Eastland forestry champions celebrated in awards

Friday 28 May 2021

The forestry industry of Te Tairāwhiti was toasted last night before a sell-out crowd of 500 at the 2021 Eastland Forestry Awards. The coming together of the many men and women who contribute to one of the region’s leading industries is always a cause for celebration, but last night it was to recognise the skill and expertise of the best across the industry.

More than 60 entries were received across the 14 sections and in the end, it was Ben MacArthur from Speirs Logging who was crowned the Supreme Skilled Professional of the Year after earlier winning the award for Faller Mechanised or Manual Excellence.

Ben has been at the forefront of using certain machines and a key contributor to innovation and mechanisation on the East Coast. He started in the industry as a teenager and has worked his way up to be a very respected foreman and high skilled mentor and leader. Speirs Logging, known for their high production rates and focus on reducing environmental impact, also won the Crew of the Year crown.

Judges Ian Brown, who is Woodhill Consulting managing director, Alan Paulson, the managing director from Tairāwhiti Timber Training, and Jeff Cornwell from Health and Safety NZ, faced a tough task to find just a single winner in many of the sections, saying they had debated long and hard over most sections. “It is good to see we have a lot of skilled men and women out representing so many different parts of our industry,” said Alan. “The level of skills, training and caring is impressive.”

Eastland Wood Council CEO, Philip Hope remarked, “I would like to thank the sponsors and acknowledge all of the nominees, their family’s and colleagues for enhancing the reputation of the forestry industry in Tairāwhiti. We too are grateful for the leadership of the forestry companies and service providers who have supported the Council with recognising and celebrating excellence in our industry”

Award winners on the night were;

Skilled Professional of the Year (sponsored by Eastland Wood Council): Ben MacArthur (Speirs Logging).

Emerging Leader (sponsored by Ernslaw): Jess Bourke (Logic Forest Solutions)

Logistics Excellence (sponsored by Pacific Haulage): Samantha Harrison (ISO Ltd)

Woman in Forestry (sponsored by Blackstump Logging): Maria Jeffery (Stubbs Contractors Ltd) . Runner-up: Henrietta Raroa (Rewi Haulage Logistics)

Outstanding Health and Safety (sponsored by ISO): Daniel Gray (Forest Management Solutions Ltd)

Industry Support (sponsored by FICA): Hoana Materoa Rewi-Kururangi (Rewi Haulage Logistics)

Forestry and Establishment Excellence (sponsored by Competenz): Kilioni Tuakalau (Vailea Silviculture Ltd)

Faller Mechanised or Manual Excellence (sponsored by Forest Enterprises): Ben MacArthur (Speirs Logging). Runner-up: Peter Oliver (Stubbs Contractors Ltd).

Harvesting Excellence (sponsored by Summit): Mike Blazey (Stirling Logging) . Runner-up: Izaac Davey (Lift Harvesting Ltd).

Cartage Excellence (sponsored by MITO): Kevin McKay (McKay Cartage) . Runner-up: Steven Kent (Pacific Haulage Ltd).

Crew of the Year (sponsored by UDC): Speirs Logging. Runner-up: Wild Hog Logging.

Environmental Initiative Management (sponsored by Transdiesel): Forest Enterprises

Roading Civil (sponsored by Eastland Port): Grant Walker (Raywood Contracting)

Outstanding Innovation Excellence (sponsored by JNL): Wayne Trafford (Aratu Forests Ltd)

Photo: Skilled Professional of the Year. Daniel Williams, Chair of EWC and Ben MacArthur Speirs Logging Winner

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