31 May 2011

Forest owners to air roading issues at workshop

1:40 pm on 31 May 2011

The Forest Owners Association says it will play an active part in a workshop next month to discuss the impact of logging trucks on roads in Manawatu, Whanganui and Taranaki.

The workshop is being organised by Wanganui District Council following a report suggesting it will face a $50 million roading bill in the next two decades as 15,000 hectares of forest is harvested.

The association's transport committee chair, Brian Pritchard, says the body has attempted to work with councils for many years on planning and funding of roads that service forestry.

One issue, he says, is that there is no law that requires councils to use the share of rates earmarked for roads for the purpose intended.

He says foresters pay rates for the appoximately 20 - 30 years the trees take to grow before they're ready for harvest, and sometimes by harvest time the roads are not in the state to take logging trucks.