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Logs rolling in, and out, sign of positive restart

A positive restart to forest exports has been signalled here with the quantity of logs going into Eastland Port climbing quickly and seven log ships booked to load here.

The forestry sector in Tairawhiti began work again on Tuesday and the port had dispensation to load logs during the latter part of Alert Level 4.

The first log ship to load here since before lockdown started sailed last week.

Eastland Port chief operating officer Andrew Gaddum said the port had around 110,000 tonnes of logs in storage before the imposition of the Level 4 lockdown.

“We have shipped about 50,000 tonnes so far for April, and the cart-in rates to the port are coming up each day,” Mr Gaddum said.

“On Tuesday the port received 6700 tonnes and on Wednesday 11,100 tonnes.”

He said the restart to the forestry supply chain has got off to a positive start.

“Logs have started coming in from the bush, and we have brought a huge number in from our Dunstan Road storage area to keep port storage turning over nicely.

“It's been a team effort to restart the local forestry industry and it's been great to see everyone working together to do it efficiently and safely.”

The log ship Erradale continues to load cargo alongside the wharf today, with two other ships out in Turanganui-a-Kiwa/Poverty Bay.

The Erradale should complete loading and sail tomorrow, to be followed by the loggers Port Botany, Yangtze Eternal, Funing and Clearwater Bay over the next week to 10 days.

The Baltic Sea is due to arrive on May 11, and the Port Alfred on May 15, both for logs.

All aboard: The log ship Erradale was expected to finish looading tomorrow and set sail. Four more log ships are expected in the next 10 days. Picture by Liam Clayton

  1. Winston Moreton says:

    We Are All Affected

    The Eastland Group CEO is right (TGH May 1). “It’s been a tough time for everyone, but with one in four households in the region linked to forestry, the recovery of this industry will be vital for the recovery of the region as a whole.” He exaggerates a little. I would like to know how he and his fellow Eastland Groupers found lock-down tough. No pay cut. No home detention with mum and the kids for many of them.
    But I am afraid he is way off with his statement that, “one in four households” are linked to forestry. The truth is every single household is affected in some way by the port log trade, just that most of us get what planners call adverse-affects – roading costs, noise and danger. The council is asleep at the wheel or too close to the Eastland Group hierarchy.
    Eastland Group and the council should start pushing for the rail fix – not the ridiculous multimillion-dollar bridge to nowhere now designed, in my opinion, to reinforce the unstable ground under the weight of the Te Maro sculpture. Of course, there is no denying the primary purpose of the “bridge”. It will keep people from visiting Puhi Kai Iti – sometimes referred to as the Landing Place. The most historic place in NZ for two cultures.