Where would region be without forestry?

LETTER

Reply to Forestry: No beauty in the beast, November 14 column.

Ian, on behalf of Eastland Wood Council I would like to clarify some points you made in your opinion piece so when you look at the trucks and logs out your window across from the port, you can appreciate the real facts.

Regional landscape:

• Total Tairawhiti hectares in forestry

(excluding Wairoa): 154,000ha —

representing 9 percent of NZ total

1.72 million ha

• 1600 people employed in forestry,

logging, truck driving, processing

and port sectors — 7 percent of

Gisborne district workers

• Harvest 2.5m tonnes per annum,

increasing to 3.5m-4m in coming

years

• Forestry and logging contributes

5.5 percent of local GDP

(versus 0.6 percent nationally).

Ownership landscape:

• Total Tairawhiti hectares

(including Wairoa): 178,400ha

• Eastland Wood Council members:

145,666ha

• Locally/nationally owned trees:

29 percent

• Locally/nationally owned land:

56 percent.

Remembering as the port expands, so does the profit and dividends back to Eastland Community Trust for further community good.

The trickle-down effect starts with all the employees as one in four in every household is involved in some way with the forestry industry: service providers, engineering companies, vehicle sales, education providers and equipment maintenance providers, not to forget safety and gear outlets, the list goes on.

Ian, you may ask the question what would Gisborne Tairawhiti look like without forestry making the significant economic contribution it does, and utilising the difficult land which is no good for much else. Now look at the bigger issues for the region, with youth unemployment, drugs and alcohol and youth suicides.

Your enthusiasm to maintain a sleepy old pretty town may be better utilised on social outcomes.

Prue Younger

Chief executive, Eastland Wood Council

Reply to Forestry: No beauty in the beast, November 14 column.

Ian, on behalf of Eastland Wood Council I would like to clarify some points you made in your opinion piece so when you look at the trucks and logs out your window across from the port, you can appreciate the real facts.

Regional landscape:

• Total Tairawhiti hectares in forestry

(excluding Wairoa): 154,000ha —

representing 9 percent of NZ total

1.72 million ha

• 1600 people employed in forestry,

logging, truck driving, processing

and port sectors — 7 percent of

Gisborne district workers

• Harvest 2.5m tonnes per annum,

increasing to 3.5m-4m in coming

years

• Forestry and logging contributes

5.5 percent of local GDP

(versus 0.6 percent nationally).

Ownership landscape:

• Total Tairawhiti hectares

(including Wairoa): 178,400ha

• Eastland Wood Council members:

145,666ha

• Locally/nationally owned trees:

29 percent

• Locally/nationally owned land:

56 percent.

Remembering as the port expands, so does the profit and dividends back to Eastland Community Trust for further community good.

The trickle-down effect starts with all the employees as one in four in every household is involved in some way with the forestry industry: service providers, engineering companies, vehicle sales, education providers and equipment maintenance providers, not to forget safety and gear outlets, the list goes on.

Ian, you may ask the question what would Gisborne Tairawhiti look like without forestry making the significant economic contribution it does, and utilising the difficult land which is no good for much else. Now look at the bigger issues for the region, with youth unemployment, drugs and alcohol and youth suicides.

Your enthusiasm to maintain a sleepy old pretty town may be better utilised on social outcomes.

Prue Younger

Chief executive, Eastland Wood Council

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Frustrated Local - 1 month ago
You conveniently did not mention how your thriving industry is destroying our road network. While you may give back 'thousands' to the community, the damage to our roads is 'millions'. A few million re-invested into the roads would be an act of decency, not generosity.

Baz Davies - 1 month ago
I wonder if Prue Younger would like to clarify some real facts concerning the shocking safety record of the forest industry in the Gisborne district.
What percentage of forest workers have suffered serious harm over the past 10 years?

Colin Black - 1 month ago
Every logging truck that uses our roads pays at least $5000 per month in Road User Charges, more than enough to keep our local roads in tip-top condition. Maybe you should be asking why that money is not being used locally!

Colin Black

Winston Moreton - 29 days ago
It's true the profit and dividends go to our community trust (ECT). It is also true profits are kept back from the trust for the $60m port expansion. Worse, ECT (now worth $300m) invests most of the 'profits' which are legally ours out of our district (think $125m on geothermal in Kawerau) and only recently started to trickle-feed benefits to nice, trustee-approved charities.

Dugald Hamilton - 29 days ago
Colin Black is on to it. How much does the Government pocket in road user charges compared to how much is spent here on road repairs and forward planning? Could The Gisborne Herald please facilitate a page so all local cartage companies, contractors and local road users can put up the amount they all spend a year. It would be really great to know how much GST and Paye go the Government's way as well. I have a feeling that roading infrastructure in other parts of New Zealand is benefiting from the activity here in Gisborne/East coast and the fallout from that has us squabbling amongst ourselves.
Jobs are our biggest opportunity. Trucks, logging, the port, planters etc - these people are hard workers paying mortgages, bringing up families, paying the bills just like us all. With more logs coming on, there needs to be confidence and a combined plan developing better jobs for everyone. We all need to be together on the same page and get from the Government what our pumping region deserves.

Sarah Hill - 24 days ago
Woah, look at the latest poll go.
Prue, I would suggest that the forestry industry has its work cut out to get its PR back on track in Gisborne. Spitting out some facts and not others is not doing any favours to the industry - poor form really.
Eighty percent of respondents so far don't believe the benefits of forestry outweigh the negative impacts. I wonder why that is? This is also one of the larger polls I have seen in some time.

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