Conflict has developed between forestry, pastoral and other land uses in New Zealand over the last twenty years despite attempts to plan for the 'wise use' of land and thereby resolve conflict over changing land use patterns. The planning response to land use conflict is made within the taken for granted ideology of capitalism which governs land use allocation within the capitalist system. Capitalist society is continually transforming itself in accordance with underlying economic structures. Planning decisions are therefore constantly evolving through human action and interaction to effect land use change consistent with capitalist development. Hence, issues of conflict in land allocation and use cannot be considered in isolation from the dynamic social system in which they emerge, are altered, maintained or subside.
Conflict of interests is inevitable in a capitalist social system and consequently a planning solution, as opposed to resolution, of conflict is impossible. Planning structures are created within the capitalist socio-economic system and are therefore endowed with the ideology of capitalism and associated contradictions, which precludes problem solution. Resolution of conflict thus represents a cosmetic change where the nature of conflict is altered but the underlying capitalist forces creating conflict remain unchanged.
The inherent contradictions inspired by capitalist ideology mean planning problems will emerge despite good intentions to effect conflict amelioration. Capitalism is the preferred socio-economic system in New Zealand and the desirability of capitalism is not challenged herein. Rather, claims .of capitalist institutions and structures to be ideology free are disputed as such beliefs may lead to false optimism about the ability of planning to identify and solve, as opposed to resolve, conflict. The practice of planning for forestry development in New Zealand bears witness to this.