Friday Offcuts – 30 June 2017

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We touched on it briefly in last week’s issue. The Tasmanian Government got pipped at the post late last week with its contentious forestry legislation (aptly named the Unlocking Production Forests Bill). It failed to pass in the Upper House. The bill would have allowed logging in 356,000 hectares of forests two years earlier than a moratorium would have allowed. Strange partners – but both environmentalists and the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania (representing processors of Tasmanian forest products) had lobbied against the Bill. The Tasmanian Liberals say they’ll be looking for a fresh mandate at the next election but in the meantime, any potential conflict has apparently been defused.

A couple of news items covered this week paint a positive future for the paper and print industries. Recent research shows a clear preference still being shown for print on paper across all countries and regions studied. It backs up other research that show our brains have a much more emotional and meaningful connection to reading a paper or book rather than staring at a screen. In another piece, the authors are suggesting that the paper industry isn’t disappearing. Far from it. It’s instead changing, morphing, and developing. In fact, it’s currently going through the most substantial transformation we’ve seen for many decades. Links to both reports are contained in the stories below.

In this week’s issue, we’ve included more detailed information relating to the series of practical workshops – around five and a half hours in total – that have been set up specifically for sawmill management together with production staff and saw-doctors for the upcoming WoodTECH 2017 series. It runs in September. Programme information for both countries was sent out to industry last week. For more information on the series, please find attached a copy of the just completed programmes for the NZ event and Australian event.

Finally, it would be remiss of us not to applaud the efforts of the Emirates Team NZ earlier in the week (of course – this comes from a Kiwi tapping away at the keys) lifting the world’s oldest sporting trophy, the 2017 America’s Cup. As well as world class sailing abilities on display (of both the Kiwis and Aussies at the regatta), you have to applaud the innovation that’s gone into developing the cutting-edge technology used throughout the campaign. It’s been a key factor leading to the team’s winning performance over the last month or so. Team NZ, with its investment in R&D, ability to “think outside the square” – and on a comparatively tight budget - is a reminder to all of us of just what’s possible on the world stage. Enjoy this week’s read.

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Fresh mandate to unlock Tasmanian forests?

The Tasmanian Liberals say they won’t alter their course on forestry, even after their plan to open more forests to logging failed to pass the Upper House late last week. The Liberals wanted to open 365,000ha of additional forest land to logging for special species from later this year — and to other users from next year. They argued the additional timber was essential to the industry’s future.

However, a majority of MLCs did not buy the Government’s argument and the Bill was voted down 7-5. Five independents and Labor’s two MLCs voted against the Government. The result has defused a conflict over Tasmanian forests for the time being. Resources Minister Guy Barnett blamed Labor for the Bill’s failure and said the Government would not reconsider its stance on forestry.

“We will seek out a fresh mandate at the next election to unlock these production forests,” he said. Mr Barnett would not shoulder any blame for the legislation’s failure. “We were elected, we have that mandate, we are trying to implement that mandate, it’s being blocked in the Upper House by Labor,” he said. Mr Barnett said without access to additional timber Forestry Tasmania would need AU$100 million in subsidies over the next four years or hundreds of jobs would be lost.

Environmentalists and the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania had lobbied against the forestry Bill. Environmentalists said the expanded logging areas, which had been set aside under the Tasmanian forest peace deal, contained high-conservation forests. FIAT said the plan would threaten the industry’s future by leading to a return of forest wars. None of FIAT’s members wanted access to the timber.

Source: The Mercury

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Practical workshops key to WoodTECH 2017 series

Two years ago – over two weeks – the FIEA WoodTECH technology series achieved a record turnout of local sawmilling companies. Over 350 delegates from all major sawmilling companies in addition to leading tech providers from throughout Australasia, North America and Europe converged on Melbourne, Australia and Rotorua, New Zealand.

