Maruia Declaration

Maruia Declaration

The Maruia Declaration was a public petition calling for the immediate phasing out of the logging of virgin native forest in New Zealand.

In 1977 environmental groups presented the petition to Parliament carrying 341,160 signatures. It repeated and expanded on previous recommendations in 1937 by Captain E. Sanderson that the New Zealand Government establish protected forests and that commercial forestry would be compelled by legislation to manage the forests as a perpetual crop without interfering with their scenic value. The Declaration set out the groups’ forest conservation objectives and became the basis for a continuing public campaign against natural forest logging.

The six principles set out in the Declaration were:

  • Native forests, wherever they remain, need recognition and protection in law.
  • The wholesale burning of indigenous forests and wildlife has no place in a civilized society.
  • The logging of virgin forests should be phased out by 1978.
  • Our remaining publicly owned native forests should be placed in the hands of an organization that has a clear and undivided responsibility to protect them.
  • To reduce commercial pressures on native forests, the growing of fine quality exotic and native timbers on land not presently forested should be given encouragement.
  • It is prudent to be conservative in our consumption of these forest products, especially newsprint and packaging paper, which make heavy demands on our precious resources of land, energy and water.


  • The Greening of Forestry: Conflict between Conservationists and Forestry in New Zealand. Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific 2000, Kitakyushu, Japan 31 August - 5 September 2000. from Adopted from Smith, K. Conservation Director Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand. The Greening of Forestry: Lessons from the New Zealand Experience. Forestry Reform Seminar, Sydney, Australia, March 1991.
  • Alan Reid, Impacts and effectiveness of logging bans in natural forests: New Zealand. in: Forests Out of Bounds: Impacts and Effectiveness of Logging Bans in Natural Forests in Asia-Pacific. Edited by Patrick B. Durst, Thomas R. Waggener, Thomas Enters and Tan Lay Cheng. Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission. Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. Bangkok, Thailand. 2001.

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