Ngāti Porou iwi leader Selwyn Parata has the Government’s forestry slash report back and now wants action.
“We can no longer tolerate the unsustainable practices that degrade the land and continuously place our people, waterways, and coastal environments at perilous risk”, said Parata, the chair of Te Runanganui o Ngāti Porou.
“The panel has listened to our people and formed recommendations that balance the needs of the Taiao, our land, our people, and our regional economy.”
The Government’s inquiry on forestry slash was released on Friday and recommended that production forestry should be banned in extreme erosion zones around Wairoa and Gisborne and limits introduced around how much of a forest can be felled in a single year.
“There is a clear need for immediate action to address the recommendations in the report. Failure to act is not an option, when the security, safety and wellbeing of the whenua, waterways and people are at stake.
Parata said the ministers involved in the report now need to make the recommendations happen.
“Responsible ministers, Cabinet, and Government need to be bold and commit to the full suite of recommendations in the report. The gravity of the environmental crisis we are facing and the programme for change required needs immediate action and unequivocal support,” he said.
“The wide-ranging recommendations including enactment of legislation and regulatory improvements , inclusive regional governance arrangements, and responsible forestry planting, felling and management practices are essential.
“The appointment of a woody debris taskforce, RMA and recovery implementation commissioners will provide the additional expertise, bandwidth and resources required. Ngāti Porou and Te Aitanga a Mahaki [one of the three principal iwi of the Tūranga district] have already mapped and costed debris removal and clean-up initiatives for the most vulnerable waterways and at-risk lands in our rohe.”