Flooding and logging -Homepaddock wonders if there’s one rule for forestry and another for the rest of us

Homepaddock reports – 

Friends who farm inland from Gisborne have lost power and their roads are impassable.

The damage is worse than it would otherwise have been because forestry slash has been washed down rivers.

A Tairāwhiti resident says her home would not have flooded if it wasn’t for a sea of logs that blocked a nearby river during heavy rain.

The region has been battered by heavy rain as cyclone Hale passed down the country, and was put in a state of emergency on Tuesday evening.

Linda Gough, who lives inland in Tolaga Bay next to the Mangatokerau River, says she was keeping an eye on the banks on Tuesday evening as the rain was pelting down.

At about 9.30pm it was high tide, and Gough said the river banks looked high, but not like they were going to breach. She felt at ease.

But then, logs started drifting downstream.

“Within that hour, our whole property was underwater. Water was coming up the stairs, running underneath [the house], it killed off all our power, all the freezers, fridges,” Gough said.

Come Wednesday there was a sea of logs and debris where the river used to be and destruction to her entire property.

“We can’t get out our driveway, our fences are gone, the gate’s gone, there’s not a paddock left – everything is covered in silt and logs … it’s just not fair and it wouldn’t happened if it wasn’t for the logs,” she said.

The logs – called slash – are the waste products from forestry operations and are an ongoing problem for the East Coast.

There are forestry works up the valley from Gough’s home, and she was furious the debris had blocked the river and risked their safety. Especially because it’s not the first time this has happened. . .    


Kenny Williams
Gisborne’s forestry industry needs to be held accountable for all this debris swept downstream during Cyclone Hale. This is the devastation at Mangatokerau Bridge, Tolaga Bay.  

No other business would get away with causing this much damage at so great a cost to individuals, other businesses and councils and the environment; and doing it repeatedly.

Are there different rules for forestry or do forestry companies just ignore them?

Slash isn’t the only problem.

Government policy encouraging trees on productive farmland is the foundation for economic, environmental and social disasters.

It looks like one rule for forestry and much tougher rules for everyone else.

    •  The Homepaddock blog can be visited HERE.














4 thoughts on “Flooding and logging -Homepaddock wonders if there’s one rule for forestry and another for the rest of us

  1. The villain hiding behind the slash flood is the sacred cow known as @TrustTairawhiti. It owns the log magnet called Eastland Port Limited which wants to increase its exports by a commendable 1.5 million tonnes a year and is building a new wharf. using community money from the sale of the electricity account. All that is fine but the buggers do not share. Now had GDC used foresight and imposed a dollar on every log truck arriving at the Port these past 4 or 5 years the GDC could have employed foresters as inspectors and imposed stop works on the companies not complying with the resource consent rules to tidy up the waste. But the sacred cow would have cried foul if the council had tried that


  2. Your ire is misdirected.

    The forestry industry is just doing it’s job.

    The actual cause of this problem is rainwater and the first call should be on those who own and/or control this in New Zealand.

    Call the local iwi and instruct them to limit precipitation to levels less than that which will cause this problem.

    Phil Blackwell


    1. Phil you are correct. The ire should be directed in larger part to those who have failed to plan for the log trade impacts. Think GDC, think Port of Gisborne and its directors. They are are all closely interconnected. Head GDC the noise to charge a small fee for every log that crossed the Port this past 5 years it would have had the funds to police its logging Consents and put stop work orders on the perps


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