Forestry Minister Shane Jones has appointed a panel of forestry experts to advise on the causes of the huge flows of debris that swept down rivers and water courses across Tolaga Bay over Queen’s Birthday weekend.
Until they have reported back, Mr Jones says he is not in a position to comment any further about the reasons behind the flood damage.
Farmers and other land owners have called for compensation from forest owners, who they blame for the damage caused as logs and slash were dumped on their land.
Some demanded an immediate halt to all forestry in the area until a government inquiry was carried out. They also called for the most erodible steep land to be converted from plantations into permanent forests.
Charlie Reynolds, Federated Farmers Gisborne Provincial President, says the general sentiment among farmers was for the logging industry to take greater responsibility for the slash that had destroyed many farmers’ properties.
“The emotional response from farmers was to stop all forestry but we know that wouldn’t be possible,” he says...
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