Gum trees cleared to make way for a big housing development in Flaxmere will be donated back to the community as firewood.
The gum trees began to be felled this week in preparation for the ground work to begin for much-needed houses.
The Caernarvon Drive land where the gum trees sat is one of three areas identified for the development of housing on Hastings District Council-owned land.
Across the three developments it is expected there will be upwards of 150 affordable, well-designed new homes, with construction to begin at the end of this year.
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In the meantime the HDC has decided the trees can go back into the community as firewood for winter.
Flaxmere councillor and Hastings ambassador Henare O'Keefe said it was important that the community got the benefit.
Some of the felled gum trees will be donated to Te Aranga Marae, and nearly 130 tonnes of wood will go to Tihei Mauri Ora, with both organisations redistributing them as firewood for members of the Flaxmere community.
"We didn't want to see them to go to waste and know that they will be greatly appreciated as firewood for those that need it," O'Keefe said.
Tihei Mauri Ora co-ordinator and PHO Group GM Māori Health Henry Heke said that during the first Covid lockdown in 2020, the Emergency Response Centre redistributed wood donated through post-Treaty settlement groups to whānau.
"This wood that we are receiving this year will be processed by volunteers again at Showgrounds Tomoana Hawke's Bay."
"The aim is to mix it with pine and have it available for Flaxmere whānau next winter," Heke said.