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Abolition of Government Registration of Forestry Advisers a Backward Step for New Zealand

Source: GreenXperts Limited Imagery & Wix Imagery 2023

As of 1 July 2024, the New Zealand Government plans to abolish Government Registration of Forestry Advisers. Registration was introduced on 6 August 2022, and generally required log traders and forestry advisers to be registered. They were listed on a public register which included their name, contact details and locations. The public register allowed people find out if someone was registered and how to contact them.

The benefits of the system were promoted as assuring anyone dealing with registered log traders and forestry advisers that they were getting expert and impartial advice from people with the right knowledge and experience. Registered log traders and forestry advisers had to provide their professional qualifications and experience, and pass a background check including a criminal conviction check, to meet the “fit and proper person requirements” in the regulations and legislation. Once registered, log traders and forestry advisers had ongoing obligations they had to meet. The registration fee was a reasonable $510 per year, and the registration process was efficient and quick. Forestry advisers with formal forestry or environmental degree qualifications plus those with trade qualifications and experience could be registered. People with the right level of experience could be registered as "specialist" advisers. A complaints procedure was available through the Ministry of Primary Industries, and a Code of Practice was formalised in the legislation.

Code of ethics for registered forestry advisers

As a registered forestry adviser, you will:

(a) Comply with all relevant law, rules, and regulations. Respect the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti o Waitangi and any obligations arising from it.
(b) Provide forestry advice according to accepted ecological, environmental, economic, cultural, and wellbeing principles.
(c) Treat everyone fairly, with courtesy and politeness. Respect cultural sensitivities and diversity.
(d) Be open and transparent. Provide information and advice that is plain and intelligible.
(e) Protect people’s health, safety, and/or wellbeing.
(f) Provide a high standard of service. Maintain confidentiality, exercise diligence, objectivity, and care.
(g) Recognise, disclose, and actively manage conflicts of interest with the client.
(h) Promote trust in the profession. Demonstrate and encourage ethical behaviour and high professional standards.
(i) Keep informed of changes affecting the profession and broader developments, and keep knowledge, skills, and techniques up to date.
(j) Act only within your areas of expertise and competency.

This Government accreditation placed New Zealand forestry practitioners on a firm foundation locally and internationally. A position that was very desirable and market-leading for New Zealand forestry advisers, their clients, and for the integrity of New Zealand's carbon and commercial forestry industries and their supply chains and export markets. This especially considering the plethora of complaints occurring nationally and internationally about false green claims and other unprofessional practices. New Zealand used to stand out internationally with our formal Government accreditation of forestry advisers. Senior staff at GreenXperts Limited were registered as specialist carbon forestry advisers, and we encouraged and helped fund our staff to gain their accreditation.

Hopefully registration will be re-instated one day. Who would advocate for such a worthwhile system to be abolished? Not us. We are all for high integrity, high quality services and products made in New Zealand, and exported far and wide. Aim to be the best there is, New Zealand.

Contact Us if you wish to obtain accredited quality forestry advice.


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