Forestry industry accepts 'some' blame for Tolaga Bay chaos

The Government says it's unacceptable that farms in Tolaga Bay are now covered by tonnes of forestry leftovers.

The weekend's storm on the East Coast has left roads, farms and rivers clogged with logging off-cuts - and the forestry industry is now accepting some responsibility.

On Wednesday, the Government surveyed the mess from the air for the first time.

Associate Minister of Agriculture Meka Whaitiri says it's "just unacceptable" that a farmer would no longer be able to use their land.

Paul Te Kira was one of the worst affected - his family were dramatically rescued from this roof during the storm.

"A wall of wood and water came down the hill and smashed through the roof, and I was like, 'Oh yep'," he laughs.

"There was nowhere to go by then."

He seems relaxed, but on Wednesday he went home for the first time and saw the damage first-hand.

"The woolshed's gone, and the other three buildings have been floated off or moved, not where they used to be."

Mr Te Kira doesn't want to blame the forestry companies for the logs, but Newshub has been swamped with emails from angry locals doing just that.

The industry has now acknowledged the mess, with Forest Owners' Association chief executive David Rhodes saying they "take some responsibility for what's going on".

It's not the first time this has happened across the country, but Mr Rhodes says this storm is different because it happened on very erodible soil - it wasn't the trees moving, but the land underneath giving way.

"The farmers up there should be fully aware that they're in some of the most erodible country in the world here."

The Government says it wants to modernise the industry, which is timely considering it plans to plant a billion trees.

"What I saw today is perhaps we haven't got the right trees in the right place, or the timing of planting hasn't been right," says the Minister.

Those questions will now head to Cabinet, where a decision will also be made on any compensation for locals.