Slash on beaches may cost forest owners

30 June 2015

Forestry companies could face extra costs after a Gisborne District Council inquiry into forestry slash. Chief executive Judy Campbell said the inquiry revealed that forestry companies were not charged for resource consent applications.

"We have just found this out," she told councillors. "So, obviously we'll be bringing this issue back to you."

The inquiry was triggered by the thousands of tonnes of slash — the wood debris from logging operations — that washed into gullies and rivers after heavy rain towards the end of May. The rain caused significant erosion around the Wharerata Ranges and caused the movement of the forestry slash, Mrs Campbell said.

"The Maraetahi River (which drains towards Young Nicks Head) and the Kopuawhara Stream (which drains towards Nuhaka) were particularly affected, with large amounts of forestry slash and sediment deposited on downstream riverbanks, riverflats and beaches," she said.

Coming from Juken New Zealand Limited (JNL) and Hikurangi Forest Farms forestry areas, some of the slash had built up over time in gullies before washing down, Mrs Campbell said.

After a meeting was held with affected landowners, "staff are looking at what further options council has to better manage what is recognised as a significant community and environmental concern".

Source: Gisborne Herald