Statement from the Eastland Wood Council

29 May 2023

It has been a difficult couple of years with weather events becoming more frequent and severe, especially in 2023 with the impacts of both Cyclones Hale and Gabrielle being felt in Te Tairāwhiti.

The catastrophic weather has been unprecedented, and we acknowledge this impact on individuals and businesses too. Due to access restrictions, many forestry contractors were unable to work between Christmas and March. The current significant swift downturn in the log export market adds to those woes.

We cannot lose sight of the fact this is about more than just logs, it’s about people too. Those employed by local communities, the local businesses who look after them, and families right across Tairawhiti.

This needs to be our focus while we continue to talk about forestry operations and plan solutions for the future of our primary industry.

We are committed to continuing to work with our partners, including contractors, industry stakeholders, iwi, Gisborne District Council and government, to ensure meaningful stable employment can be maintained through the market cycles.”