Vale John Purey-Cust

KenWilsonSWC

Many in the industry late last week heard about the sad news of the passing of John Purey-Cust on Tuesday 23rd January 2024. John was a very active member of New Zealand Institute of Forestry (NZIF), having joined in 1963. Throughout his many years with NZIF he made vast contributions to the institute and the forestry profession. His dedication and passion have left a lasting legacy that will be remembered by all who had the privilege of knowing him. John has contributed many articles to the NZIF Journal over that time, his last being last year, co-written with Don Hammond … Read More

NZ log market update – January 2024 (Forest360)

KenWilsonSWC

Opinion Piece: Marcus Musson, Director, Forest360 The Christmas holidays have come and gone all too quickly for most and we are now returning to work a few kilos heavier, a touch of liver pain and with the same level of enthusiasm that a lightfingered Green MP has for fronting the media. The few weeks off have enabled most ports to clear stocks as the New Year influx of volume starts to hit the wharves again. January export prices have peeled off a few dollars from December in most cases as shipping and foreign exchange costs increase and erode any increases … Read More

NZ forestry industry establishing pan sector body

KenWilsonSWC

Ten organisations have signed an accord establishing as a pan sector body. Called the NZ Forest & Wood Sector Forum (NZFWSF), NZ sector associations will engage on issues of common interest or concern to the national industry and act as a spokesperson and point of contact for the industry with Government and other relevant bodies where appropriate. The NZFWSF will improve communication throughout the forestry supply chain to pursue and ensure continued growth and to manage issues with the interest of the whole sector in mind. Forestry Industry Contractors Association CEO and NZFWSF spokesperson Prue Younger says the NZFWSF’s collective advocacy … Read More

Wood industry watching shipping costs

KenWilsonSWC

The New Zealand wood industry is closely watching the conflict in the Red Sea, as global shipping costs rise as a result of the disrupted supply chain. The United States is advancing on the area after a string of attacks on commercial cargo ships by Iran- backed Yemen Houthi militants in recent months. Rabobank said cargo vessels were avoiding the risk of more attacks at the Suez Canal by taking a detour around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, adding weeks to the voyage. Researcher Stefan Vogel said it would cost more to ship products like milk powder, red meat and … Read More

December 2023 NZ log market update

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Opinion Piece: Marcus Musson, Director, Forest360 December’s export prices were like the early Christmas present from Aunty Doris that you expected to be socks but turned out to be a bike. While there were expectations of a slight lift in prices for the month on the back of reducing supply, we probably didn’t expect the levels that we have been presented with which are around $8/m3 above November. Depending on what port you sell to, the number will vary, but for most North Island ports we are seeing A grade in the early $130/M3 region. It’s hard to get to … Read More

Pan Pac on the road back to full production

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Nine months ago, Pan Pac Forest Products’ Whirinaki site was flooded under 2m of silt and water when Cyclone Gabrielle hit the Hawke’s Bay region. The company incurred around NZ$300 million in damage to its business and forests. Since then, Pan Pac has been working hard to clear and repair the site, fix damage to forests and roads, and return to normal operations. To recognise the incredible efforts made by everyone over this period, the company recently held a thank you event for over 600 workers. Pan Pac’s leadership team acknowledged the months of hard work and the progress that … Read More

72% of region’s energy needs through biomass

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Forestry owners and biomass suppliers in the Nelson, Marlborough and Tasman regions of NZ can expect to see increased demand for wood residues as the region moves onto clean energy. A new report, published by EECA (the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority), shows how the forestry sector could play a key role to push more fossil fuels out of the energy system with up to 72% of the region’s energy needs being met by low-carbon fuel source, biomass. The Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman Regional Energy Transition Accelerator (RETA) report provides insights and recommendations that aim to improve efficiency and future proof … Read More

NZ forestry’s briefing to incoming Ministers

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Both the Forest Owners Association and the NZ forest and wood processing sector collectively have submitted Briefings to the Incoming Ministers on the challenges and opportunities in the forest and wood processing sector. It is important both that the Government hears the collective voice of the extensive range of what constitutes the industry, but also understands the particular viewpoint of the owners of the forest estate itself. National issued a specific forest and wood processing sector manifesto just before the election. Much of it is welcome support news to the industry which has experienced competition between National and Labour in … Read More

New Forests to sell NZ assets

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Global nature-based real assets manager New Forests is selling four of its New Zealand forestry assets. The four estates, located across New Zealand’s North and South Islands, are being sold as the fund manager completes the term of the second round Australia and New Zealand Forestry fund (ANZFF2). The four estates are located across New Zealand’s North and South Islands in established forestry regions of Blenheim, Southland, Taupo and Wairarapa and have a combined gross area of almost 16,000 hectares. All the estates apart from Taupo, are freehold, New Forests noted. New Forests has engaged UBS New Zealand Limited as … Read More

Council’s proposed new rules could cost millions

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“Extreme” new rules proposed by the Otago Regional Council for Otago’s forestry industry could cost the sector more than a third of its land, wiping out more than NZ$320 million of the region’s forestry value. City Forests Ltd chief executive and New Zealand Forest Owners Association president Grant Dodson told Otago regional councillors the forestry sector was concerned about setback rules proposed in the council’s land and water plan, now out for public feedback. Under new national standards there was a 5m setback from small streams and a 10m setback from larger streams. Under the regional council proposal, a 50m … Read More

Changes to Environment Standards for Plantation Forestry

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On 14 June, NZ Government Ministers announced changes to the National Environment Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF). In summary: • Changes have been made to how commercial forestry is managed to give councils more power to decide where new forests are located; • Exotic continuous-cover forests (carbon forests) are now managed in the same way as plantation forests; • The changes improve the management of the effects of large-scale forestry on the environment and communities. This will ensure the long-term sustainability of new and existing exotic forests; and • The changes also ensure the regulations deliver the right type and … Read More

Farm forestry sign not meeting Council’s standards

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Timber — the Clutha District Council is calling for the felling of a new sign promoting farm forestry. A sign stands in a paddock of the sheep, beef and forestry farm of Rob Hewitt in Round Hill, bordering State Highway 8 and the Clutha Gold Trail. One side of the sign reads “farm foresters climate heroes” and the other side reads “farm forestry cooling the planet”.New Zealand Farm Forestry Association president Neil Cullen, of Waihola, said the sign was owned by the association and was installed last month. The aim of the sign was to publicise the work of the … Read More

Wood-fired hospital boilers replace coal

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South Invercargill residents can breathe a little easier, with Southland Hospital’s massive boilers now fired by wood pellets instead of coal. The conversion took effect in September. The hospital’s two 4.5 megawatt boilers run 24 hours and 365 days a year, providing steam which circulates around the hospital site, providing heating and sterilisation of equipment. EECA [Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority] said the replacement of a coal-fired boiler with a wood pellet-fired boiler would reduce its overall emissions by up to 99 per cent.“The combined emissions reduction of the Southland Hospital project is expected to be 5217 tonnes of CO2 … Read More

