Update from Aratu Forests

12 MAY 2023

Aratu Forests, one of the largest forestry companies in Tairāwhiti, has today welcomed the release of the Ministerial Inquiry into Land Use report and says the report provides a clear way forward for the sector.

CEO of Aratu Forests, Neil Woods, said: “This report is comprehensive, fair, and fulsome, and I want to thank the panel members for their level of engagement with our community in recent weeks.  The issue of land use and woody debris in our region has been hugely complex, and the devastating weather of 2023 has caused unprecedented damage to our home.

“The report provides a series of tangible next steps for all of us who live, and work in the Tairāwhiti region, and in the coming days we will be taking the time to read through the report in more detail and better understand how this will impact our business in the future.

“Aratu has long advocated for the greater use of slash nets which, along with good forestry management practises, can be one tool that is used to help prevent debris mobilisation.  We intend to continue to advocate for the implementation of these tools, alongside other changes that need to be made to better manage the highly erodible soils we deal with daily in Tairāwhiti as they are used to good effect elsewhere in New Zealand and offshore.

“This region is our home too, and we are committed to adopting the necessary changes to the way that we manage our existing forestry lands and rethink how we look at the places that are planted in the first place.”