Reprint as at 26 March 2015

Forests Act 1949

Public Act1949 No 19
Date of assent11 October 1949
Commencementsee section 1


Changes authorised by subpart 2 of Part 2 of the Legislation Act 2012 have been made in this official reprint.

Note 4 at the end of this reprint provides a list of the amendments incorporated.

This Act is administered by the Ministry for Primary Industries.



1 Short Title and commencement

2 Interpretation

Part 1

3 Minister of Forestry

4 Delegation of Minister's powers [Repealed]

4A Delegation of powers by Secretary [Repealed]

5 New Zealand Forest Service [Repealed]

6 Conservancies [Repealed]

7 Director-General of Forests [Repealed]

8 Appointment of Conservators of Forests [Repealed]

9 Deputy of Secretary [Repealed]

10 Appointment of other officers

11 Forestry officers

12 Officers not eligible to hold licence or lease under this Act [Repealed]

13 Protection of forestry officers, etc

14 Functions of the Forest Service [Repealed]

15 Powers of Minister

15A Powers in respect of leased land [Repealed]

15B Collection and disclosure of statistical information

Financial provisions

16 Receipts and expenditure

17 Proportion of timber royalties applicable for roadmaking in certain cases [Repealed]

Part 2
State forest land

18 Minister may set apart land as State forest land [Repealed]

18A Certificates of title for State forest land [Repealed]

19 Effect of setting apart land as State forest land [Repealed]

20 Forest sanctuaries [Repealed]

21 Errors of description in Proclamations may be amended [Repealed]

22 Exchanges of land and forest produce [Repealed]

23 Fencing of State forest land [Repealed]

24 State forest land not to be dealt with except pursuant to this Act [Repealed]

25 Maps of State forest land to be prepared and recorded [Repealed]

26 Management plans [Repealed]

27 Forest produce presumed to be the property of the Crown [Repealed]

28 Property in forest produce not to pass until paid for [Repealed]

29 Power to sell by auction without licence as auctioneer [Repealed]

Licenses, leases, permits, etc


30 Power to grant licences, leases, permits, etc [Repealed]

31 Licences [Repealed]

32 Leases [Repealed]

33 Permits [Repealed]

34 Service tenancies [Repealed]

35 Mining privileges and coal-mining rights [Repealed]

36 Timber-cutting leases or licences over coal-bearing lands in State forests [Repealed]

37 Minister to enforce obligations of licensee, etc [Repealed]

38 Boundaries to be kept clear [Repealed]

39 Forfeiture of forest produce not removed during currency of licence [Repealed]

40 Forfeiture of licences, etc [Repealed]

41 Production of licence, etc, on demand [Repealed]

41A Seizure of firearms [Repealed]

42 Power of entry on land [Repealed]

Seizure of forest produce


43 Seizure of forest produce [Repealed]

44 Procedure subsequent to seizure [Repealed]

45 Disposal of forfeited produce [Repealed]

Protection of State forest land against fire


46 Unlawful lighting of fires on State forest land [Repealed]

47 Offence to leave burning or smouldering substance [Repealed]

48 Right holders to provide firefighting equipment [Repealed]

49 Duty to endeavour to extinguish fires [Repealed]

50 Offence not to comply with 2 last preceding sections [Repealed]

51 Requisition of assistance to extinguish fires [Repealed]

52 Costs of firefighting [Repealed]

53 Operation of Forest and Rural Fires Act 1947 [Repealed]


54 False entries or returns

55 Unlawful cutting or removal of forest produce [Repealed]

56 Unlawful interference with property of Crown [Repealed]

57 Offences with respect to State forest land and wildlife thereon [Repealed]

58 Cattle trespassing on State forest land may be destroyed [Repealed]

59 Offences with respect to forestry officers

60 Other offences

61 General penalty for offences

62 Liability for loss or damage

63 Limitation of proceedings

Part 2A
Use of State forest land for public recreation


63A Recreation areas [Repealed]

63B Establishment of State forest parks [Repealed]

63C Management plans for State forest parks [Repealed]

63D Open indigenous State forests [Repealed]

63E Wilderness areas [Repealed]