MOTAT steam tram powered by trees

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It’s out with the coal and in with the biofuel for steam tram no. 100, which will operate on a renewable energy source made from trees at MOTAT Live Day on August 20. Developed by Crown Research Institute, Scion, the biofuel will undergo its largest trial to date, which will see 250 kilograms of briquettes supplied to MOTAT to keep the little tram that could, running all day. Scion is on a mission to unlock the potential of this ‘waste’, seeing massive opportunities in the estimated four million tonnes of harvest and thinning residues that currently remain in production forests. … Read More

Forest Industry Dinner Meeting – 23 August 2023

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Southern Wood Council, NZ Institute of Forestry, NZ Farm Forestry Association Date: Wednesday 23 August 2023 Venue: Rosebank Lodge, Balclutha When: 5.15pm – Drinks, 6.15pm – Dinner, 7.15pm – After-Dinner Presentation It’s time to gather as an industry again.  After a couple of years of lockdowns and meeting and travel restrictions that kept us indoors, we got back together in March of this year for a joint forest industry dinner meeting.  Overwhelmingly, feedback from all those attending the industry get-together in March 2023 was, let’s do this more often.   The Southern Wood Council (SWC), in conjunction with the local branch of the NZ Institute of Forestry and the Mid … Read More

Forestry careers showcased at 2023 Dunedin EXPO

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The Southern Wood Council took two adjacent stands at the Dunedin town hall on Wednesday 28 June 2023 to push the forestry careers message to students. It was coordinated by Vickie Humphries from Wood is Good and help on the day, talking to the many students coming through, came through the enthusiastic efforts of Jade Phillips and Drew Gillies, Wenita Forest Products, Bridget de Vries, Forest Management, Josh Hurring, Mike Hurring Logging, Ryan Adams, Peak Geospatial and Jonathan Brownjohn, Johnson Forestry Services. The many up-to-date careers and training resources used on the day were co-ordinated and supplied through the Forest … Read More

Discover Forestry NZ launched

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New Zealand’s eight Wood Councils have joined forces to launch the joint forest education organisation – Discover Forestry New Zealand. Work around the country has already been undertaken with school engagement programmes Wood is Good (primary), and Grow Me (secondary). Check out the calendar of planned school visits and activities on this link to see what is coming up. If you’d like to get involved email discover@discoveryforestry.co.nz. Discover Forestry provides local workplace connections with professional foresters and members of the forest sector for young people, information and field trips, school presentations, careers materials, and student inspiration. Wāhine in Forestry is … Read More

Energy centre switches from coal in $2.28m project

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The elimination of coal at a Washdyke (in the north of Timaru, south Canterbury, NZ) energy business will reduce CO2 emissions by 14,000 tonnes a year – the equivalent of taking 3115 cars off the road, the company says. Washdyke Energy Centre, on Meadows Rd, has transitioned to 100% sustainable biomass, with the Pioneer Energy-owned asset commissioned at the start of April. The NZ$2.28 million multiphase project also received funding in the second-phase with NZ$900,000 from the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry fund. The centre’s two boilers, totalling 21MW, have been supplying steam to DB Breweries, Tasman Tanning, and Juice … Read More

Bioenergy funding to better utilise forestry slash

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The NZ Government is making a start on a more sustainable forestry industry with investments into a bioenergy plant, research into biomass and better forestry practices, Forestry Minister Peeni Henare has announced. “The Ministerial Inquiry into Land Use recognised current forest harvest practices are not sustainable. In some parts of the country, like Tairāwhiti, there is an urgent need to create a commercial use for harvest residues, such as forestry slash and other woody debris,” Peeni Henare said. Alongside the NZ$10 million to immediately clean up slash and debris in Tairāwhiti and other weather-hit areas announced ahead of Budget 2023, … Read More

More land in south purchased by Ikea franchisee

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Companies associated with Ingka Group, the largest franchisee of Ikea stores internationally, have received consent to buy more sheep and beef farming land in the South to convert to forestry. The Overseas Investment Office released its April decisions, including a successful application by Ingka Investments Forest Assets NZ and Ingka Investments Management NZ, from the Netherlands, to acquire about 1118ha of land on Koneburn Rd at Waimumu. The applicants were owned by Ingka Investments BV, the investment arm of Ingka Group, one of 12 different groups of companies that own the Swedish furniture and homeware giant. In a statement, the … Read More

PF Olsen NZ Log Market – April 2023

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Market Summary At Wharf Gate (AWG) prices for export logs decreased $20-25 per JASm3 in April. The AWG price drop from March prices was largest in ports such as Tauranga, which had larger log price increases in March as exporters competed for volume. Log demand in China has increased steadily while log stocks have decreased slightly. The fluctuating prices are due to effusive sentiment that the construction market was going to increase significantly. When the log demand didn’t increase as much as expected, log buyers and sellers started panicking. The April PF Olsen Log Price Index decreased $11 to $124. … Read More

Nationwide first bond for slash management

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The NZ Government has ordered a ministerial enquiry into forestry practice and the which has filled beaches and destroyed roads in the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle. But in a nationwide first, the Southland District Council has placed a performance bond on its harvesting contractor, to ensure compliance to the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry standards during and after harvesting. The council owns 1840.4ha of forestry land, with an operational forest area of 1532.6 hectares. Its forests are located at Dipton, Gowan Hill, Ohai and Waikaia. Southland District Council commercial infrastructure manager Stuart O’Neill said the council’s harvest and forest … Read More

Another Fonterra site switching boilers from coal

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Fonterra is continuing to progress its decarbonisation work with the announcement of another site transitioning from coal and the installation of a heat pump and solar thermal system. The Co-operative will convert its coal boilers at its Hautapu site to wood pellets and install a heat pump at its Palmerston North milk processing site that supplies the local market. Both projects have recieved support from the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry (GIDI) Process Heat Contestable Fund. Fonterra Chief Operating Officer Fraser Whineray says the Co-operative is commercially focused on reducing emissions. “There are a number of solutions we’re using to … Read More

New funding for contractors for biomass innovation

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EECA has a new fund which could be of assistance to those looking to make a start in the biomass business in New Zealand or increasing production of an existing business. EECAs role is to decarbonise New Zealand. One of the key strategies is to transition med/large commercial and industrial process heat users from fossil fuels towards electricity or biomass. The EECA GIDI fund has for several years been funding the demand side – helping fund businesses to convert their boilers away from coal. There is now a new fund open (Biomass Supply Chain Investment Fund) to deal with the … Read More

