Forestry rules have been streamlined across the country in a move to make things clearer for those who work in the industry.

The new rules, set by the Ministry for Primary Industries, apply to any forest of at least 1hae that has been planted specifically for commercial purposes and will be harvested.

Bay of Plenty contributes 40 per cent of the total national harvest.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council consent manager Reuben Fraser said local forestry and wood processing industries formed a significant part of the local economy and the single set of regulations were a good move.

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"If not managed properly, the impact from harvesting forestry can be devastating to the environment. By simplifying the legislative landscape we are making the rules easier to understand."

The new rules cover eight core activities associated with plantation forestry such as harvesting, earthworks and river crossings as well as associated activities such as dust, noise and slash traps.

A feature of these rules that will be new to foresters is that for some permitted forestry activities they now need to let council know where and when they are carrying out this activity.

Conditions that manage potential effects on the environment need to be complied with.

Where it isn't possible to manage these effects or comply with the conditions – for example, the site is at high risk of erosion and needs greater controls – the activity requires resource consent.

For more information on these rules and how to give council notice of your permitted activity check out www.boprc.govt.nz/forestry.