The Report of the Ministerial Inquiry into land uses associated with the mobilisation of woody debris (including forestry slash) and sediment in Tairāwhiti/Gisborne District and Wairoa District was released today.
EDS and others called for the Inquiry after very serious policy failings in exotic forest planting and harvest methods led to successive environmental disasters on the East Coast.
“The Report is well-written, pulls no punches and contains robust and relevant recommendations. It slams the forest sector for its appallingly bad practice and the local council for slack monitoring and enforcement. Given the timeframe it is an impressive piece of work,” said EDS CEO Gary Taylor.
“Of particular note is the Report’s finding that the existing regulatory instruments for plantation forestry are too permissive, failing “miserably” to prevent “predictable off-site effects of forestry activities” and are in need of urgent review.
“EDS and Pure Advantage made a joint submission to the Inquiry and EDS is pleased to see that many of our recommendations are reflected in the Report.
“The Report recommends:
“The Report’s findings are focused on Tairāwhiti and Wairoa. However EDS contends that plantation forestry is causing significant adverse environmental effects elsewhere around the country. Ministers should therefore widen the review of the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry to align with the recommendations made for Tairāwhiti and Wairoa.
“Overall, the Report, which contains a number of other recommendations aimed at supporting the affected communities in the recovery, are highly relevant and should be implemented in their totality by Government,” Mr Taylor concluded.