Forestry Minister Peeni Henare says Tai Rāwhiti Gisborne locals are thankful for forestry as it puts bread and butter on the table but are looking towards new opportunities in the future. The damning report into the devastation caused by forestry slash during Cyclone Gabrielle recommends changes to improve the sector. The Forest Owners Association has hit out at the report saying it was put together too hastily. Forest Owners Association president Grant Dodson says the inquiry offered some good practical ideas but missed the mark on “more difficult” matters.
The Government recently announced $60 million to do more wood processing locally and wants work to begin straight away allocating $10m in this year’s Budget to get rid of an estimated 70,000 tonnes of debris. Federated Farmers Forestry Spokesperson Toby Williams is urging the Government to act quickly on the recommendations and move quickly to make changes that will protect our community. He says if they don’t we will see a repeat of the total devastation caused by Cyclone Gabrielle repeated every few years, which is not an outcome this community will be willing to accept.