Tolaga Bay forestry owner has history of illegal logging
The Malaysian owner of a forestry company blamed for tonnes of debris washing up in Tolaga Bay has been fined twice for illegal logging overseas, but it took the Overseas Investment Office nine years to realise. Samling Group, which owns Hikurangi Forest Farms, was fined for illegal logging in Guyana just months after being granted consent to buy 22-hectares of land in Gisborne in 2007. And Malaysia's Tiong family, which owns another Tolaga Bay forestry company, Earnslaw One, has been granted 24 consents to buy sensitive land since 2005, despite allegations of environmental abuses overseas since 2004. East Coast environmental and indigenous rights advocate, Tina Ngata, told our reporter Anusha Bradley she's "appalled" and wants better monitoring of foreign investors activities.