Some of the worst eroded pasture land in New Zealand can be seen in the East Cape region of the North Island. This film, produced 42 years ago, explains in detail how the problem arose, starting with the European settlement in the late 1890s when the natural forests were destroyed to make way for farmland. This destruction, coupled with high rainfall and land that was naturally unstable, led to spectacular erosion.
The film describes how the then New Zealand Forest Service established the East Cape forests of Mangatu and Ruatoria. The large plantation forests of radiata pine have helped to stabilise the land and provided employment for the inhabitants of the East Cape region. The film also shows that, by measuring land movement on planted and unplanted slopes, Forest Research Institute scientists have been able to produce geological maps and a system of land classification based on slope stability.