Mangatokerau river, Tolaga Bay, filled with forestry slash. Photo: Uawa Live / Stuff
Forestry Minister Stuart Nash says the confidence communities have in the forestry industry is in a "tenuous" state in the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle but the industry is "really important" to the livelihood of many whānau, including on the East Coast.
This week the Government launched an inquiry into "forestry slash and land use" but Nash told Q+A on Sunday that forestry would continue to have "a really important part to play" in the regions.
The East Coast has been particularly affected by slash, as have Gisborne and Wairoa where slash blocked rivers and destroyed bridges during the cyclone.
"They know that the social licence on the East Coast is very tenuous at this point in time," Nash said on Q+A.
"But keep in mind, about one in four families up and down the East Coast rely on the forestry and wood processing industry.
"It's not about saying we're just gonna lock this up and leave it. It's about saying, how do we do this in a way that is sustainable."