NZFS celebrates 100-year anniversary

Friday 27 Sep 2019

On Tuesday the 100-year anniversary of the establishment of the NZ State Forest Service was marked, with a special evening of celebration at Parliament.

The event, hosted by Minister Jones, was attended by around 120 guests, including the Rt. Hon Winston Peters, Members of Parliament, both in Government and opposition, former Ministers of Forestry, forestry sector Chief Executives, and key members from the forestry industry including past Ministry of Forestry Director Generals.

New Zealand’s forestry heritage was well represented by a number of former New Zealand State Forest employees and/or their descendants who flew in from around New Zealand. “To have in one room such a wealth of forestry knowledge and so many people who had significantly contributed to the key milestones that define our forestry heritage, was incredibly special,” said Te Uru Rākau – Forestry New Zealand DDG Julie Collins.

Paul Mahoney, a forestry historian who recently spoke at the HarvestTECH 2019 event in Rotorua, spoke about forestry’s past with three case studies including George & Irene Murray, kauri logging contractors in the Coromandel Ranges back in 1919 when the Forest Service started.

Jim Spiers aged 96 who also spoke at the June harvesting event to launch his new book "When Forestry was Fun. The Evolution of a Forest Engineer" was honoured as the oldest Forest Service attendee on the night. His career “from Dolly to Director” covered logging with Dolly the horse at Tapanui in 1941, to managing Kaingaroa Forest from 1966 through to being the inaugural Director of the Logging Industry Research Association until 1984.

The evening also included the presentation of three forestry awards - specifically developed for the 100-year celebrations – a Forestry Science Award; the Kaitiakitanga Aotearoa Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award. The winner of the Forestry Science Award was Bruce Manley, who received the award for his dedication to, and leadership within, forestry research, and his innovative work on carbon forestry.

The Kaitiakitanga Aotearoa Award was presented to Guy Salmon for his commitment to the protection of forests, forest ecosystems and the connection of forests to people. The Lifetime Achievement in Forestry Award was presented to Peter Berg in recognition of the true champion of forestry that he is within New Zealand and the Commonwealth. To capture the essence of the past 100 years, a forestry timeline was created for display at the celebrations and as a special souvenir takeaway for guests.

“We also re-enacted a photo originally taken in 1921 when the State Forest Service leadership team were in Wellington for their inaugural conference, with our present leadership team. The photo was taken on the Parliamentary library steps where the original pic was taken,” said Julie. The two photos were on display at the event.

Photo: Paul Mahoney, Forestry Historian, Jim Spiers (ex LIRA), Rt. Hon Winston Peters

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