On 14 February 2023, Pan Pac’s Whirinaki site was hit by Cyclone Gabrielle, with silt flooding into buildings, causing significant damage to our plant. The silt came over the top of the stop banks behind the site, which were designed for a 1 in 500-year flood occurrence. In some areas onsite the silt was 2m high. The picture alongside was taken a week after the cyclone hit.
Over the past two months, hundreds of staff and contractors have been hard at work removing silt and identifying machinery that can be restored. Our forests were also impacted, with trees being lost to slips and windthrow. Our people have been actively clearing away logs and debris from neighbouring properties and will continue to support the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s clean-up programme in the region.
Despite the damage, Pan Pac is making good progress on its recovery plan, and is aiming to begin its Lumber operations in August, with Pulp operations scheduled to begin in October. In the meantime, we are able to transport logs from our forests to Napier Port.
Thank you to everyone for your support, particularly our staff, contractors, neighbours and suppliers. We will rebuild.