Gis­borne foresters cen­sured

Gis­borne Dis­trict Coun­cil is putting har­vest­ing crews un­der greater scru­tiny to avoid this hap­pen­ing again.

New Zealand Logger - - Forest Talk -

HAR­VEST­ING OP­ER­A­TIONS IN THE Gis­borne re­gion have come un­der greater scru­tiny since the win­ter floods brought down masses of slash be­hind To­laga Bay, which has led to 17 abate­ment no­tices be­ing is­sued by the Dis­trict Coun­cil.

In a news­let­ter pub­lished by the coun­cil, it says it has is­sued 17 abate­ment no­tices un­der the Re­source Man­age­ment Act to a num­ber of the forestry com­pa­nies in the To­laga Bay catch­ment.

Those abate­ment no­tices re­quired com­pa­nies to cease ac­tions con­tra­ven­ing their re­source con­sent con­di­tions re­lat­ing to forestry de­bris, skid sites, ero­sion risk and sed­i­ment con­trol.

The news­let­ter goes on to say: “Given that some forestry com­pa­nies have ap­pealed their abate­ment no­tices, we can’t com­ment fur­ther while these cases are be­fore the court.

“How­ever, our en­force­ment of­fi­cers have re­cently car­ried out in­spec­tions to check com­pli­ance and have found that forestry com­pa­nies ap­pear to have made good progress in ad­dress­ing the is­sues high­lighted in the abate­ment no­tices, in the forests they in­spected.

“Un­for­tu­nately, we can’t give an ab­so­lute guar­an­tee that there won’t be fur­ther col­lapses, de­bris is­sues and pos­si­bly flood­ing.”

The coun­cil says it has found is­sues where de­bris is ly­ing on very steep-sided slopes and has worked its way into gul­lies where it is no longer re­triev­able by ma­chin­ery or too dan­ger­ous for peo­ple to ac­cess, adding that “some of these ar­eas are sus­cep­ti­ble to land­slides”.

It goes on to add that there are also is­sues be­yond the coun­cil’s statu­tory pow­ers and re­sources to ad­dress, where ma­te­rial has made it out­side of the for­est and large amounts of slash has built up in rivers or is al­ready on flood plains in the catch­ments.

In the mean­time, the Gis­borne Dis­trict Coun­cil is con­tin­u­ing its in­ves­ti­ga­tion into what caused the To­laga Bay flood­ing and sub­se­quent dam­age and ex­pects this to be com­pleted by the end of the year.


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