The geographically isolated Tairawhiti region has natural beauty with its hills, coastline and sunshine, and that brings with it a certain smugness for long-term residents. Because of our isolation, we need to protect our image to outsiders and a developing tourism industry. I refer now to the blanket planting of pinus radiata over 19 percent of this region, predominately owned by foreigners. With no comfort to those in the industry, it does come with a much less than flattering image in the eyes of most… If we reach a point where other New Zealanders’ image of the East Coast is of pine trees and they label us a forestry region, we have a problem. There is nothing aesthetically pleasing in pine plantations, let alone the visual obscenity post-harvest.