Labour failed to act after multiple slash reviews

National welcomes the inquiry into forestry slash but it asks why the Labour Government’s failed to act on the back of earlier reviews, National’s Forestry spokesperson Joseph Mooney says.

“Since Labour came into office in 2017, two reviews that warned the Labour Government about the increased risks posed by forestry slash have been completed, but five years later, Forestry Minister Stuart Nash is yet to announce any action.

“A review of slash management which began in 2018 warned of increased incidents of extreme rain and the damage forestry slash could cause.

“In 2022, Mr Nash kicked off further consultation that included a review of the findings from 2018. While that was completed in November, Mr Nash confirmed this week that he is yet to take action as he awaits advice from the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry for Primary Industries.

“Mr Nash and his colleagues have let down both communities on the East Coast and Hawkes’ Bay, as well as the forestry industry through their failure to address the issue.

“Despite declaring a climate emergency and receiving warnings about the impact of forestry slash in extreme weather, the Labour Government has done nothing in response. Communities affected by forestry slash need action.

“National supports an investigation if it leads to better management of slash. Forestry is an important contributor to the New Zealand economy, especially in regional areas.”