Access by iwi and the public to the forests lands has been a key issue for the Land manager and Land owners.
The Land manager and Forestry Manager agreed the access policies and protocols for the Kaingaroa Forest on 30 September 2010.
This policy allows for vehicle access for any persons who have obtained a valid permit to enter the forest. Under the Crown Forest Licences (CFLs) the public can 'wander at will' on foot within the forest land. This public privilege existed before the land was transferred to iwi ownership and remains unaffected today.
Outside the fire season public access by vehicle, for hunting and fishing, is permitted by Timberlands Ltd during daylight hours on weekends and public holidays. During the fire season (from 1 October to 30 April), public access by vehicle is at the discretion of Timberlands Ltd as the Licensee. Timberlands have communicated they will allow public access during the fire season only when there are extended periods of Low fire danger.
Under the CFLs, Timberlands Ltd has the right to control access to the forests land for the purposes of health and safety and protection of assets. Timberlands main concern for restricting vehicle access is to manage fire and safety risks. This is why access is limited to low fire danger periods to minimise fire risk, and weekends to avoid the increasing over-dimension truck traffic on the forest roads during work hours.
People wanting to access the forest to fish or hunt must apply to Timberlands Ltd for a forest access permit. This process existed before the land was transferred to iwi ownership.
TIMBERLANDS CHARGES FOR PERMITS
From 1 April 2011 Timberlands Ltd will charge the public for permits.
There is no charge for verified land owners. To be eligible, land owners must present a completed Verified Land Owner Form signed by their Delegated Iwi Representative. Any person who can whakapapa to one of the eight iwi within the CNI Iwi Collective can contact their iwi directly for information about the Central North Island forests land.
For more information on how to apply for a permit, the terms and conditions of permits, and the permitting season please go to the Timberlands website for information.