Tuatapere farm to be converted to pine

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A Malaysian-based company has received consent under the Overseas Investment Act to buy a 286ha sheep and beef farm at Tuatapere to convert to a commercial plantation pine forest. Pine Plantations Private Ltd applied for consent under the special test relating to forestry activities to purchase the property for NZ$3.47million, from Richard James Greer and Timothy William Greer as trustees of the Greer Family Trust. The applicant intended to establish and maintain about 183.67ha of commercial plantation forest, predominantly pinus radiata. About 5ha would be subdivided and sold while the residual land, about 93.5ha, contained native bush, buffer land, set-backs … Read More

Dual fuel truck powered by diesel and hydrogen gas

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New Zealand’s largest privately owned transport company has launched what is believed to be Australasia’s first dual fuel truck which is powered by hydrogen gas and diesel. The HW Richardson Group, which has 1400 trucks in its fleet, revealed its first dual-fuel truck at the George Begg Festival at Teretonga, near Invercargill on Friday31 March. The company believes hydrogen is a future fuel that will transform the transport industry from being one of the largest emitters to one of sustainability’s biggest champions. HW Richardson Group chief executive Anthony Jones said the team made the decision 14 months ago to “jump … Read More

GPS accuracy to 10cm from satellite uplink centre

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A state-of-the-art satellite positioning service in Southland, in the lower South Island, New Zealand, will bring GPS accuracy to about 10cm, refining data for aviation, search and rescue, and many other industries. The Southern Positioning Augmentation Network (SouthPAN) is a partnership between government agencies Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand and Geoscience Australia. Land Information Minister Damien O’Connor turned the first sod on site of the uplink centre at the Space Operations NZ Satellite Ground Station in Awarua on Friday 24 March. He said the greater levels of positioning and navigation accuracy would have benefits beyond the aviation industry, … Read More

New NZ wood pellet press opened

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A NZ business that has increased the amount of wood pellets it can make by more than half, hopes more companies will switch to burning pellets instead of fossil fuels – helping put forestry waste to good use. Nelson-based company Azwood has opened a new pellet press at its Brightwater site, which it says has increased its wood fuel production capacity by over 50%. The pellets are made from sawdust and shavings from local saw mills, which process forestry logs. When burnt, the pellets released the same amount of carbon as the trees absorbed through the growth process, making them … Read More

International study tour grants opened

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Funding to explore industry innovations and best practice: Who’s doing what and doing it well The WIDE Trust is pleased to launch the opportunity for persons actively pursuing a career in either the forestry or wood industries in New Zealand to apply for a grant, of up to NZ$30,000, to undertake an international study tour of no less than two-weeks’ duration to explore innovations, best practice processes and procedures and leading-edge technology in these industries globally. Applications for the study tour grants are now being accepted via the WIDE Trust web site. Applications close at the end of June 2023. … Read More

Wahine in Forestry – Answers to a long standing challenge

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The question of how to address the gender inequality that exists in our forest sector is not a new one, you only must read, “A Path Through The Trees”, the Mary Sutherland biography of the first woman forester in New Zealand to understand that change is a slow process. Mary graduated in 1916 from the University College of North Wales, Bangor and encountered many tensions and prejudices throughout her extensive career in the Forest Service which are documented in this book and sounded eerily familiar to me. The first woman to graduate the School of Forestry at Canterbury was in … Read More

Nominations open for 2023 SWC Forestry Awards

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Following a few years now of COVID-19 meeting restrictions playing havoc with Wood Council Forestry Training Awards across both New Zealand and Australia, the expectation is that we’re back into business as normal for this year. They’ve still the largest gatherings of local industry seen every year with forestry companies, forest contractors, log transport operations and wood products companies along with their crews and families from across each region attending. As a start for 2023, the Southern Wood Council representing forestry and wood products industries from across the lower South Island of New Zealand, the date for the 2023 major … Read More

Contractor’s training school to address skills shortages

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A shortage of skilled machine operators across New Zealand motivated contractor Mike Hurring to open his own training school in Balclutha. The school runs 5-week machine operator courses that cover the book work, training on simulators and real machines, and visits to other crews to watch experienced operators in action. The school’s goal is to make sure that students graduate with the skills to make them better, safer and more productive operators. Source: Safetree

Forestry firing up largest biomass boiler in NZ

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The largest biomass boiler in New Zealand, which uses by-product waste from the commercial forestry industry, has been commissioned at Danone’s dairy plant near Balclutha in South Otago. The largest biomass boiler in the country, which uses by-product waste from the commercial forestry industry, has been commissioned at Danone’s dairy plant at Balclutha in South Otago. The NZ$30m boiler will reduce CO2 emissions by 20,000 tonnes per year at the company’s spray drying plant, which processes fresh milk sourced from twenty local farms into powder that is used as the base for production of baby formula brands including Aptamil and … Read More

Southland forestry blocks sold for NZ5.1m

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Two Japanese-owned forestry blocks in Southland will change hands for NZ$5.1 million after consent was granted under the Overseas Investment Act for the sales. Southland Plantation Forest Company of New Zealand received consent to acquire 420ha in Taringatura, and 474ha in Lillburn Valley Rd, Lillburn, under the special test relating to forestry activities. The vendor was Japanese company Kodansha Treefarm New Zealand Ltd. Southland Plantation Forestry Company of New Zealand was a repeat forestry investor and had existing forests based mainly in the South Otago/Southland region. It intended to continue using the land for production forestry and replant following harvest. … Read More

Celebrating long-term evergreen harvesting contract

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In what must be one of the longest partnerships in NZ forestry, Safetree Certified Contractor Gamble Forest Harvesting celebrated 50 years working for City Forests in 2021. Safetree Toroawhi Richard Stringfellow talked to the companies about their long working relationship, particularly the benefits of their ‘evergreen’ contract – which has no fixed termination date but keeps rolling over. Tony Gamble says the long-term contract has given him the ability and the confidence to invest in his equipment and his people, making him a more successful contractor. City Forests CEO Grant Dodson says the benefits to his company have come from … Read More

Slash pile probes seek the heat

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Spontaneous ignition of a forestry slash pile fire can cost forest companies up to NZ$200,000 or more, so the development of a probe tool to monitor temperatures before piles catch fire is a game changer. In logging operations, the process of creating logs from trees results in debris – sawdust, broken branches and logs, needles and cut-off ends of logs. This debris is swept into a slash pile that decomposes into soil over time. Occasionally however, decomposition results in the debris pile reaching very high temperatures and spontaneously igniting. Concerned about a repeat of slash pile fires, and with no … Read More

New campaign launched for NZ forestry careers

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A new recruitment campaign called ‘Find Your Fit In Forestry’ aims to draw attention to the varied career opportunities available in New Zealand’s growing forestry industry. A sector-wide initiative, the campaign has just launched and hopes to attract more young people into the industry and fill people shortages being felt throughout the sector. Designed to demonstrate the huge range of roles and opportunities available in forestry, the mostly digital ‘Find Your Fit In Forestry’ campaign is primarily targeted at school leavers and young people. Showcasing everything from machine operation, silviculture and harvest management to science-based roles and wood processing, the … Read More