In September 2017, WoodTECH 2017 will again be running. It’s already attracted some of the world’s leading scanning and sawing technology specialists, innovators and leading practitioners into this region. WoodTECH 2017 programmes for both New Zealand and Australia have just been sent out to industry in both countries. Full details for both can be checked out on the event website,

Through a series of tailored presentations and exhibitions designed with key global tech suppliers and New Zealand and Australian sawmilling companies will learn about the very latest in wood scanning, sawing, and mill optimisation technologies.

What makes WoodTECH 2017 special this year is the series of practical workshops that have been set up for local sawmills. For the first time in Australia and New Zealand, a series of troubleshooting workshops have been designed for a much wider cross section of sawmill production and operational staff.

They’ll be providing a unique insight into how sawmills can extract the best performance out of their saws, their machine centres and sawing operations. The workshops are designed to encourage sawmill teams – management, mill production, saw-doctors and maintenance staff – to take advantage of the line-up of world class international specialists being brought in for this series. They’ll ensure that teams can collectively put the practical learnings into practice once back on site.

Workshops of between 60-120 minutes are being given on;

- Quality & lumber size control
- Troubleshooting and improving band-mill, gang and board edger performance
- Selecting, operating and maintaining log carriage and optimiser (softwood and hardwood) operations, and
- Saw-guide selection, installation, operation and maintenance.

Full details on the event, presenters, exhibitors and programme can be seen on the event website,

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NZ rural and urban firefighting combine on Saturday

Tomorrow marks Day One of Fire and Emergency New Zealand. It heralds the most important change in New Zealand’s fire and emergency services in decades bringing urban and rural fire in New Zealand under the one umbrella.

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne, Ashburton Mayor Donna Favel, other dignitaries and local urban and rural fire people will be meeting in Ashburton to celebrate Day One of Fire and Emergency NZ on Saturday 1 July. This location was chosen after the local Day One event organising committee extended an invitation to the Board and Minister. On Monday 3 July, a powhiri will be held at Wellington City Station to officially welcome Rhys Jones, the new Chief Executive of Fire and Emergency NZ.

On Day One, over 11,000 people involved in operational firefighting in New Zealand, including DOC personnel and contractors, will have been authorised, formalising their powers to fight fires and deal with other incident types.

For further information on the new entity, click here for a copy of Insight, a one-off publication marking the establishment of Fire and Emergency NZ.

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Local Landcare Research office to close

Landcare Research’s Gisborne office on the East Coast of New Zealand will close this week after 42 years playing a crucial role in studying the region’s world-famous erosion issues. The office, established in 1975 by the then New Zealand Forest Service, was never meant to be permanent, though. It shifted around several locations.

Its first job was to facilitate research towards better understanding the erosion processes and geology in Mangatu Forest. Robin Black, the first technician appointed to the Gisborne region, and Professor Max Gage produced a ‘Terrain Stability Map’ of Mangatu Forest.

Later, other areas were similarly mapped by Chris Phillips and Andy Pearce. But exactly what caused erosion on such a large scale and how trees reduced the erosion was still poorly understood. Dr Mike Marden, a member of the ‘Soils and Landscape’ team, took over the office in 1985 as the first appointed scientist, 10 years after its “temporary” opening.

It was a one-man office for 32 years, and now Dr Marden is retiring, Landcare Research has decided to close the office. During his time here large areas of exotic forest have been established on severely eroded hill country, particularly following Cyclone Bola in 1988.

The devastation caused by Cyclone Bola drew attention from researchers the world over. “That storm was a real eye-opener, and really showed the vulnerability of land on the East Coast.”

Bola provided scientists with an opportunity to assess the performance of exotic forest, and other vegetation types in slowing erosion during a severe storm. Dr Marden and colleagues discovered just how effective the different forest types (exotic, indigenous forest and mature reversion) could be in preventing shallow landslides.

