Topics: Environment, Politics

Slash affects East Coast seafood stocks - Kaumatua

By Talisa Kupenga
  • North Island: East Coast

East Coast locals are angry that pine-slash still blankets beaches after flooding and severe rainfall hit the region this month. Locals say washed up seafood has died after becoming trapped in the debris severely affecting stocks which many use to feed their families.

Slash riddles the Tikapa Coastline as far as the eye can see.

Local elder Eruini Akena says "this isn't an act of god this is due to the acts of man. So come and fix the issue that you started by growing pine trees."

Locals are angry the mess is still there.

Tuta Haerewa says he can’t help but swear at the situation, "f***! This the worst mess I’ve ever seen.”

Akena says the slash has ripped seafood from the rocks, compromising seafood stocks that feed families.

"The slash gets pushed to the [mussel] rocks. When it washes ashore the mussels are trapped among the trees, leaving nothing on the rocks because the pine brings it here and it goes rotten and people can't eat it."

Climate Minister James Shaw visited Gisborne today and viewed damage at Tolaga Bay.

He says "the government is paying close attention to [the issue]. I'm the fourth Minister to visit in less than a week so we are kind of rolling on that. Meka Whaitiri and Kris Fafoi are taking an oral line into cabinet today and Shane Jones is meeting with his forestry officials today so we are working on it pretty hard."

Forestry Minister Shane Jones Jones is expecting to receive recommendations from his new Forestry Advisory panel in the next week.