NZ forestry achievements recognised at NZIF Awards

Thursday 13 Jul 2023

On Monday this week, the New Zealand Institute of Forestry (NZIF) held their awards dinner in Wellington to honour the winners of its most prestigious accolades. The recipients of this year's awards represent a diverse range of skills and experiences, from dedicated grassroots efforts to impactful policy planning and execution, as well as academic leadership.

The highly sought-after recognition, the New Zealand Forester of the Year award, celebrates individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the forestry sector throughout the previous year. The awardee is presented with a unique carving, crafted by Lyonel Grant. This year's recipient has been actively involved in the growth and promotion of Maori forestry, ensuring the preservation of Maori land rights and fostering optimal land usage.

During the award presentation, President James Treadwell praised the awardee, stating, "They have been an instrumental figure, navigating complex challenges and balancing divergent needs to improve the situation for all New Zealand foresters, not solely Maori foresters." Te Kapunga Dewes of Ngati Porou, Te Arawa and Te Whakatohea was named the New Zealand Forester of the Year for 2023.

Established in 2017, the Prince of Wales Sustainability Cup stands as a testament to exceptional young professionals in New Zealand's forestry sector. This esteemed award aims to recognise individuals who demonstrate a profound commitment to sustainable forest management principles, including policy development, planning, practice, and the responsible stewardship of land based on scientific knowledge. Furthermore, awardees are expected to actively engage the public and foster knowledge exchange, with a focus on promoting the wise utilisation and conservation of forests and their encompassing ecosystems.

Treadwell emphasised the significance of this year's award, stating, "It is particularly meaningful as it was initiated by His Royal Highness King Charles, and this is the first time it is being presented since his coronation." The awardee is working on her PHD studies around transitional forestry, a topic which is today very relevant, the awardee is passionate about and has a strong link to Iwi landowners, and is growing and developing her wider forestry and leadership capabilities. Grace Marshall (pictured) of Hawkes Bay received the Prince of Wales Sustainability Cup at the ceremony.

The forestry industry remains a significant contributor to the New Zealand economy. Treadwell noted the industry's efforts go beyond economic gains, encompassing social benefits such as carbon capture, recreational opportunities, clean water, biodiversity, and overall well-being. "We are fortunate to have a highly skilled cohort of industry professionals who set the benchmark for others to aspire to," he remarked. "The NZIF takes great pride in celebrating the very best and championing the recipients of the NZIF's awards."

Additionally, the NZIF has appointed two distinguished individuals as Fellows in recognition of their tireless contributions to the growth and advancement of the New Zealand forest sector. David Evision and Don Hammond have exhibited unwavering dedication over the course of several decades and fully deserve their fellowship.

Source: NZIF

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