Forestry companies and GDC to meet public in Tolaga Bay

Eastland Wood Council chief executive Kim Holland said she imagined it would be a challenging meeting.

A Gisborne District Council-led community meeting in Tolaga Bay tomorrow will be attended by three forestry companies and Eastland Wood Council.

Ernslaw One, PF Olsen and Hikurangi Forest Farms Ltd will attend the 5pm meeting at Reynolds Hall.

Eastland Wood Council chief executive Kim Holland said she imagined it would be a challenging meeting.

“There is a lot of frustration and emotion out there. The community wants to know what is happening.”

Ms Holland said there was a lot going on — not just addressing issues of the clean-up from the floods but the challenges around climate change as well.

“You don’t have to go back very far in history to see the impact of severe weather events on the East Coast. How do we manage, or prepare to manage, significant weather events that are becoming more frequent?”

Hikurangi Forest Farms Ltd (HFF) manager Ian Brown corrected the amount of forestry debris that washed off hills and into waterways during the severe rainfall.

Media has been reporting it was a million tonnes of wood.

Mr Brown said it was “nowhere near” that much.

It was hard to put an estimate on it but the weight would be more like 40,000 tonnes.

To put it in context, Mr Brown said HFF did not harvest one million tonnes in a whole year and three million tonnes went out of Eastland Port every year.”

HFF continued to work with its contractors to clean Tolaga Bay beach, he said.

Machinery was pulled from the beach area over the weekend and shifted to help GDC open roads.

It was still too wet and soggy to move bigger logs off off farms but they were doing what they could to clean up the mess around houses, he said.

Mr Brown said some contractors regained restricted access to catchment areas but harvesting of pine trees was restricted because a limited number of log trucks were able to access sites.

A Gisborne District Council-led community meeting in Tolaga Bay tomorrow will be attended by three forestry companies and Eastland Wood Council.

Ernslaw One, PF Olsen and Hikurangi Forest Farms Ltd will attend the 5pm meeting at Reynolds Hall.

Eastland Wood Council chief executive Kim Holland said she imagined it would be a challenging meeting.

“There is a lot of frustration and emotion out there. The community wants to know what is happening.”

Ms Holland said there was a lot going on — not just addressing issues of the clean-up from the floods but the challenges around climate change as well.

“You don’t have to go back very far in history to see the impact of severe weather events on the East Coast. How do we manage, or prepare to manage, significant weather events that are becoming more frequent?”

Hikurangi Forest Farms Ltd (HFF) manager Ian Brown corrected the amount of forestry debris that washed off hills and into waterways during the severe rainfall.

Media has been reporting it was a million tonnes of wood.

Mr Brown said it was “nowhere near” that much.

It was hard to put an estimate on it but the weight would be more like 40,000 tonnes.

To put it in context, Mr Brown said HFF did not harvest one million tonnes in a whole year and three million tonnes went out of Eastland Port every year.”

HFF continued to work with its contractors to clean Tolaga Bay beach, he said.

Machinery was pulled from the beach area over the weekend and shifted to help GDC open roads.

It was still too wet and soggy to move bigger logs off off farms but they were doing what they could to clean up the mess around houses, he said.

Mr Brown said some contractors regained restricted access to catchment areas but harvesting of pine trees was restricted because a limited number of log trucks were able to access sites.

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Sarah Curtis - 1 year ago
Interesting to hear Ms Holland yesterday on Radio New Zealand defending the industry's stance that a further meeting wasn't needed. It hadn't back-flipped, she said. It was all just a misunderstanding. They got their meetings muddled! Good to hear the attention of national media brought about a U-turn in their attitude. Well done Radio New Zealand!