20 June 2014
The Māori Party welcomes special legislation to recover native timber
The Māori Party is thrilled that urgent legislation is to be passed by Parliament to allow for the recovery of native
timber that has fallen onto West Coast public conservation land as a result of Cyclone Ita. Co-Leader Te Ururoa Flavell
joined Dr Nick Smith on the West Coast today to make the special announcement.
“We see this as a great opportunity for the West Coast at a time where the community has had to bear the brunt of the
storm. This legislation will open up long-term employment and commercial opportunities for the community and I am proud
to be part of today’s announcement,” says Te Ururoa Flavell.
“The Māori Party support this initiative because we see it as a way for the West Coast to take a silver lining from the
storm that hit their community on April 17 this year and caused the most devastating windfall damage in decades.”
“Had we not supported the legislation, the timber would have deteriorated and lost its commercial value. In particular,
beech sapwood must be recovered within a month before sap stain fungi and beech borer begin to destroy the value of the
timber, which is why there is a need for urgency. The felled rimu can be recoverable for up to five years, providing
opportunities for long-term employment,” says Te Ururoa Flavell.
“Of course, the safety of the workers will be of paramount importance and authorisations to remove timber will require
that the operators provide health and safety plans to show their removal methods would be safe for both the workers and
the public. The legislation also provides for public exclusion from areas while timber recovery operations are taking
place for their own protection.”
“Ngāi Tahu has expressed their support in principle for the opportunities presented by the legislation and we will
support their preference for opportunities for the harvesting of the wind-blown timber and its proceeds to be reinvested
into the West Coast community. We will also seek to ensure that the recovery is undertaken in a manner that respects and
addresses any environmental and cultural matters of concern that the iwi may have.”
“While we are sad to see that so much native timber has been blown over by Cyclone Ita, we are delighted that Ngāi Tahu
and the rest of the West Coast community will benefit from the passing of this legislation,” says Te Ururoa Flavell.