Plant’s biomass boiler beginning operation

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A South Otago dairy industry plant hopes to lead the way in green energy, as it brought a biomass boiler online last week. Danone Nutricia NZ began “hot commissioning” for a new, NZ$30 million bubbling fluidised bed (BFB) biomass boiler at its Clydevale milk powder plant on Thursday, which will eventually provide up to 15.5MW of heat energy. The plant processes raw milk from local farms into powder used as the base for production of infant milk formula brands including Aptamil and Karicare. Boilers played a central role in spray drying — the process of converting milk into a dry … Read More

Heavy transport fleet de-carbonising with hydrogen

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A new partnership is helping one of New Zealand’s largest heavy transport fleets decarbonise with hydrogen technology. New Zealand transport company H.W. Richardson (HWR) is partnering with Christchurch-based zero emissions technology firm Fabrum on the initiative. Fabrum is developing and deploying an end-to-end scalable hydrogen refuelling solution for HWR to enable fleet-ready access to hydrogen. It will help HWR’s plans to have ten dual-fuel hydrogen diesel trucks on the road by the second quarter of 2023. Fabrum is developing the first green hydrogen production system for HWR for its Southland site using a 1.1-megawatt membrane-free electrolyser combined with its cryogenic … Read More

Helping workers recover from addiction

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When Joe* failed a random drug test one Monday he expected to lose his contract. But his client Forestry Solutions Group offered him an alternative – sign up to a programme that offered him support to get clean, while undergoing regular drug testing, and would allow him to keep his contract. The programme included access to support and counselling, and trips with other recovering addicts that offered a different way to have fun. It provided a way to get better – while staying employed. *Not his real name Check out how one forest contracting company, Forestry Solutions Group, are approaching … Read More

PF Olsen announces new investment partnership

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PF Olsen and Quayside Holdings (Quayside) are proud to announce Quayside has acquired 44% of PF Olsen, with the deal closing on 10 June 2022. Direct Capital is selling its shareholding after 11 years as a shareholder. PF Olsen is a leading provider of independent professional forestry services and celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2021. Across NZ and Australia, PF Olsen manages 372,000 hectares of forest, harvesting 5.1 million m³ of logs each year as well as planting 14 million trees per annum. Quayside, as the investment arm of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, focuses on commercial returns for … Read More

New Log Traders and Forestry Advisors registration

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From 6 August this year, log traders and forestry advisors operating in New Zealand will be required to register under a new regulatory system being developed by MPI, and as a result of the Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Act. The registration system aims to ensure logs grown in New Zealand are bought and sold in a transparent and professional manner. Registration will be a legal requirement for any business acting as a log trader and individuals providing forestry adviser services. People operating in these areas should be aware of the benefits of being registered, as … Read More

Transport company tackling driver fatigue

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Dynes Transport are on a mission to save lives and livelihoods. They paired together smart technology solutions from Seeing Machines and EROAD, and reduced their risk of driver fatigue and distraction to make sure all of their team members make it home safely at the end of the day – or night! Dynes Transport is a transport business based in Dunedin in the South Island of New Zealand. They’ve been in business for over 50 years. They’re trusted by customers to safely and efficiently transport goods and materials across the country whether they’re hauling logs, transporting milk or carting wine … Read More

IKEA – production not carbon forestry?

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The company behind multi-national furniture and home accessories brand IKEA claims its purchase of a large Southland farm is for production forestry, not carbon farming. An international company which recently bought Wisp Hill Station in Southland claims its objective is, first and foremost, to create a production forest, not to mine carbon. This is despite the fact the company is in the process of registering with the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). The 5500ha sheep and beef farm is the first land bought in New Zealand for Ingka Investments, the investment arm of the group and its retail business IKEA. The … Read More

Worksafe: Close scrutiny or radical over-reach?

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New Zealand workers are still being maimed and killed in huge numbers, but WorkSafe’s boss is ambitious to deliver change. Phil Parkes was trained as a regulator in the ways of “the carrot, the stick and the sermon” – incentives, punishment and guidance. But two years into his role as chief executive of WorkSafe, he speaks of “root causes” and “culture”, “upstream duties” and “organisations with influence and control”. Carrots, sticks and sermons are still essential tools, but they are insufficient to bring about the profound changes necessary to keep workers safe. He argues a modern “insights-driven” regulator needs to … Read More

Malaysian Co. buys 264ha of Tuatapere land for forestry

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A Malaysian company has bought a second swath of western Southland commercial forestry land in the space of 11 months. Pine Plantations Private has been given Overseas Investment Office (OIO) consent to acquire 264 hectares of land at Happy Valley Rd, near Tuatapere, with a NZ$2 million investment. The property is next to a NZ$4m, 457ha section that the Malaysian company bought in 2021. Both properties were farm land. Pine Plantations Private NZ independent director Peter Keach said foreign investment was required to meet the Government’s target of one billion trees being planted. “If New Zealand is to meet its … Read More

Ravensdown switching to wood biomass fuel

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Ravensdown has announced that it has achieved NZ Government co-funding to accompany the co-operative’s investment to install a biomass combustor at its Dipton lime quarry. Locally supplied wood fuel will replace coal in the lime-drying process – an important part of preparing the naturally occurring soil conditioner for use by Southland farmers and growers. The co-operative’s commitment is being matched by funding through the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry (GIDI) Fund. The funding agreement with EECA (Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority) commits Ravensdown to savings of at least 1,107 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per annum, reducing Ravensdown’s direct carbon … Read More

Wood Energy New Zealand Partnership formed

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A partnership between Pioneer Energy and Niagara Sawmilling Company Ltd in the lower South Island of New Zealand has been formed to meet the demands of the biomass market to supply high quality product to the end users, with both organisations bringing together their respective wood fuel supply businesses. Niagara’s wealth of experience in forestry, procurement, processing and transport coupled with Pioneer’s asset management, operational experience and energy expertise, will ensure both existing and future customers can depend on Wood Energy New Zealand to meet and exceed their service expectations. Nigel Ellett has been appointed Managing Director in the interim … Read More

Wenita gets behind predator initiative

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Wenita Forest Products and asset manager New Forests are teaming up with Predator Free Dunedin to increase protection for native biodiversity in Otago. Funding from Wenita — the region’s largest wood producer — would enable increased predator control on its own forestry estate and also on nearby public land. A network of mustelid traps would be laid through Wenita’s Berwick, Maungatua and Mount Allan properties, extending into the Silverstream conservation area. Wenita chief executive David Cormack said Wenita was funding the work outside its boundaries in recognition the network of traps would help create an enhanced wild pathway for native … Read More

