Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Former education minister to chair forestry inquiry

Former Minister of Education, Hekia Parata (pictured) will chair a ministerial inquiry into forestry land use in the Gisborne region.

Forestry Minister, Stuart Nash, said the two-month inquiry will help address the impacts of weather events such as cyclones Hale and Gabrielle and earlier events.

It will investigate storm damage and its causes, current practices and regulatory and policy settings, he said.

Ms Parata will be joined on the inquiry panel by former regional council chief executive, Bill Bayfield, and forestry engineer, Matthew McCloy.

“The panel’s recommendations, expected by the end of April, will assist local and central government respond to the severe weather events we are experiencing in New Zealand,’’ Environment Minister David Parker said.

The inquiry will investigate 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. 

The panel will make recommendations to improve land use including changes needed to practices and regulation at central and local government levels. This can include consideration of forestry practices, Resource Management Act plans and National Direction. For example, the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry and the Tairāwhiti and Wairoa District Resource Management Plans.

Ministerial inquiry into Tairāwhiti/Gisborne and Wairoa land-use | Ministry for the Environment.

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