. The forest contains the ‘Barrington Gum’, a Eucalyptus regnans or mountain ash, which is reputed to be one of the tallest trees in New Zealand.
Stormwater from the forest flows through the Richmond urban area before reaching the sea. Any decisions on future land use will need to consider the impacts on these stormwater flows.