Registering post-1989 forest land

Forest owners and those with registered forestry rights or leases over post-1989 forests can earn carbon credits by joining the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). We've created a step-by-step process to help you register forest land in the scheme.

Before you start

If you're not already set up, you should consider registering to use our ETS online transaction system. This will enable you to submit some information online.

To register, you'll need to:

  • have a RealMe account (RealMe is the government's online identification service)
  • set up a login and password.

If you don't have a RealMe account, you'll be given the chance to set one up when you go to log in.

ETS online system user guide  [PDF, 955 KB]

Access aerial imagery resources

Prior to lodging an application to register land into the ETS, we recommend you review aerial imagery resources that are available online and check that your land is eligible. 

Download a list of imagery resources [PDF, 84 KB]

Focus on aerial imagery as at 31 December 1989, or very close to this date. Note MPI uses other sources of imagery as-required. These sources vary from regional and local councils to private companies.

Your obligations under the ETS

If your registration is successful, you will have to:

  • submit a mandatory emissions return at the end of every mandatory emissions return period
  • measure your forest in accordance with the Field Measurement Approach if you have 100 hectares or more of registered forest land
  • report any changes to your ETS registration
  • pay back units if:
    • your carbon stock decreases
    • you deforest
    • you remove forest land from the ETS
  • notify MPI when the ownership of registered forest land changes, for example you sell your forest to another party. This includes when land is sold, a forestry right/lease is granted/expires, or when more than 40% of members of an unincorporated body (such as a trust) change.


Te Uru Rākau has published the following policies and processes to provide further clarity on how land eligibility assessments of post-1989 forest land and reviews of eligibility decisions are undertaken within the ETS:

Find out more

Who to contact

If you have any questions about registering your forest:

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