It’s been great to get feedback from over 470 members of the community over the last two months. There was lots of enthusiasm and ideas expressed about future aspirations for the forest.
Next, we will work through the survey data and seek feedback from the various stakeholder groups who have a direct interest in the forest.
Then, we will work through the various issues identified, consider options and develop policy recommendations.
We intend to have a draft plan for Council to consider in early August.
There will be another opportunity for community feedback on to the draft plan in late August.
Why are we discussing the forest's future?
We are preparing a plan for the future use of Kingsland Forest, taking into account its current mix of recreation, commercial forestry and biodiversity restoration functions and the best mix of these into the future.
Many of us enjoy that morning, evening or weekend stroll or mountain bike through the forest located on our doorstep. As a first step in stakeholder and community engagement, we are asking users of the forest to tell us their thoughts through a survey.
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.