Help us save Huiarua and Matanui from offshore forestry interests

Help us save Huiarua and Matanui from offshore forestry interests

8,847 have signed. Let’s get to 10,000!
Petition to
Overseas Investment Office and

Why this petition matters

Started by Toby Williams

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Help us save iconic Huiarua and Matanui stations from off-shore forestry interests

Huiarua and Matanui stations, north-east of Gisborne, represent over 6000 hectares of New Zealand’s finest agricultural land.

Much of it is easy rolling and cultivatable.

Land quality such as this is rare in our country

If these farms were located anywhere else in New Zealand, or closer to Gisborne city, they would likely be converted to dairy farms - with a milk processing factory to boot!

These farms are the East Coast’s equivalent of iconic high-country South Island properties

If there was an application to plant pine forests on a South Island high country farm, do you think we would be having this conversation and need this petition? Environmentalists would be in uproar.

If these farms go, so does the East Coast farming community & Mata School

In its heyday Huiarua Station had more than 50 permanent staff and a school of its own. They now host Mata School, which services the families and whānau on the surrounding farms. This saves these children travelling into Tokomaru Bay daily, on the treacherous Mata Road.

The shearing gang they use is already looking for alternate sheds due to many farms being planted in trees.

All of this increases the isolation of the farms that still want to farm up there.

It makes it harder to keep roads open and safe for people. It makes it harder for those farms to attract staff and services.

Who would want to move to the middle of nowhere and live with almost no neighbours?

These are some of the reasons we need to keep the farms as farms, not plant them in forestry.

This needs to stop before it consumes every farm up the East Coast

If Huiarua and Matanui stations go, it increases the pressure on the people who remain farming around there to plant theirs as well. It’s a vicious cycle that needs to be stopped before it consumes every farm up on the East Coast.

It is their isolation that is the achilles heel and the reason why there is attraction for forestry.


We don’t believe the off-shore purchaser will harvest the trees

We are told it is the intention of the purchaser to harvest the trees via land-based logging for the most part.

I do not believe this for one second. The Mata Road, which is where the logs will have to come out, is already one of the worst roads in New Zealand.


The farms are approximately 2.5 hours drive from Gisborne, although given the state of the road, that’s probably closer to 3.5 hours.

Together with the distance to port and the cost of transport will make it prohibitively expensive to harvest.

Thank you for helping to save Huiarua and Matanui stations

Thank you for your support. Please keep sharing and let’s keep the pressure on and not lose sight of the bigger picture. If these farms go then look out! Most of the East Coast will be sure to follow.

8,847 have signed. Let’s get to 10,000!