They found once the tree canopy had ‘closed’ and the trees had developed a significant root system, the incidence of land-sliding reduced by 90 percent when compared with treeless landscapes. This in turn led to investigations of the tree root systems of different species and their role in stabilising land.

When harvesting began in Mangatu Forest in 1990, Dr Marden’s research focus switched to measuring root decay rates following forest removal, and how this affected the land’s stability.

At around the same time, and in response to the severity of erosion to farmland during Cyclone Bola, the East Coast Forestry Project provided funding towards the reforestation of large areas of badly damaged East Coast farmland.

Dr Marden was able to demonstrate to the then Ministry of Forestry that as gullies were the dominant source of sediment, the most effective means of reducing sediment generation from them was to map all the gullies throughout the region, and use this database to prioritise their treatment. This knowledge is still being used today to target funding to treat gully erosion. Read more.


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Global study shows the value of paper and print

The recent issue of Paper360 (May/June) features consumer survey results on global attitudes towards paper and print, as well as toward corporate environmental claims promoting digital over paper-based communications.

The article concludes that there is a clear preference for print on paper across all countries and regions analyzed (Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States), likely indicating a more fundamental and human way that people react to the physicality of print on paper.

Many prefer paper-based communications to digital options for a variety of reasons, including ease of reading, tactile experience, and a lack of internet access.

These findings may also be partially explained by neuroscientific studies that have shown that our brains have a much more emotional and meaningful connection when we read on paper versus screens.

Here are a few highlights mentioned in the article:

- 88-91% of respondents agreed that, when responsibly produced, used and recycled, print and paper can be a sustainable way to communicate.
- 85-89% agreed that, when forests are responsibly managed, it is environmentally acceptable to use trees to produce products such as wood for construction and paper for printing.
- 80-85% receiving environmental claims such as “go green – go paperless” believe companies are merely seeking to save costs.
- 62-79% want the option to continue receiving printed information because it provides a more permanent record.
- 72-77% would be unhappy if they were asked to pay a premium for paper bills and statements.

For much more please see the full article or the full May/June issue of Paper360.

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Indigenous forestry highlight of IFA conference

"Tropical Forestry: Innovation and Change in the Asia Pacific Region" is the theme for the Institute of Foresters of Australia’s conference on 14 - 17 August 2017 in Cairns. This theme recognises the rich history of Australian Foresters who have contributed to the development of the professional practice of Forestry in South East Asia and the Pacific as well as at home.

Tropical and temperate forest managers will find subjects such as indigenous commercial forestry, conservation management in the tropics and tropical plantation success drivers being covered at the annual event.

Dr Kevin Harding, Convener of the conference said, ‘one session that delegates may find of particular interest is Indigenous Commercial Forestry. Delegates will hear from speakers such as Rob De Fegely talking about Indigenous economic development while Mark Annandale will discuss Bauxite mining and Indigenous community forestry.

‘A session about Building Aboriginal enterprises in NSW state forests will be led by John Shipp and Kathy Lyons while David Lee gives a very topical perspective from Cape York about Sandalwood for Indigenous commercial forestry. What a lot of people don’t know is that 30 per cent of Australia’s forests are owned, managed or controlled by Indigenous people’, said Kevin.

Source: IFA

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Showcasing local engineered timber at a fire station

What better way to showcase the many qualities of engineered timber, including fire compliance in contemporary building design than a new Fire Station? This was the view of Hyne Timber when a potential opportunity arose to give the Maryborough Fire and Emergency Service personnel a new, state-of-the-art facility.

The existing facility, an iconic part of Maryborough's history, requires a complete functional overhaul while aiming to restore and retain the 1950's local heritage valued façade. This challenge attracted the attention of Hyne Timber who, like the first 'Maryborough Fire Brigade' have significant history in the Maryborough region dating back to since 1882.

