The government has announced a ministerial inquiry into forestry slash.
The waste from timber clearance has been blamed for making recent flood damage worse.
The Green Party said forestry companies should have to compensate councils, landowners, and communities for damage caused by slash and sediment.
Greens co-leader James Shaw said slash devastation was a repeat occurrence, and companies need to contribute to the cost of the clean-up.
"Those companies benefit from the activity that they engage with there.
"The fact that communities, farms, households have been completely wiped out there is well beyond a simple fining regime, and they should contribute if they want to be able to operate."
Shaw said plantation forestry might need to be retired for steep and erosion-prone areas.
Forestry Minister Stuart Nash said it was totally unacceptable slash was ending up on beaches after heavy rains.
He said it was too early to say what will come out of the two-month inquiry, but things have to change.
"Woody debris and sediment are particular issues for these communities following storms. More than 10,000 people in Tairāwhiti have petitioned for land use to be better managed. This inquiry is responding to these very real concerns."
Gisborne resident and former government minister Hekia Parata will chair the inquiry. Former regional council chief executive Bill Bayfield and forestry engineer Matthew McCloy will also take part.
The specific areas the inquiry will look at are storm damage and its causes, current practices and regulatory and policy settings.
"The panel's recommendations, expected by the end of April, will assist local and central government respond to the severe weather events we are experiencing in New Zealand," Environment Minister David Parker said.
Feedback from affected communities and the wider public will be sought.