Wave of logs through city?

LETTER

Seeing the terrifying destruction caused by water and logs in the Tolaga Bay area, I couldn’t help but be alarmed by the similar looming potential for destruction that is our inner-city log yard.

By all accounts the recent rains were an “unusual event”. Well, I guess when a significant tsunami arrives (not if folks, but when), it too will be an “unusual event”.

Our inner-city log yard is no different to those logs and slash left stacked within the rural river flood plain, except that the potential for death (rather than just destruction) is so very much greater in our vastly more populated city.

What planning has our port management done for such an event, considering it is at the forefront of the Tsunami Evacuation Zone? Are the logs chained down? Will they swarm like giant battering rams as at Tolaga Bay?

Please reassure us you have this in hand.

Chris Shaw

Footnote response from Eastland Port general manager Andrew Gaddum:

Eastland Port’s main log yard at the southern end of the port is protected by a significant sea wall, which will provide protection against a reasonably-sized tsunami. Should a tsunami wave occur, it will potentially sweep around the port structures and into the city.

In the event of an enormous wave coming over the top of the 5m-high seawall, with enough volume and force to move logs stacked in the yards, then Eastland Port and the entire city are in danger. An event of this scale would be devastating to the port and city regardless of what cargo is on the port.

Eastland Port has contingency plays in the event of a tsunami, involving moving vessels out of port (which we’ve done in the past) and relocating heavy equipment to higher ground with a view that it could be then used to help in recovery efforts.

Seeing the terrifying destruction caused by water and logs in the Tolaga Bay area, I couldn’t help but be alarmed by the similar looming potential for destruction that is our inner-city log yard.

By all accounts the recent rains were an “unusual event”. Well, I guess when a significant tsunami arrives (not if folks, but when), it too will be an “unusual event”.

Our inner-city log yard is no different to those logs and slash left stacked within the rural river flood plain, except that the potential for death (rather than just destruction) is so very much greater in our vastly more populated city.

What planning has our port management done for such an event, considering it is at the forefront of the Tsunami Evacuation Zone? Are the logs chained down? Will they swarm like giant battering rams as at Tolaga Bay?

Please reassure us you have this in hand.

Chris Shaw

Footnote response from Eastland Port general manager Andrew Gaddum:

Eastland Port’s main log yard at the southern end of the port is protected by a significant sea wall, which will provide protection against a reasonably-sized tsunami. Should a tsunami wave occur, it will potentially sweep around the port structures and into the city.

In the event of an enormous wave coming over the top of the 5m-high seawall, with enough volume and force to move logs stacked in the yards, then Eastland Port and the entire city are in danger. An event of this scale would be devastating to the port and city regardless of what cargo is on the port.

Eastland Port has contingency plays in the event of a tsunami, involving moving vessels out of port (which we’ve done in the past) and relocating heavy equipment to higher ground with a view that it could be then used to help in recovery efforts.

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Phil Hunt - 4 months ago
The front page of today's (7th June) Dominion Post newspaper tells all.
In the news item, Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon says the ratepayers will have to help pay for the clean-up of the slash and logs from the forestry near Tolaga Bay.
Why should ratepayers subsidise private enterprise? This event is nothing new on the East Coast, similar events have happened over the past at least 10 years, and no one puts their hand up! Come on forestry industry, get your act together!

Patricia Girling-Butcher, Tolaga Bay - 4 months ago
In the USA giant mulching machines are used to mulch slash. The NZ forestry owners and managers must know of them. Why are they not in use here, is it because it is not a stipulation of forestry management to do so and they can save the extra money they would need to spend to clean up the dangerous, unsightly mess they leave?
It needs to be made a condition of growing trees here in NZ, that the tree owners must mulch their waste and leave the sites totally slash-free.
Mulch would help keep moisture in the ground for the re-planted seedlings, help cover bare soil exposed to the elements and leave the land looking much better. It would not pile up in a flood like slash does, and if it did end up on farm land or beaches, it is much more manageable and would decompose more quickly.
Our Government should make this a condition of planting trees for harvest in New Zealand.
Trish GB

W gerrard - 4 months ago
Mayor Meng Foon, you're kidding right? Why should ratepayers pay for the clean-up of forestry slash near Tolaga Bay? GDC and forestry are to blame for this mess so you pay for the clean-up! Ratepayers need to protest and stop subsidies to this industry. Do they give back to our community?

Barbara - 4 months ago
Surely all the logs should never have been allocated there in the first place. Surely the trucks do not have to enter the city. Surely the logs can be put on rail to the port.
With a tsunami, with flooding will come major destruction. These logs will no doubt smash everything in their path, including the Civil Defence building next to our new District Council building.

Failed us - 4 months ago
Has the council consenting office put up its hand and acknowledged that it was the regulatory body responsible for allowing forestry contractors to set up skids in flood plains or other risky sites yet?
Forest contractors and owners might be the most obvious target of anger after this event but we should expect better of our District Council in upholding public interest to meet acceptable practice.

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