$10,000 raised to support affected families

Friday 5 May 2023

The Canterbury West Coast Wood Council hosted a sold-out Fundraising Event on the 27th April in Christchurch, New Zealand. The goal was to raise funds to support fellow forestry businesses and families in the North Island that were affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.

Some members traveled from South Canterbury and the West Coast to attend the evening at the Two Thumbs Brewery in Christchurch. With donations still coming in, it is expected the event will raise ten thousand dollars.

Matt Croft from the Hawke’s Bay Forestry Group spoke at the event about the destruction Cyclone Gabrielle has had on the region and to forestry industry. Local sawmills, pulp and lumber companies were flooded and left with metres of silt to clean up. The region is still in recovery mode and any offers of support have been well received.

This event has also had a profound effect on people engaged in our industry both with uncertainty of employment and the public backlash created by an ill-informed media looking for a scapegoat. Matt presented a summary of 110 samples of the woody debris on the beaches throughout the region that showed only 4% of the material was harvest residue. This summary backed up a report presented by the Hawkes Bay Regional Council recently but in greater detail.

As stated in his presentation it is very hard to argue these points with people when they are in a media fueled, emotionally charged state but now the local forest companies and the Hawkes Bay Forestry Group are spreading the results of this study far and wide.

For members of the Canterbury West Coast Wood Council Matt’s presentation emphasized, the importance of needing a strong industry network in place, plus effective response plans, when weather events like these occur.

Source: Canterbury West Coast Wood Council

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