Forestry training success celebrated in the South

Friday 28 May 2021

Last Friday saw again an outstanding turnout by local forestry companies, contractors and transport operators from throughout the lower South Island of New Zealand. The function was the 2021 Southern Wood Council Forestry Awards.

The Council, representing all major forest owners and wood processing companies in Otago and Southland ran the 2021 Awards programme in conjunction with the country’s industry training organisation, Competenz.

In addition to profiling the contribution that forestry and those working within the industry are making to the economic and social well-being of the region, the night was really designed to celebrate the success of those that had achieved formal training qualifications over the year. Over 250 certificates, a record for the region, were achieved over the last year. Through a series of nine major awards, the event also recognised the forest industry’s top performers from across the lower South Island.

The industry certainly rallied on the night. Like previous years, well over 300 forest managers, forestry contractors, transport operators and product and service suppliers to the industry from throughout the lower South Island attended the awards evening at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium.

“The turnout by forestry workers, their families and supporters on the night reflects the momentum that’s been building over the last few years with training and safety in this region” says Grant Dodson, Chairman of the Southern Wood Council. In addition to increased on-site training, two training courses in the region are now well established and providing a regular stream of trained workers to the industry”.

“As well as recognising the training achievements of forestry workers and crews that have really stood out over the past 12 months, the industry was able to come together at one place to celebrate the industry along with training and business success” says Mr. Dodson.

“The message on the value of the awards evening has certainly found it’s mark with many companies bringing through all of their staff and workers, from Invercargill through to Timaru. One local contractor for example brought through close to 40 of their workers to celebrate their achievements in picking up training qualifications over the year as well as rewarding the harvesting crews for their efforts over the year”.

Over 250 National Training Certificates, a record for the region, that had been achieved in Forestry & Wood Processing were awarded to top local contractors and forestry and wood processing employees. Eight harvesting apprentices that have been involved in the Balclutha training school were also recognised at the awards ceremony. There are now two more groups of eight apprentices also going through the training school.

In addition, nine major industry awards for the year were presented on the night. These were;

Training Excellence Award - Apprentice of the Year (Sponsored by Southwood Export) Award Winner; Norman Rewita, Griffin Logging

Training Excellence Award - Forestry Trainee of the Year (harvesting) (Sponsored by Log Marketing) Award Winner; Wayde Lindsay, Griffin Logging

Training Excellence Award - Forestry Trainee of the Year (silviculture) (Sponsored by Port Blakely): Award Winner; Eafou Tagiaia, Central Forestry Services

Skilled Professionals Awards – Forestry Excellence Award (establishment, silviculture, fire, harvesting) (Sponsored by Rayonier/Matariki Forests): Award Winner; Terry Gorton, King One

Skilled Professionals Awards – Wood Processing Excellence Award (Sponsored by UDC): Award Winner; Jordan Francis, Niagara Sawmilling Co

Skilled Professionals Awards – Forest Products/Logistics/Transport/Port Award (Sponsored by Pan Pac Forest Products (Otago)): Award Winner; Murray Lumsden, Philip Wareing

Industry Excellence Awards – Forestry Environmental Management Excellence Award (Sponsored by Ernslaw One); Andrew Murray, Murray Logging

Industry Excellence Awards - Training Company/Contractor of the Year (Sponsored by City Forests): Award Winner; Mike Hurring Logging

Industry Excellence Awards - Forest Products Health & Safety Award (Sponsored by Wenita Forest Products): Award Winner; Tim Gaul, C3 Ltd

Photo L-R: Training Company/Contractor of the Year; Mike Hurring, Mike Hurring Logging, Lawson Roxburgh, Roxburgh Contracting, Nathan Sewhoy, Central Forestry Services

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