A A local focus: Implementing policies for land-use change in the Wairoa District

  • Willie Smith University of Auckland (retd.)
  • Nathan Heath Hawke’s Bay District Council
Keywords: Wairoa; New Zealand; land-use change; farming; forestry.

Abstract

This paper explores community attitudes to policies designed to promote increased afforestation in the Wairoa District in Northern Hawkes Bay. The approach adopted involved face-to-face interviews with over 80 local residents, including farmers and iwi representatives, as well as policy makers, land agents, forestry experts, and scientists in Hawke’s Bay and elsewhere in the country. Group meetings were also held with farmers, iwi and others in the Wairoa District. Community engagement extended from mid-2019 to early in 2020.

Concerns raised about increased afforestation included its impact on employment and pastoral land use and on the provision of public services. Such concerns are grounded in some part in Wairoa’s history and traditional dependence on the hill country as the source of its identity and social well-being.

Increased tree planting confronts the perceptions and experience of many land users and other community members. Resistance is heightened where the policy goals appear to conflict with economic well-being or to undermine existing values. At the same time there is evidence of a broad consensus in favour of tree planting to meet environmental needs.

Current policies challenge land users’ capacity to adapt and respond to the opportunities these policies provide. Building capacity requires the provision of information and other evidence to increase understanding among all stake-holder groups.

References

Carroll, R. (2009) The wrong kind of trees: Ireland’s afforestation meets resistance, The Guardian, 7 July, 2019 (accessed, 14.12.2019).
Duesberg, S., O’Connor, D. and Dhubháin, A. N. (2013) To plant or not to plant – Irish farmers’ goals and values with regard to afforestation, Land Use Policy, 32, May 2013, 155-164.
Eaqub, S. (2014) Growing Apart: Regional Prosperity in New Zealand, Bridget-Williams Books.
Eastland Wood Council (2013) Economic Impact Assessment of the Forest Industry in the Gisborne-Tairrawhiti Region. A report prepared by the Institute for Business Research, University of Waikato.
Heath, N., Milner, I., Smith, E., Lauder, G., and Barker, P. (2016) Challenges faced by hill country farmers in New Zealand – the current issues, the state of research and what the future might hold, Integrated Nutrient and Water Management for Sustainable Farming, I.D. Currie and R. Singh (eds.) Massey University.
Holland, P.G. and Olson, S. (2020) Appetite for grass: Re-engineering landscapes of Otago and Southland 1864-1914, New Zealand Geographer, 76 (3), 237-246.
Hudson, B., Hunter, D., and Peckham, S. (2019) Policy failure and the policy implementation gap: can policy support programmes help? Policy Design and Practice, 2 (1), 1-30.
Hutchins, A. (2018) What is killing rural Canada, Macleans, 1 September, 2018.
Infrastructure Australia (2019) Factsheet, August 2019.
Kirk, N., Robson-Williams, M., Fenemor, A., and Heath, N. (2020) Exploring the barriers to freshwater policy implementation in New Zealand, Australasian Journal of Water Resources (published on line: https://tandfonline.com/loi/twar20).
Krausse, M., (1997) Impacts of Land-Use Change in Wairoa District, Resource Document, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Wellington, March 1997.
Langer, L. and Barnard, T., (2003) Local community attitudes to planation forestry, Gisborne/East Coast region, NZ Journal of Forestry, 41 (3), 21-27.
Makin, K. and Smith, B. (1981) Proceedings of a workshop held at the NZ Institute of Foresters Conference, Rotorua, pp122-129.
Mather, A. S. and Thomson, K. J. (1995) The effects of afforestation on agriculture in Scotland, Journal of Rural Studies, 11 (2), 187-202.
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (2014) East Coast Regional Economic Potential. A report prepared by Richard Paling Consulting, Martin Jenkins and Associates, Ascari Partners and Crowe Howath.
Ministry for the Environment (2018) Proposed National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity (2021).
Ministry for the Environment (2020) National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management.
Ministry of Forestry (1981) New Zealand Forestry Conference. Report of the Working Party on Afforestation, Wellington.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2006) New Rural Paradigms: Policies and Governance, Paris.
O’Sullivan P. (2020) Local focus: Wairoa forestry “scaring the hell out of this community”, (https://nzherald.co.nz/nz/local-focus-wairoa-forestry) accessed 26.06.2021.
Rabobank (2019) Opportunities for forestry, Rural News, May 7,2019 p22;Hocking, D. (2019) Tree returns better than stock, Farmers Weekly, 17 June, p25. Ministry for Primary Industries.
Rockell, J.D. (1980a) Lessons from the Wairoa appeal: land-use planning and forestry, New Zealand Journal of Forestry, 26 (2), 70-74.
Rockell, J.D. (1980b) The place of forestry in the Wairoa District Scheme, New Zealand Journal of Forestry, 26 (2), 58-69.
Runyon, L. (2017) As fewer farmers work the land, the small town way of life fades, Market Place (https://w.w.w. market place.org/2017/07/10/economy/fewer-farmers).
Scott, G.C. (1996) Government Reform in New Zealand, Occasional Paper 140. International Monetary Fund, Washington, D.C.
Sheath, G. (2015) Hill country farming: An option on the future; presentation to The East Coast Hill Country Conference, 29-30 October, Hawke’s Bay.
Te Uru Rakau/Forestry New Zealand (2018) The One Billion Trees Programme: Our future our billion trees.
The Provincial Growth Fund (2019) https://www.growregiona.govt.nz
Thinkplace-Mercury (2017) A Thinkplace-Mercury Project Solutions Whitepaper, Mapping the Full Picture: Applying co-design approaches to geospatial solutions.
Tisdall, S. (2015) Silent blight in a countryside of empty homes and shut shops, The Guardian, 23 August, 2015.
Wairoa Community Partnership Group (2019) Kakapa Te Wairoa.
Wairoa District Council (2019) Economic Development Report.
Williscroft, C. (2021) Rates rise targets plantation forestry, Farmers Weekly, 29 February, 2021.
Published
2021-07-01
How to Cite
Smith, W., & Heath, N. (2021). A A local focus: Implementing policies for land-use change in the Wairoa District. Aotearoa New Zealand Journal of Social Issues, 1, 14. Retrieved from https://ojs.aut.ac.nz/anzjsi/article/view/37
Section
Articles