Trial of new silviculture mentoring programme

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Ten silviculture crews around New Zealand have completed a trial of a new mentoring programme developed by the Forest and Wood Processing Workforce Taskforce, with funding from the Forest Growers Levy Trust and support from MPI. Mentoring programme manager Greg Steele says the Taskforce is looking to improve the status and mana of the silviculture sector. “We want to formalise mentoring in the forestry training infrastructure, especially as some good crews already do take on this role. Using the process, we aim to get new people more skilled earlier in soft and practical skills. We selected crews who were interested … Read More

Pre-training prepares job seekers for forestry work

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Nathan Fogden has 2,000 hectares of land to plant and prune in 2022 but not the staff to complete the work. “It’s a really competitive labour market these days,” says the managing director of Te Puke-based silviculture contractors, Inta-Wood Forestry. “When I started working in NZ forestry 30 years ago, tradespeople were leaving to work in the silviculture sector. Nowadays they often earn $30 an hour and I can’t guarantee that.” The labour market situation is not helped he says by inexperienced contractors under-pricing. Nathan currently pays his staff the minimum adult wage of $20 an hour to start with, … Read More

Monster Redwood from South Canterbury

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This log is from a Sequoiadendron giganteum. The tree’s common name is either Giant sequoia or Sierra Redwood. It has also been given a nick name, “Wellingtonia” with history suggesting a man by the name of John Muir gave it this title in memory of the Duke of Wellington. Giant sequoia is one of three of the last remaining closely related Redwood family of trees. It is also one of the oldest living trees on our planet with one in the USA having been calculated to be over 3,200 years old. It was able to evolve through the eons as … Read More

Invercargill $3.77 m decarbonisation fund now available

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A new NZ$3.77 million government fund is being made available to help Invercargill businesses make the change from fossil fuel boilers to low emission energy. Great South is administering the Government Waihōpai / Invercargill Decarbonisation Contestable Fund in partnership with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), as part of the New Zealand Government’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. Applications for the Contestable Fund are now open and commercial businesses within the Invercargill City Council boundary have until Friday 29 April 2022 to apply. Great South Strategic Projects General Manager Stephen Canny said it was widely accepted that fossil fuels … Read More

Obituary – Shaun Cawood

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Well known to many in New Zealand’s forestry and wood products industries, Shaun Cawood unfortunately passed away on 24 January 2022, leaving behind a legacy of outstanding work achievements and a long list of grieving colleagues. For all who knew, met or had spent time with Shaun over the years, we were always in awe of his enthusiasm for life and for his family, for his work and his continued thirst to learn more from these experiences. Shaun started work at Taieri Mouth, near Dunedin, in December 1984 with the NZ Forest Service directly after completing a Bachelor of Forestry … Read More

Yes – big trees, they still exist

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Murray Logging owner Andrew Murray said cutting the trees and getting them on a truck was laborious. They were cut from Manuka Gorge in Otago, NZ and were about 80 to 100 years old, he said. Once they were cut down the trees were impossible to move whole and had to be cut into logs wherever they fell. The largest of the Radiata pine logs weighed about 12 tonnes. The loggers had to chain up the logs and use a grapple to drag them on to the truck. The process took a lot of “wiggling and jiggle” and “heaving and … Read More

Funding to increase forestry workforce in Otago

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Forestry’s future workforce has received a boost through a partnership between the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and an Otago secondary school. MPI funded a two-week silviculture course for students at Milton’s Tokomairiro High School to support them going into employment or enrolling in the school’s one-year forestry training course called Tokomairiro Training. “The new taster course, which was funded in December 2021, was set up to get students thinking about a career in forestry,” says Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service’s Manager – Skills, Training & Workplace Safety, Marion Schrama. “They were able to learn some basic … Read More

Plantation forestry debate lights up the South

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About 70 people attended a panel debate “Plantation forestry — threat or opportunity?” in Dunedin, New Zealand in early December. Independent debate chairman Stephen Woodhead, of Milton, gave each of the four panel members 10 minutes to speak. Ministry for Primary Industries Te Uru Rakau, forest and land use senior adviser Duncan Harrison, of Christchurch, said a Ministry for the Environment report published in October estimates up to 1.37million ha of new forest — a mix of native and exotic — could be planted in New Zealand between 2020 and 2050. The Government was investigating how permanent exotic forests could … Read More

Export log shortage expected

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New Zealand could face a shortage of export logs within the next decade, caused by insufficient planting activity after the 1990s forestry boom, a new report says. However, a forestry executive said while it was coming, the shortage would not be within the next decade. Investment brokers Forsyth Barr have released an industry report which suggests log exports will peak and then drop by 35% within a decade. The report found the lack of planting activity after the 1990s forestry boom would lead to a shortage of export logs. Dunedin City Council-owned City Forests chief executive Grant Dodson agreed there … Read More

Biomass favourite for decarbonising SI process heat

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Biomass is the clear favourite for industrial process heat users in the South Island of New Zealand looking to decarbonise their operations, according to the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority. Initial EECA data indicates that 90 per cent of high-temperature boiler operators in Canterbury and Southland prefer biomass to electrification because of cost considerations. Electrode boilers have much higher capital costs than thermal boilers and expose users to changes in wholesale electricity prices. It is much cheaper and easier to convert existing boilers to run on biomass while retaining coal as a backstop. DETA Consulting is leading the primary data … Read More

Two pension funds acquire NZ forestry asset

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Two European pension funds, APG Asset Management (APG) on behalf of its Dutch pension fund client ABP, and UK’s Pension Protection Fund (PPF), have agreed to purchase Sinotrans New Zealand Limited’s (Sinotrans NZ) shareholding in Wenita Forest Products Limited (Wenita). Wenita is the largest producer of timber in Otago, New Zealand, across almost 30,000 hectares of sustainably managed forests. With a history spanning three decades, Wenita is widely recognised as one of the premier softwood plantation assets in New Zealand. Under the agreement, the two investors will acquire the 62% share from Sinotrans NZ. A New Forests-managed fund, the Australia … Read More

Funding support for local Forestry Pathways Programme

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In its latest funding round, Otago Community Trust awarded a NZ$19,611 grant to the Tokomairiro Training Pathways course to assist with the cost of running the Forestry Pathways Programme out of Tokomairiro Training Centre. Tokomairiro Training programme manager Lynda Allan said the programme specialises in breaking down barriers to learning for young people, who are often at risk of dropping out of school. “The Forestry Pathways Programme places emphasis on silviculture operations and introduces learners to a variety of industry pathways including future tertiary study and employment”. The programme has been running for three years now, it is run for … Read More

