Paddy Gower Has Issues: Nobody has been held accountable over the death of Oliver Shone

OPINION: Oliver Shone was 11 years old when he was killed by a forestry log playing on Waikanae Beach in Gisborne while he was on holiday with his grandmother. 

This should never have happened. The log shouldn't have been there. It most likely belongs to a forestry company somewhere away up the Waimata River. 

So what's happened about Oliver's death? Nothing.

Who's been held to account? Nobody.

It's this simple. If it wasn't for that log, Oliver would still be with us. 

Oliver is perhaps the most tragic symbol of the way that slash has wrecked thousands of people's homes, farms, wrecked their lives. 

This, is an issue for all of us.

Oliver's grandmother Marie gave me a picture of the log that killed her grandson. 

Marie Shone is calling for justice for her grandson Oliver.
Marie Shone is calling for justice for her grandson Oliver. Photo credit: Paddy Gower Has Issues.

We know the log was cut up and used for a time as part of a memorial for Oliver. 

But there are big questions about what's happened to this log since. We understand it was cleared off the beach. But it's a key piece of evidence and where is it now? 

Another burning question is where is did the log come from. 

I asked a number of forestry companies - including Aratu Forests Ltd who locals say have the biggest forestry blocks up that river. 

They wouldn't be interviewed but issued a statement saying the source of the log on the beach is "currently unknown" and "unable to be linked" to a particular site. 

They say there are lots of forestry operators up there who have been harvesting in recent years, so the log could have come from "any of those sources".  They referred me to an industry rep who I met on the coast. 

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All the evidence was that it was a harvested log, cut to a specific length with waratah - with machine marks - on the side. 

Sam Hayes' investigations have shown us that forestry logs are going to come down the river to that beach again and again and again. 

Marie Shone and her grandson Oliver.
Marie Shone and her grandson Oliver. Photo credit: Paddy Gower Has Issues.

And when it comes to getting justice for Oliver. That's pretty frightening too, because there isn't any. 

I talked to the police. It's not a criminal investigation for them. No explanation why it isn't. 

I've talked to Worksafe. they couldn't determine if the log was "related to work activity" or if anyone "had a duty". No investigation there either. 

The council says it's not up to them to deal with Oliver's death. 

The case has gone to the Coroner, but they have no power to lay charges. 

Phil Hope, from Eastland Wood Council told us he'd look into cleaning up the beach immediately. But Hope got back to us five days later saying they're making a plan to make a plan to clean up the beach. 

And nobody seems to know where the damn log that killed Oliver is.   

There is no justice for Oliver.

How gutting is this? How can a kid die like that in our country and get absolutely no justice whatsoever? 

For those whose log this was and for those who aren't investigating, I'm going to end with the words of Oliver's grandmother: "I don't know how they sleep at night." 

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