Southern Environmental Working Group

Southern Environmental Working Group – est. 2023

The Southern Wood Council endorsed Environmental Working Group covering the Southland and Otago regions has been established to provide the forestry industry a chance to collaborate, share and learn alongside our regulators to improve our relationships.

“Working together in the spirit of partnership and good faith to provide the best outcome for all parties.” 

Amy Robinson, Ernslaw One and Chair of the Southern Environmental Working Group

This is our Kaupapa (Purpose)

For industry to take ownership and be held accountable, by driving communication and collaboration to uphold the values associated with Kaitiakitanga over our land. To continually improve how we deliver best practice solutions in our operations by creating a platform for open and honest conversation alongside key decision makers, that will ensure operational feasibility is maintained and our social license to operate enhanced.

  • To develop stronger working relationships between Foresters, government departments, local authorities and others who provide advice and support to the industry.
  • To develop a communication channel that promotes the exchange of ideas, concerns and learning about industry issues between forest managers, forest owners, regulators, government agencies and others with a passion for environmental excellence in forestry.
  • To develop a forum within which all participants feel comfortable to discuss policy issues in an informal “without prejudice” setting, with a view to assisting regulators and government agencies to develop mutually acceptable outcomes.
  • To develop a forum within which regulators, government agencies and the industry feel comfortable to discuss upcoming trends and issues in the wider operational environment that may impact on decisions in the Southern Region.
  • To promote sustainable land and water management including biodiversity and biosecurity in the Southland and Otago context in accordance with industry best practice, guidelines, regulations, and legislation.
  • To share and discuss innovative ideas which will benefit the industry and the environment.
  • To report and discuss compliance matters and statutory obligations in a way that enables shared learning and continual improvement in a without prejudice environment.

There is no time like the present to be part of our future and write our own narrative. It is with the support of the Southern Wood Council and our industry peers that this has been made possible. I would also like to thank our regional councils for their enthusiasm in joining us on this journey as a key partner in the ensuring the success of operationally feasible outcomes that benefit our communities our people and the environment.

I look forward to sharing this journey with you,
Ngā Mihi
Amy Robinson, Chair, Southern Environmental Working Group

Current Working Group Representation – Sept 2023

  • Chair: Amy Robinson, Ernslaw One
  • Secretary: Sherilyn Byron, Port Blakely
  • Industry Representation: Ernslaw One, Port Blakely, Wenita, Rayonier NZ, PF Olsen, IFS Growth, Southwood Exports, Log Marketing, Southern Forests, Venture Forestry, Farm Forestry, Calder Stewart, City Forests
  • Regulator Representation: Otago Regional Council, Environment Southland, Southland District Council
  • Key Stakeholders: Te Uru Raku

Currently, the new grouping plans to meeting officially 3 times per year, but also on an ad-hoc basis (on request).  The 2024 schedule is to meet in March, Otago, June, Field Trip and September, Southland. 


If you would like to become a member, would like to attend one of the upcoming meetings or would like more information, please send an email to

Recent Meetings