The New Zealand government today said it would hold a ministerial inquiry into the use of land for forestry due to damage caused during extreme weather events like the cyclone that struck 10 days ago.
Cyclone Gabrielle wrought havoc across much of the North Island, notably in the heavily forested Tairawhiti region on the east coast as waste wood and sediment off land where trees had been felled washed onto neighboring farms, dammed rivers, contributed to flooding, and left logs scattered across beaches.
“Woody debris and sediment are particular issues for these communities following storms. More than 10,000 people in Tairāwhiti have petitioned for land use to be better managed,” Forestry Minister Stuart Nash said.
The New Zealand government said the two month inquiry will make past and current land-use practices and the impact of woody debris – including forestry slash and sediment – on communities, livestock, buildings and the environment.
It will also look at associated economic drivers and constraints.