According to Hyne Timber's Manager for Strategic Relations, Katie Fowden, the idea of Australia's first contemporary, engineered timber fire station in Maryborough has quickly gained wide spread support. "From an idea initially mentioned during an innovation forum in Maryborough, every conversation since with various stakeholders including fire engineering experts has seen nothing but support and encouragement to drive this project forward.

The project team includes The University of Queensland, Baber Studio, Hutchinson Builders and XLam. Principal Architect, Kim Baber of Baber Studio is a Gottstein Fellow and was awarded the Australian Institute of Architects' 'Queensland Emerging Architect' award in 2015.

XLam will produce the Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) components required for this project, subject to accepted design work and approval to proceed to Stage 3 (final design and construction), from Queensland grown and processed timber.

According to international reports, design solutions such as fire-protected timber, the use of cavity barriers and automated sprinkler systems for example have declared engineered timber buildings around the world as some of the safest the compliance inspectors had ever assessed.

Fire Stations have been built wholly or predominantly from engineered timber in countries including France, Austria, Norway and the US. These examples demonstrate how the material can successfully be used for the construction of this building type.

The Maryborough Fire Station project, being a public asset, is an opportunity for innovative, engineered timber construction solutions to be more broadly understood to increase the uptake of sustainable buildings into the future.

The next stage of the proposal could take up to 12 months to complete, engaging with a broad range of stakeholders and consultants in addition to ongoing innovation research support with the UQ Centre for Future Timber Structures. Photo: Hyne Timber Beam 17 GLT - Stella Maris Church

Source: Hyne Timber

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South Korea now Asia's largest pellet importer

Over the past few years, South Korea has become the largest pellet importer in Asia, ahead of Japan, and the third largest in the world, and South Korean demand is expected to continue to increase in the coming years, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly. Vietnam has been the major supplier of pellets to Asia, accounting for about 65% of the total import volume in late 2016 and early 2017.

Wood pellet imports to Asia reached an all-time-high in the 4Q/16 when Japan and South Korea together imported 630,000 tons of pellets. Although import volumes were down slightly in the 1Q/17, they were still over 40% higher than in the 1Q/16, as reported in the latest issue of the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ).

South Korea is by far the main destination for pellets in Asia, and in 2016, the country was the world’s third largest importer of pellets, trailing only the United Kingdom and Denmark. Although import volumes to Japan have tripled from 2014 to 2016, the usage of pellets is still at a relatively low level.

Consumption of pellets in Japan and South Korea has increased quite rapidly over the past four years because of new government requirements which favor reducing carbon emissions and increasing the usage of renewable energy. The recent trend in pellet usage is likely to continue in the future and is driven both by incentives (subsidies) and regulations (renewable energy portfolio standards). With an urgent need to replace nuclear energy and generous feed-in-tariffs, it is expected that Japan will increase importation of wood pellets quite substantially over the next five years.

Vietnam has been the major supplier of pellets to the Asian market for the past three years, accounting for almost two-thirds of the shipments to Japan and South Korea in 2016. Canada was an early supplier to the Asian market, but its market share dropped from 22% in 2014 to 14% in 2016. However, in the 1Q/17, Canada increased shipments to Asia to the second the highest quarterly level on record and the market share was up to 21%.

Import prices for pellets to South Korea fell dramatically from early 2014 to the summer of 2016, according to a recent WRQ Trade Snapshot report. The two-year long price decline ended in the 3Q/16, when prices slowly started to recover. The import prices continued their upward trend during the first four months of 2017 with Malaysian pellets increasing the most.

Source: Wood Resources International

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Information-sharing initiative for modular wood construction

Metsä Wood’s Open Source Wood initiative is a call to action to architects, designers and engineers to join forces, share innovation and contribute knowledge about large-scale, modular wood construction. By creating an open innovation platform around modular wood construction, Metsä Wood’s aim is to connect the local wood construction industry with global knowledge to facilitate collaboration and growth.

