Vale Wayne Miller

Friday 22 Mar 2019

Wayne Miller: A leader in the Wood Processing and Manufacturing Industry.

As many of you may already know, Wayne Miller died suddenly last Saturday (16 March) whilst on a holiday in the South Island. We send our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

Wayne was a leader and figurehead for the wood processing and manufacturing industries. He combined a rich background in research and development with a flair and passion for marketing his beloved high value wood products, especially Clearwood.

After graduating from University of Canterbury with an Engineering degree, Wayne joined the Forest Research Institute in the Wood Drying field, where he became Research Field Leader. This was during a time where he and the team of Tony Haslett, Steve Riley, Nick Ward, Ian Simpson and others drastically changed the face of the wood processing industry, introducing, among other things Very High Temperature Drying and developing kiln control software which is still highly utilised in the industry.

Wayne left FRI to join the NZ Forestry Corporation, and his passion was manufacturing and marketing high value Clearwood. This continued when the Central North Island Forestry Partnership bought the NZ Forestry Corporation, and Wayne went to work for Fletcher Challenge Forests. Here he worked in North American Consumer Solutions, and helped to develop the market for clear radiata in USA.

He thus worked closely with the FCF mill at Taupo, and when FCF sold the mill, Wayne went to work at Tenon Ltd, and then for Tenon Clearwood Ltd.

Wayne was a force in the industry and worked closely with many of us. He was President and an Executive Council member of Pine Manufacturers Association for a number of years. He was a driving force in Solid Wood Innovation (Inc), and worked with WPMA on forest and timber product certification, the Environmental Product Declaration Project, the effect of reductions in forest pruning regimes on the viability of Clearwood manufacturing operations and the resultant loss of value to New Zealand and in particular the communities who make that high value product possible.

Wayne was a leader, a colleague, a workmate and a great guy. Not only will his intellectual rigour, innovative sense and vast experience be sorely missed. Wayne’s ever openness to collaboration and sharing, his willingness to bounce ideas either way and his outright decency will be sorely missed by all of us. His passing leaves a large gap not only in our collective capability but in our hearts.

The Funeral Service for Wayne will be held at Osbornes Funeral Directors Chapel, 197 Old Taupo Road, Rotorua on Saturday, the 23rd of March at 11am. Vale Wayne!

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