The Gisborne forestry industry is booming and it’s expected that over the next five years that log volume through the Eastland port will increase by one million tonnes. Source: Maori Television
“We’re exporting about 2.5 million tonnes a year through the port at the moment that’s up from under half a million tonnes 10 years ago so things have really picked up,” Eastland Port General Manager Andrew Gaddum told Te Kāea.
The Gisborne Hawke’s Bay region has the highest unemployment rate in the country, but the boom will mean more jobs, 200 extra jobs at the port alone.
“There is about 50 people employed directly by the port here in Gisborne and then another 100 contractors who both load the boats and unload the log trucks that come into the port.”
Gaddum says the boom is coming from the 1990s forestry plantations that is seeing wood coming from all four corners of the East Coast region.
“About 80% of our logs are going to China to be used in the construction industry as well as manufacturing solid wood furniture and plywood products.”
To keep up with demand plans are underway to build a double logging ship berth which will mean both ships can load simultaneously.