Today the construction industry is dominated by two materials – steel and concrete. Only a fraction (5-10%) of global urban construction is wood, due in part to the fact that the industry is fragmented and local. Wood, however, is an optimal material for urban construction as it enables faster building processes; its lightness leads to more affordable structures and it is the most environmentally friendly building material, battling climate change through carbon storage.

Metsä Wood’s Executive Vice President, Esa Kaikkonen, explains: “Not enough knowledge about modular wood design and building is shared, so wood construction remains niche. There is plenty of innovation but it is difficult to find, so Open Source Wood is our solution. We believe that with open collaboration the industry can achieve significant growth.” The initiative takes its inspiration from open source ideology, championed by the software industry, to drive innovation further and faster, and to increase speed to market.

For further information click here.

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Scholarship for Fire Performance of Floor Timber Systems

The School of Civil Engineering at The University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia) is offering a PhD scholarship for a motivated student to contribute to research being undertaken within the Centre for Future Timber Structures and the Fire Safety Engineering Research Group. Candidates with a background in Structural Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Fire Safety Engineering or Physics are encouraged to apply. The scholarship will be for three and a half (3.5) years and valued at AU$26,682 per year. Top-up scholarships and international student fee-waivers are also available to exceptional candidates.

Candidates must hold a relevant undergraduate or Master’s degree in Structural Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Fire Safety Engineering, Physics or other related field. Candidates with skills or interested in timber structures, fire safety engineering, heat transfer, and/or engineered timber products are encouraged to apply. Submissions are due by 14/07/2017.

Details on the application for admission and scholarship process can be found here.

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Transformational change in pulp, paper and packaging

From what you read in the press and hear on the street, you might be excused for believing the paper and forest-products industry is disappearing fast in the wake of digitization. The year 2015 saw worldwide demand for graphic paper decline for the first time ever, and the fall in demand for these products in Europe and North America over the past five years has been more pronounced than even the most pessimistic forecasts.

But the paper and forest-products industry as a whole is growing, albeit at a slower pace than before, as other products are filling the gap left by the shrinking graphic-paper market. Packaging is growing all over the world, along with tissue papers, and pulp for hygiene products.

Although a relatively small market as yet, pulp for textile applications is growing. And a broad search for new applications and uses for wood and its components is taking place in numerous labs and development centers. The paper and forest-products industry is not disappearing—far from it. But it is changing, morphing, and developing. We would argue that the industry is going through the most substantial transformation it has seen in many decades. Read more


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C3 picked to run inland port

C3, the local on-wharf logistics firm owned by Linx Cargo Care Group, has been picked out of seven bids to operate Waikato-Tainui's inland port at Ruakura on Hamilton's city limits.

Tainui Group Holdings, the commercial arm of the North Island iwi, has signed up to a joint venture with Linx, which will take a 30-year lease on the inland port land, and use C3 to run the port's day-to-day operations. The deal will also see C3's own business go through the inland port, which aims to service the country's two biggest import and export hubs in Auckland and Tauranga as a complementary service to their own logistics operations.

Contractor Fulton Hogan has already started construction on the first stage of the port development, which is expected to be completed in the first half of 2019 at a cost of NZ$50 million. Ultimately, the port operations would span 30 hectares and a logistics precinct, another 60 hectares, out of the 485 hectare site returned to Tainui in its 1995 settlement with the Crown.

C3 was half-owned by Port of Tauranga until 2012 when Australia's Asciano bought out its Kiwi partner, and its ownership changed hands more recently when a consortium led by Brookfield Asset Management took Asciano private last year.

Source: Scoop

New American duties on lumber imposed this week

As expected, Canadian lumber producers were hit earlier this week with additional duties on softwood lumber exported to the U.S. The U.S. Department of Commerce on 26 June approved new preliminary anti-dumping duties in the 7% range against Canadian lumber producers. That’s on top of earlier countervailing duties.