Ikea acquires Otago land for forestry

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The parent company of Swedish retail giant Ikea has acquired 5,500 hectares of New Zealand farmland for forestry plantation. A statement from the firm said the project would be managed by Ingka Investments, the investment arm of Ingka Group and Ikea. The property, Wisp Hill Station, is located in the north Catlins in Otago. An area of 330ha will be planted with radiata pine seedlings and the long-term plan is to have a total of 3,000 hectares, more than 3 million seedlings, planted in the next five years. The remaining 2200 hectares would be left to naturally regenerate into native … Read More

Contracting industry becoming ‘cut throat’

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NZ contractors are losing out on work as forest owners cancel pending contracts to hold out for log prices to rise. After hitting a peak four months ago, New Zealand log prices fell due to worldwide containership congestion at ports, high fuel and shipping prices and a downturn in demand from China as it deals with its own Covid-19 delta outbreak. Otautau-based Baird Logging owner Bobby Baird said these factors were causing forest owners to cancel pending contracts as they hold out for another rise in prices. Because of this, logging contractors were losing out on work they might have … Read More

Another major NZ industrial plant switches to biomass

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Nelson-based company biomass fuel company Azwood Energy is building a production facility near Milton to service a burgeoning biomass fuel industry. Azwood Energy general manager Brook Brewerton confirmed that one of its clients will be Danone Nutricia New Zealand, near Clydevale, which is building a biomass boiler. Progress on the new plant was fairly advanced, he said. A Danone spokesman said the plant would need 35,000 tonnes of sustainable wood fuel per year; that is four to five 30-tonne truck-and-trailer units per day to make its infant milk formula. The new boiler, expected to release its first head of steam … Read More

New video for NZ primary school students

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The second video, What is a Forester for the Wood is Good program was filmed in Masterton and features again, the well-known New Zealand actor and comedian, Pio Terei. Fully funded by MPI the video will be shown at primary schools across NZ as part of the Wood Council’s primary school’s program. Special thanks to the team of actors from JNL, Nixon Contracting and to the team at C3 in Masterton for allowing the video to be shot in their yard.Please feel free to share this with your teams. Source: Southern North Island Wood Council

Father and son graduate forestry course together

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A father and son duo from Southland have shown there’s value in getting back to the books, even after four decades in the game. Bobby Baird and his 65-year-old father Robert completed their Level 4 New Zealand Certificate in Forest Harvesting with Competenz together in May. All employees went through the forestry training together alongside the Bairds and received their qualifications at the Southern Wood Council Forestry Awards ceremony held in Dunedin. Robert had practical experience gained during four decades in the bush and said the vocational training included in the certificate was helping keep people safe. “When I started … Read More

Fonterra announce another switch to wood biomass

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As Minister for Energy and Resources Hon Dr Megan Woods officially opened Fonterra’s wood pellet boiler at its Te Awamutu plant, the Co-operative announced details for its next site to exit coal – Stirling cheese plant in Otago. Otago’s ‘fantastic little cheese plant’, will be coal free and using wood biomass to fire the site by August next year. This will make Stirling Fonterra’s first 100% renewable thermal energy site, a significant step towards the Co-op’s goal of getting out of coal all together by 2037. By switching to wood biomass, the site’s annual emissions will reduce by 18,500 tonnes … Read More

WorkSafe reminder on forest safety

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(WorkSafe) Health and Safety Paramount On Forestry Sites A tragic forestry fatality on the East Coast could have been avoided if industry guidance had simply been followed, says New Zealand’s WorkSafe. Businesses are being reminded once again to make sure work is being done correctly, safely and to higher industry standards or risk seeing their workers injured or killed. Two companies appeared in court on 24 March 2021 for sentencing following the incident with the sentencing decision being released on 16 July 2021. Earnslaw One Limited engaged Pakiri Logging Limited to assist with harvesting at West Ho forest in Tologa … Read More

Southland farm bought for forestry

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A Malaysian company has been given consent to buy a nearly 460ha sheep and beef farm in Western Southland. The Overseas Investment Office gave the consent to the 100 per cent Malaysian-owned company Pine Plantations Private Ltd to buy the farm – near Tuatapere – from vendors Ayson and Karen Gill for NZ$4 million. The consent states the company intends to develop about 330ha of the land into a commercial forest, principally in pine trees. Planting was intended to start in 2021-22, for the trees to be harvested in up to 30 years. Federated Farmers Southland meat and wool chairman … Read More

Digital communications rolled out across forestry operations

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A new digital radio system from Motorola Solutions and communications partner Central Radio Services (CRS) is helping New Zealand’s City Forests to work more safely and efficiently while complying with COVID-19 work requirements. Initially deployed to replace an outdated analogue radio network, the system delivers many additional benefits. Among them are contact-free communication and social distancing in the field, replacing the need for drivers to exchange paper job dockets with a digital docketing system. The new solution incorporates MOTOTRBO SLR5500 digital two-way radio repeaters across four sites with TRBOnet radio dispatch software providing valuable data and safety features, helping to … Read More

Optimistic outlook for tree seedlings supplier

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“Strong momentum and supportive tail winds” have created an optimistic outlook for the New Zealand operation of a global genetics seedling company. United States-headquartered ArborGen is the largest supplier of tree seedlings in the world, selling 400million a year worldwide. Its New Zealand operation comprises six nurseries, two seed orchards, a Ministry for Primary Industries-accredited Level 3 post-entry quarantine facility and tissue laboratory. The quarantine facility was used for importing seeds and plants to meet biosecurity requirements. It also has about 3000 radiata pine varietals across 90 trial sites. In 2014, the company bought a nursery in Edendale which was … Read More

Wood is Good on the road in the South

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The first day of the industry’s Wood is Good roadshow started at Outram School for 176 Students, Principal Kim Allan and about 8 other teachers. Dynes Transport provided a log truck and manager Calum McCreath along with their driver to spend the whole day showing classes around and though their log truck. Wenita Forestry kindly sponsored high vis vests for the entire school and regional manager Willie Sinclair spent the morning talking at the whole assembly, providing a drone flying demonstration on the sports field for the entire school and going class to class explaining what a forester does. The … Read More

Biofuel in Southland being hit by log prices

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An Invercargill businessman is worried that international demand for logs is driving up the price of woodchips used to fuel eco-friendly boilers. The McCallums Group managing director Wayne McCallum said the price of the woodchips was linked to the export price and higher international prices meant more logs were being exported rather being processed in New Zealand. This meant there were fewer woodchips available in the country and the price was volatile and McCallum worried this would put other businesses off from making the switch to carbon-efficient fuel sources. He raised this concern at a meeting attended by Finance Minister … Read More

NZ Council seeking controls over carbon forestry

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Following concerns raised by the public and a visit to the site of October’s Livingstone fire, Otago Regional Councillors and iwi representatives on the council’s strategy and planning committee discussed tree planting for carbon sequestration (carbon forests) during a meeting last week. “Unlike plantation forestry, carbon forests are planted and left in perpetuity,” Cr Kevin Malcolm said. “As forestry for carbon sequestration is currently a permitted activity in the Otago region, there’s not the same level of maintenance and hazard management expected for forests planted for harvest. This can lead to pest problems, depleted river flow in water-short catchments, and … Read More

