Extreme weather impacting the way we work and live

Update from EWC

25 MARCH 2022

Like the other residents of Tairāwhiti, those that work in the forestry industry are all being kept on their toes by these extreme weather events, which are impacting the way we all work and live in the region.

We acknowledge the impact, and subsequent damage, this has had on whānau, communities and infrastructure, and extend our thoughts to all.

This has been a significant weather event, with some reports stating rainfall close to levels of Cyclone Bola in 1988.

Over the past 24 hours, the forest industry has had an opportunity to assess the damage caused by the intense rainfall we experienced this week.

We are pleased with the response from the forestry industry and its workers, which quickly mobilised to prioritise working with neighbours and communities in removing debris, opening waterways, restoring access, and repairing fences. Forest owners have also connected directly with the Gisborne District Council to offer assistance in repairs and clean-up.

We are really encouraged by the relatively small amounts of pine that have been in the debris, both in the waterways and on the beaches and the whenua. Our early investigations have indicated much of the debris that has washed into the waterways and beaches is mixed rubbish debris from poplar and willow riparian plantings, and includes a lot of land and sediment, and also rural debris.

While the ultimate goal is for no forestry debris, the significantly smaller amount, following such an extreme weather event, gives us confidence that the new methodologies we’ve put in place over recent years, are having a positive impact.

The fact these events are happening more often, reinforces the importance of a collaborative approach to risk mitigation and solutions to protect our lands and waterways in Tairāwhiti, which is something we are committed to.

The forest industry will continue to work with authorities and the local communities on the clean-up, and assist where we can to get operations back to normal as soon as possible.

We encourage anyone that requires our assistance with clean-up or repairs to get in contact with us directly.