Combined, the countervailing and anti-dumping duties add 27% to 31% to the cost of lumber exported to the U.S. B.C. is Canada’s largest producer and exporter of lumber to the U.S., so the biggest impact is in B.C.

For now, the duties have yet to take any major toll on B.C. companies, thanks to high lumber prices, driven by strong demand in the U.S. and a low Canadian dollar. But eventually, they will begin taking their toll.

In the past, international tribunals have ruled that the American duties are unjustified. But it can take years for such rulings, and in the meantime, some of the less profitable mills are vulnerable, which is why federal and provincial governments prefer to try to negotiate a settlement.

Canada’s current share of the U.S. market has been shrinking. Even so, the U.S. still represents about 50% of B.C. lumber exports, with 30% going to Asia. The new duties being imposed on Canadian lumber might be even more punishing if global lumber prices weren’t so high.

Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers says that the $867-million forestry industry aid package of announced by the Canadian government in May will help cushion the blow, but it is not a long-term solution.


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World’s first drone jump

A light-hearted story for the end of the week. Lesson number one from this week is simple: When you think you’ve seen it all in the drone industry, think again. Aerones, a drone technology company in Latvia, has released footage of a drone jump, in which a brave man is lifted to a height of 330 metres before sky-diving.

Aerones‘ bold drone skydive took place in Amata, Latvia, and took off from the 120m communications tower of a local radio and television company. The bespoke drone, which had no fewer than 28 propellers, took the jumper from the top of the tower and lifted him up another 200m to the right altitude for the jump. His free fall lasts for only a few moments before the parachute is released.


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Buy and Sell

... and one to end the week on ... no negative thoughts

A woman was at her hairdresser's getting her hair styled for a trip to Rome with her husband. She mentioned the trip to the hairdresser, who responded:

" Rome ? Why would anyone want to go there? It's crowded and dirty.. You're crazy to go to Rome . So, how are you getting there?"

"We're taking BA," was the reply. "We got a great rate!" "BA?" exclaimed the hairdresser. " That's a terrible airline. Their planes are old, their flight attendants are ugly, and they're always late. So, where are you staying in Rome ?"

"We'll be at this exclusive little place over on Rome 's Tiber River called Teste." "Don't go any further. I know that place. Everybody thinks its gonna be something special and exclusive, but it's really a dump."

"We're going to go to see the Vatican and maybe get to see the Pope." "That's rich," laughed the hairdresser. You and a million other people trying to see him. He'll look the size of an ant.

Boy, good luck on this lousy trip of yours. You're going to need it..."

A month later, the woman again came in for a hairdo. The hairdresser asked her about her trip to Rome "It was wonderful," explained the woman, "not only were we on time in one of BA's brand new planes, but it was overbooked, and they bumped us up to first class. The food and wine were wonderful, and I had a handsome 28-year-old steward who waited on me hand and foot.

And the hotel was great! They'd just finished a £5 million remodelling job, and now it's a jewel, the finest hotel in the city. They too, were overbooked, so they apologized and gave us their owner's suite at no extra charge!"

"Well," muttered the hairdresser, "that's all well and good, but I bet you didn't get to see the Pope."

"Actually, we were quite lucky, because as we toured the Vatican, a Swiss Guard tapped me on the shoulder, and explained that the Pope likes to meet some of the visitors, and if I'd be so kind as to step into his private room and wait, the Pope would personally greet me.

Sure enough, five minutes later, the Pope walked through the door and shook my hand! I knelt down and he spoke a few words to me" "Oh, really! What'd he say ?"

He said: "Who the **** did your hair?"

And on that note, have a great weekend. Cheers.

Brent Apthorp
Editor, Friday Offcuts
Distinction Dunedin Hotel
6 Liverpool Street, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
PO Box 904, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Tel: +64 (03) 470 1902, Mob: +64 21 227 5177, Fax: +64 (03) 470 1906
Web page:

This week's extended issue, along with back issues, can be viewed at

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