Southland Forestry Open Day attracts local students

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With the enthusiastic support of industry front-line staff, the 2021 Be the Future of Forestry Day went off without a hitch in Winton on 18 March. Even the weather played ball, the sun shining after several days of heavy rain. The event, organised by Southland Youth Futures in partnership with Rayonier Matariki Forests and Future Foresters, was a chance for young people to explore forestry career and training options across the entire timber supply chain – from seedling production, forest planning, silviculture and harvesting to transport and logistics, timber processing and log exporting. Technology in forestry, the environmental benefits of … Read More

NZ$30 million biomass boiler on track

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The first steam from Danone Nutricia NZ’s innovative new biomass boiler plant in South Otago is expected in August. In 2019, the French food giant announced a NZ$40million investment in its spray drying plant at Clydevale as it looked towards achieving carbon neutrality by 2021. It was driven primarily by the installation of a NZ$30million biomass boiler that would reduce the plant’s CO2 emissions by 20,000 tonnes per year. The plant processes raw milk from local farms into powder used as the base for production of infant milk formula brands including Aptamil and Karicare. Boilers played a central role in … Read More

Forestry industry post COVID-19 busier than ever

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COVID-19 recovery training numbers tracking well in the New Zealand forestry sector, with more trainees than ever carving out a career in the industry With a significant increase in the number of Kiwis enrolling in forestry training programmes over the past 12 months and more than 5,400 people needed to fill roles in the industry over the next five years, the forestry sector is busier than ever. Industry training organisation Competenz has reported a 314% increase in enrolments in the past 12 months, which CEO Fiona Kingsford believes is in part due to the government’s post-COVID-19 funding boost – a … Read More

Funding boost for Generation Programme

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Eastland Wood Council’s Generation Programme has received a huge boost from Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand) who have topped up the coffers by NZ$441,000 through its One Billion Trees Programme. EWC chief executive Kim Holland says the funding has secured the future of the programme for the next two years. “It is fantastic to strengthen our relationship with Te Uru Rākau through this kind of support and to see them invest in forest industry training like this,” said Ms Holland. “It means we can continue to develop the programme to ensure it meets industry needs. This recognises the success … Read More

Southland sawmill sold

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The sale of a Southland sawmill has been described as “devastating” for the local community, but the company that has bought it plans to integrate the mill into its own expanding timber operations. Niagara Sawmilling Company Ltd has bought Southland business Craigpine Timber Ltd at Winton, with the sale effective from December 18. More than 50 job losses are expected as operations at the Winton sawmill will be reduced from two shifts to one. Niagara owner Ross Richardson said: “With five sawmills already closing this year around New Zealand, Niagara is thrilled that we will be able to integrate the … Read More

Southland woman inducted to Road Transport Hall of Fame

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Anita Dynes is the first woman to be inducted in the NZ Road Transport Hall of Fame for 2020. Dynes, originally from Balclutha, is credited as being crucial to the development of Tapanui-based Dynes Transport. Throughout her five decades in the transport industry, working alongside husband Jim, her substantive work ethic, tenacity and family values were pivotal in the company becoming an iconic industry fixture with interests in dairy, forestry and wine industries in addition to transport. Six inductees were welcomed into the Mobil 1 Delvac NZ Road Transport Hall of Fame after a function at the Bill Richardson Transport … Read More

New Canterbury West Coast Wood Council formed

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The eighth Wood Council in New Zealand is a combination of forestry, transport, processing, regional councils, contractors, nurseries and Canterbury University School of Forestry. 54 members currently make up this diverse group that has formed to promote the benefits of forestry in our communities, careers in forestry, where our resource goes and what it is used for. Wood Councils have been around in New Zealand for more than 30 years. They were formed by individual groups in each region to support each other in the sector and provide information to the public and interest groups on forest activities and purpose. … Read More

Fire and Emergency honours’ award recipients

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Fire and Emergency New Zealand Chief Executive, Rhys Jones has congratulated five firefighters and support personnel from Cromwell, Kaikoura, Ranfurly, Blackball (West Coast) and Taneatua (Bay of Plenty) who were named in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list. “We are very proud to have such dedicated people offer their services to both Fire and Emergency New Zealand and their communities,” said Mr Jones. “The huge amount of work they have undertaken over many years, for our organisation and many others, is helping to make their communities stronger, safer and more resilient.” The recipients were; Des Minehan(Cromwell) – Member of the … Read More

Training course attracting women to forestry

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In New Zealand, an Eastland Wood Council forestry training programme aimed at keeping pace with the demand for forestry workers has had an unexpected boon — boosting diversity in a traditionally male-dominated industry. The Gisborne Herald takes a deeper look at the benefits of the EWC Generation programme with programme manager Siobhain Fyall and some of the women who have successfully graduated. “When we started the Generation Programme two years ago, we knew there was a demand in the forest industry for trained, work ready, and reliable workers,” EWC Generation Programme manager Siobhain Fyall said. “Our first Generation back in … Read More

Forestry industry in the South remains resilient

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While forestry was one of the first industries to be impacted by the Covid-19 crisis, the sector remains resilient with prices and demand trending positively, Southern Wood Council (SWC) chairman Grant Dodson says. “Forestry came back from [the Covid-19 lockdown] to very strong economic conditions, particularly in May 2020 where the log prices being offered for logs into Asia for the purpose of restocking were some of the best returns the industry had seen.” There was a moderation of export prices in June and July, however returns are still positive and sit around the five-year average. Established in 2001, the … Read More

Latest NZ Forestry Facts and Figures out

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The latest NZ Forestry Facts and Figures 2019/20 produced by the Forest Owners Association is now available on-line. Due to budget constraints, there are this year no plans to print copies – it is only going to be available on-line. Facts and Figures on the forestry industry is a yearly summary of the state of the industry, including production figures, data on exports, training, health and safety, carbon capture and log prices. The latest edition also includes selected worldwide forest information produced every five years by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. Facts and Figures 2019/20 can … Read More

The 2021 Southern Wood Council Forestry Awards

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The 2020 forestry awards programme for the lower South Island unfortunately had to be cancelled because of COVID-19.  We weren’t alone though.  Every other annual regional award’s programme across the country was cancelled.  The plan though is to run it again in 2021.  It will be time to get back together after a year’s absence.  It will be the sixth major awards evening that will be run for the industry in the lower South Island. The turnout each year continues to be by far, the largest annual gathering of forestry and wood products companies, contractors and transport operators from throughout … Read More

