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Source: Ministry for Primary Industries

Have your say

Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service is consulting on 2 proposals as part of the Maximising Forest Carbon Programme.

  1. Creating a new forest type and default carbon tables for space-planted poplars and willows.
  2. Updating the species the exotic hardwoods default carbon tables are based on and extending the upper limit for the tables from 35 to 45 years.

About this consultation

The New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) was not designed to recognise the unique characteristics of space-planted forests. Space-planted poplars and willows are currently credited under the exotic hardwoods forest type. We need to consider how we can best accommodate these plantings.

The current exotic hardwoods tables are based on outdated data from a species that is no longer representative of exotic hardwoods grown in New Zealand. These tables only include carbon stock values to age 35, meaning tables will run out in 2024 for forests planted in 1990.

We are proposing improvements to the default carbon tables for exotic hardwoods in the Climate Change (Forestry) Regulations 2022, to reflect our better understanding of how carbon is stored. Consultation on these proposals opens on 29 August and closes on 24 October 2023.

These proposals are the first in a series of improvements to the default carbon tables under the Maximising Forest Carbon Programme.

A summary of the proposals is on this page and full details are in the consultation document.

Consultation document

Maximising Forest Carbon Programme: Recognising space-plantings and exotic hardwoods in the NZ ETS [PDF, 4 MB]

Summary of the proposals

The default carbon tables in the Climate Change (Forestry) Regulations 2022 are used to calculate carbon storage by participants in the NZ ETS with less than 100 hectares of post-1989 forest land registered in the scheme or pre-1990 forest land.

We are proposing to create a new forest type and default carbon tables for space-planted poplars and willows (typically between 50 and 200 stems per hectare). Poplars and willows are often planted at wide spacings (space-planted) on farms for erosion control and stock shelter, and are also efficient at carbon storage.

We are also proposing to change the representative species for the exotic hardwoods tables from Eucalyptus nitens to Eucalyptus fastigata and extend the upper limit of the tables from 35 to 45 years.

The proposals apply to both post-1989 and pre-1990 forest land. The new tables would be ready to use in 2026 (the next mandatory emissions return period).

Making your submission

Send us your feedback on the proposals in the consultation document by 5pm on 24 October 2023.

We would prefer if you made a submission electronically – either by completing the online form or by email. However, we will also accept written submissions sent by post.

You are welcome to submit on the whole discussion paper, or you can choose the areas relevant to you. Provide supporting evidence with your submission where possible.



If you are sending us a submission by email, we encourage you to use the submission template which has the same questions as the online form.

Submission form template [DOCX, 135 KB]


If you prefer to make your submission in writing, send it to:

NZ ETS Carbon Tables Consultation
Operational Policy – Forest Incentives
Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6140.

What to include in written submissions

Make sure you tell us in your submission:

  • the title of the consultation document
  • your name and title
  • your organisation’s name (if you are submitting on behalf of an organisation, and whether your submission represents the whole organisation or a section of it)
  • your contact details (such as phone number, address, and email).

Submissions are public information

Note that all, part, or a summary of your submission may be published on this website. Most often this happens when we issue a document that reviews the submissions received.

People can also ask for copies of submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we must make the content of submissions available unless we have good reason for withholding it. Those reasons are detailed in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA.

If you think there are grounds to withhold specific information from publication, make this clear in your submission or contact us. Reasons may include that it discloses commercially sensitive or personal information. However, any decision MPI makes to withhold details can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may direct us to release it.

Official Information Act 1982 – NZ Legislation