National Standard for Certification of Plantation Forest Management in New Zealand

The draft standard establishes the required elements against which FSC accredited Certification Bodies shall evaluate forest management practices within New Zealand plantations.

The FSC Principles and Criteria for Forest Stewardship (February 2000) provides an internationally recognized standard for responsible forest management. However, any international standard for forest management needs to be adapted at the regional or national level in order to reflect the diverse legal, social and geographical conditions of forests in different parts of the world. The FSC Principles and Criteria therefore require the addition of indicators that are adapted to regional or national conditions in order to be implemented at the forest management unit (FMU) level. The FSC Principles and Criteria together with a set of such indicators accredited by FSC constitute an FSC Forest Stewardship Standard.

This standard follows the requirements of FSC-STD-20-002 Structure and content of forest stewardship standards (November 2004) and FSC-GUI-60-004 (v1-0) EN FSC Forest Stewardship Standards: structure, content and suggested indicators to improve consistency and transparency in certification decisions between different certification bodies in the region/nation and in different parts of the world, and thereby to enhance the credibility of the FSC certification scheme as a whole.

To date four versions of the standard have been produced and a fifth following consultation is anticipated to be sent to FSC for endorsement.  The standard versions are listed as follows:


  • Draft 1.1 for Consultation December 2002
  • Draft 2.1 for Consultation: November 2003
  • Draft 3.1 for Forest Testing: August 2010
  • Draft 4.1 Forest Tested Draft National Standard for Certification of PlantationForest Management in New Zealand; September 2010
  • Draft 5.1 Post Consultation Draft National Standard for Certification of Plantation Forset Management in New Zealand: December 2010
  • Pre-Approved Version 5.2 National Standard for Certification of Plantation Forest Management in New Zealand; February 2011


  • FSC-STD-NZL-01-2012 New Zealand plantations EN; September 2013

A copy of the Forest Test Report is at the following link:  Forest Test Report

Next Anticipated:      FSC Endorsed Version for implementation and compliance

Please follow this link for copy of the current version of the standard for consultation: Version 5.2 (superseded)

Progress Update

The debate over percentage reserve area by Ecological District was resolved through a process that requires certificate holders to consider, and if appropriate include alternative initiatives that are related to the portion of their certified forest that is short on reserve area.  This process dubbed the ecological equivalence process still requires 10% set-aside, by Ecological District or Region, but provides some alternative ecological equivalent options both within and outside the forest estate and Ecological Region. 

As a result a motion to support the standard are agreed in the majority by the SDG without any sustained objected.  The standard was submitted to FSC on February 28 for endorsement.