Here is the summary of the Commissioner's recommendations. The full submission is available in pdf format here.
Summary of recommendations
Afforestation plays a major role in mitigating New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions and should be encouraged. The Emissions Trading Scheme provides an incentive for new forests by rewarding foresters for carbon sequestration. However, there is a risk that current regulations incentivise exotic forestry, like plantation pine, at the expense of native forestry. Since increasing native forestry generally offers greater environmental benefits than increasing exotic forestry, this is unfortunate. My recommendations on the forestry regulations aim to reduce disincentives for indigenous forestry under the ETS.
I recommend that the indigenous sequestration rates proposed in the February 2010 consultation document be implemented.
I recommend that work continues to improve the accuracy of the indigenous forestry sequestration rates in the carbon stock tables.
I recommend either:
exempting indigenous forests from the requirement to assess carbon sequestration through field measurement for forests larger than a specified area.
defining the threshold, above which field measurement for carbon sequestration is mandatory, by the size of the carbon credit entitlement, rather than by forest area.