63F Regulations as to use of State forest land for public recreation [Repealed]

63G Offences [Repealed]

63H Application of other Parts of this Act [Repealed]

Part 3
Ministry of Forestry administration of private forests

64 Minister of Forestry may act as agent for owner of private forest

65 Sale of Maori-owned forest [Repealed]

66 Administration of certain timber-bearing land in Buller Coalfield Reserve [Repealed]

67 Revenue under last preceding section [Repealed]

Part 3A
Provisions relating to indigenous forests

67A Part binds the Crown

67AB Part does not permit felling or harvesting other than in accordance with relevant enactment

67B Purpose

Export controls

67C Prohibition on export of certain indigenous forest produce

Sawmill controls

67D Prohibition on milling indigenous timber

67DA Forests on specified Maori land to which sawmill controls apply

Felling controls

67DB Prohibition on felling indigenous timber

Sustainable forest management plans

67E Sustainable forest management plans

67F Procedure for approval of sustainable forest management plans

67G Notice requirements

67H Secretary's power to require amendments to plans

67I Other provisions relating to review and amendment of sustainable forest management plans

67J Matters to be incorporated in sustainable forest management plans

67K Sustainable forest management plan to be recorded against certificate of title

67L Plan not to constitute subdivision

Miscellaneous provisions

67M Sustainable forest management permits

67N Provisions relating to representative area to be set aside

67O Beech coupe size

67P Rights of appeal

67Q Records

67R Powers of entry and seizure

67S Forfeiture of seized indigenous timber

67T Offences

67U Penalties

67V Relationship of Part with Resource Management Act 1991

Part 3B
Mechanism allowing landowners to access value created by Kyoto Protocol of carbon sequestration on land through establishment of forest sink covenants

67W Purpose of Part

67X Interpretation of Part

Subpart 1Forest sink covenants

67Y Regulation-making powers for forest sink covenants

67Z Content of forest sink covenants

67ZA Landowner must obtain written consent of interested persons to enter into, vary, or cancel forest sink covenants

67ZB Nothing in Part makes Crown liable

67ZC Sections 316 to 318 of Property Law Act 2007 do not apply to forest sink covenants

67ZD Registrar-General of Land to register forest sink covenants

67ZE The Crown may register charges with respect to land subject to forest sink covenants in certain circumstances

67ZF Liability to the Crown of persons who have or had landholding subject to registered forest sink covenants

67ZG Minister must give notice to Registrar-General of Land if forest sink covenants are varied, cancelled, or terminated

Subpart 2Cost recovery

67ZH Principles of cost recovery

67ZI Methods of cost recovery

67ZJ Cost recovery to relate generally to financial year

67ZK Minister may review levels and methods of cost recovery

67ZL Fees and charges to be prescribed by regulations

67ZM Levies

67ZN Contents of levy order

67ZO Trust accounts required to be kept by persons collecting levies

67ZP Exemptions, waivers, and refunds

67ZQ Fees, levies, and charges to constitute debt due to Secretary

67ZR Penalties for failure to pay fee, levy, or charge

67ZS Obligation to pay fee, levy, charge, or penalty not suspended by dispute

67ZT Levy orders to be confirmed

67ZU Relationship of Part with Resource Management Act 1991

Part 4
Miscellaneous provisions

68 Annual report [Repealed]

69 Control of injurious importations and exportations [Repealed]

70 Regulations as to control and eradication of diseases affecting trees, etc [Repealed]

70A Compensation for destruction [Repealed]

71 Plants Act 1970 not affected [Repealed]

71A Regulations as to establishment and powers of Timber Preservation Authority [Repealed]

71B Restrictions on exercise of power of entry

71C Powers relating to ships [Repealed]

72 Regulations

72A Remuneration and expenses

73 Repeals and savings

Schedule 1
Enactments repealed

Schedule 2
Provisions relating to sustainable forest management plans

Forests Amendment Act 2004

Reprint notes

An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to forestry

  • Title: replaced (with effect on 1 April 1987), on 1 July 1987, by section 2 of the Forests Amendment Act 1987 (1987 No 118).