Buller District Council

Timber from Storm Ita

9th May, 2014

“The recovery of storm damaged timber should be milled on the West Coast” comments Buller Mayor, Garry Howard. In particular all native hardwoods need to be retained and processed as much as possible on the West Coast.

I would strongly advocate for the recovery of storm damaged logs throughout private and public land, including National Parks. Heli-logging has been proven to minimise damage and with the removal of trees it will enhance natural rejuvenation of the forests. Hardwoods could be stock piled and held in reserve being processed over a number of years. This may also assist in furniture manufacturing on the Coast. Mills may need some assistance to modify for hardwood milling.

The Minister of Conservation has first hand knowledge of the extent of damage. Allowing the milling of timber from Kahurangi, Paparoa and WestlandNational Parks has potential to assist the Department of Conservation fund it’s conservation programmes. It will require an act of Parliament and I would encourage all West Coast councils, Development West Coast (DWC) and industry sectors to support the legislation required.

DWC has considerable knowledge within the Trust on the timber industry. I would favour DWC investing in the recovery of such timber by carrying out a business plan and financial viability of the undertaking.

It would be a travesty to have the recovered timber left as logs and lose the chance to enhance employment opportunities and reap an economic benefit from the storm event.


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