Invercargill City Council finds buyer for forestry

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The Invercargill City Council has a buyer for its forestry estate and the sale now sits with the Overseas Investment Office. Invercargill City Forests Limited – a subsidiary of the council’s holding company, Invercargill City Holdings Limited – owns 14 forests in the South Island of New Zealand. The forests located in Southland, Otago, and Nelson/Marlborough have a combined area of 3599ha and a total productive area of 3058ha, predominantly stocked with radiata pine. Those forestry assets were put on the market in February and New Forests has emerged as a buyer. Australian-based forestry investor New Forests confirmed investment funds … Read More

Primary industry centre of vocational excellence

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Fiona Kingsford, CEO of New Zealand’s industry training organisation, Competenz, has welcomed the government’s announcement of the stakeholder group to establish the Food and Fibre Centre of Vocational Excellence (CoVE). Located in Hawke’s Bay at the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT), the CoVE group involves 54 organisations across the entire food and fibre sector including industry associations, tertiary providers, Māori, employers, employees and standard setting bodies. “Primary industries are critical to our country’s economic recovery, and vocational education plays a big role in upskilling and reskilling existing and new employees in this sector. Now is the time to attract people … Read More

Silvicultural work highlighted in new videos

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Silviculture workers are crucial to the success of New Zealand’s forestry industry. However sometimes the important work they do can be over-shadowed by the harvesting end of the business. But silviculture is where the forestry cycle starts. The planting, pruning, thinning and other work silvi crews do, has a huge impact on the crop as it matures. Good silviculture crews set things up in a way that adds considerable value for forest managers and owners. They also ensure that things can go more smoothly at harvesting time. Silviculture crews do valuable work. They are people worth valuing, investing in and … Read More

New posts on Rural Fire Research Blog

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As a result of the recent research burns and associated publicity, Scion’s fire team now has a number of new videos available for viewing. The team now has its own YouTube video channel, and has updated the Videos link page on the fire research website. The Videos page of the website highlights six recent videos, but now also includes a link to the new Scion Rural Fire Research Youtube channel. The Youtube channel currently contains 23 videos, ranging from media stories on the research burns and other research activities, to videos from the burns themselves, to presentations on other aspects … Read More

Southern Apprentice of the Year awarded

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Wood Council’s across New Zealand this year have had to cancel their annual awards programmes. Measures to tackle the COVID-19 virus and the enforced lockdown of forestry and wood products operations has meant that unfortunately, annual regional celebrations to recognise business and training success have had to be put forward to 2021. It’s been a huge disappointment to all, particularly for those that have stood out over this last year and have put the time and effort into pulling together nominations for the myriad of major annual awards on offer. The Southern Wood Council (SWC) was one of many that … Read More

SWC 2020 Forestry Awards: Event has been cancelled

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The SWC 2020 Forestry Awards has been cancelled. This decision was made after consultation with Members and is due to recent changes in travel policies across various organisations and the directive made by the NZ Government on Thursday 19 March. Due to the current and unprecedented conditions around COVID-19, the Prime Minister’s announcement on banning all meetings indoors in New Zealand to under 100 people and Health directives given on “social distancing”, the decision was made reluctantly on Tuesday 17 March to cancel this year’s SWC Forestry Training Awards that were scheduled to run on the evening of Friday 8 … Read More

Scott Thomas – multi-million dollar machine operator

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Scott Thomas is a young man with an exciting future. Aged just 21, he is currently working for Gamble Forest Harvesting in a fully mechanised 8-man hauler crew. Scott has found his passion, and that is driving big harvesting machines. I caught up with Scott in Flagstaff Forest, part of the City Forests estate high above Dunedin, during a visit with Kevin Marsh, City Forest’s harvesting and OSH coordinator. Here the crew was operating at full tilt, with a daily harvest of 500-600 tonnes of second-rotation radiata pine. This equates to 18-20 truckloads of logs leaving the skid site every … Read More

Logging machinery attract students

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Mike Hurring Logging, the largest harvesting contractor in the Otago and Southland region, held an open day on Saturday 2nd June to promote forestry as a future career choice to local school students and their families. Mike brought back an impressive array of logging machinery from the bush to display to the 200 odd people who attended. There were harvesting machines, skidders, diggers and new state of the art production thinning monsters that were on show. People could get up close and personal with machines that no one can usually get within 100 metres of. Some took the opportunity to … Read More

2018 SWC Forest Products Scholarship

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University of Canterbury forestry student picks up major award A University of Canterbury forestry student has just received top forest industry honours with a major scholarship being awarded. This year’s Southern Wood Council (SWC) Scholarship has been awarded to Rob Sheppard, a Bachelor of Forestry Science student, studying at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch. Rob, a mature student, had worked extensively in agriculture and tourism since leaving school. As well as an outdoors background including guiding (canoeing, horse trekking and hiking), instructing and animal control he also has family interests in both sawmilling and farming. Rob was also employed by … Read More

MEDIA RELEASE: Robotics opportunities in forestry being explored

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MEDIA RELEASE 20 February 2018 Robotics opportunities in forestry being explored Forest safety, improving productivity and getting workers off the felling site has been a major push for forestry managers, forest owners, logging contractors and equipment suppliers to modify their wood harvesting operations over the last few years. Another major driver to increased mechanisation has been the skilled machine operator shortages that many forestry companies are now currently facing. The ultimate goal of the industry is to have “no worker on the slope, or no hand on the chainsaw”. Technology development and the pace of change over the last couple … Read More

New training programme for Southern harvesting crews

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Skills shortages and attracting new entrants into harvesting operations is a major issue within the forestry industry right now. It’s been this way for some time and it’s not unique to any one region. In fact, the same issue is being grappled with in every other country with an active forest industry. Harvesting crews are continually being challenged by the lack of young skilled people available to work in rural areas. To address the issue, some forestry companies and contractors are now working alongside some of the technology institutes. The aim is get younger people trained in practical operating skills, … Read More

Spotlight: Working in Forestry

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In this video produced by Southland Youth Futures, a local forestry company, Rayonier/Matarikia, outline the variety of roles that are available to those looking to work within the forestry industry. For more detailed information on the NZ forestry industry, training, career options and job opportunities, visit; Competenz (NZ Industry Training Organisation) – Harvesting Careers and/or Silviculture Careers University of Canterbury – School of Forestry Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology – Department of Forestry and Resource Management

SWC Forest Products Scholarships 2017

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University of Canterbury forestry student picks up major award A University of Canterbury forestry student has just received top forest industry honours with a major scholarship being awarded. This year’s Southern Wood Council (SWC) Scholarship has been awarded to Logan Robertson, a Bachelor of Forestry Science student, studying at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch. The Scholarship is the sixth that has been awarded to students as part of an annual scholarship programme set up by the Council in 2011. The annual scholarship awarded by the SWC is one of the most prestigious and valuable awarded to forestry students in New … Read More