Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne growers and farmers are now able to burn mixed waste as they deal with masses of cyclone and flood debris. Environment Minister David Parker says a temporary change in the law allows them to burn then replant and return land to productivity. The short-term law change ensures that burning is subject to proper management standards, helping avoid the risk of these materials being burned in an uncontrolled way. The rule change expires on December 15, with burning to stop by November. Hawke’s Bay cherry grower Jerf van Beek believes allowing temporary burning of waste will speed up the clean-up process and help growers and landowners clear enormous amounts of waste on their sites. Transporting the piles of rubbish by truck would be unsafe as there is a lot of mixed debris in waste piles and it is a very slow process.