Owners of East Coast forests charged over debris damage

12:48 pm on 1 December 2018

The owners of six East Coast forests are to be prosecuted over damage to farms from flood-borne logging debris in June.

Wigan bridge, Tauwhareparae Road, Tolaga Bay.

Wigan bridge, Tauwhareparae Road, Tolaga Bay. Photo: Supplied/Gisborne District Council.

Farmers are still feeling the effects of the Queen's Birthday man-made floods, when forestry debris washed down and blocked rivers, damaging farms during two bouts of heavy rain in the region.

They put the cost of the damage in the millions of dollars.

The Gisborne District Council investigated and is prosecuting the forestry companies under the Resource Management Act. It would not release information on the exact charges.

The council said three of the forests being prosecuted are in Tolaga Bay which suffered most of the damage.

In August, the council issued notices to several forestry companies, requiring them to cease actions contravening their consent conditions relating to debris, skid sites, erosion risk and sediment control.

The charges will be heard in the Gisborne District Court in January.

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