Six abatement notices have been issued to forest harvesting operations in Whanganui after a flyover to check compliance, Horizons Regional Council regulatory manager Greg Bevin says.

The single flight was on February 27 and took in 35 harvest operations. After it, there were 18 follow-up visits made on the ground.

There were problems pretty much across the district, Bevin said.

The flight was a first for the council. Its purpose was to check on another first - the national environmental standard for plantation forestry which came into effect in May last year and now applies to forests across the whole country.


The standards were drafted with input from the forestry sector.

Flying has been a quick and efficient way to get an overview of what's happening in forests, Bevin said. It will be done again in Whanganui, and elsewhere across the region.

The main issues were to do with managing sediment run-off from earthworks and dealing with slash. Both can cause problems in waterways.

The abatement notices were issued to two forest harvest businesses, John Turkington Ltd and Forest 360 Ltd (formerly FOMS). The people involved reacted well, and have been asked to rectify by a certain date.

The notices can be appealed, and they will be followed up to check for compliance.

Businesses not complying can be issued infringement notices and fined. If there is still no compliance they can be prosecuted.