Friday Offcuts – 3 November 2017

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In last week’s issue we covered a piece on a smaller port in the North Island of New Zealand, Port Taranaki, and the impact that record forestry and wood exports were having on the rate-payer-owned port and the local economy. Log export revenues for the last financial year had jumped 80%. For the region, forestry and wood processing was now pumping in close to NZ$60 million a year. As reported, other regions throughout the country are also experiencing right now this same sort of growth.

For rural economies like Gisborne and the surrounding area, the industry’s injecting an estimated NZ$96 million annually into the region. Eastland Port in Gisborne handled their 2 millionth tonne of wood for this calendar year on 21 September, six weeks ahead of last year. South, just down the road, Napier Port has quadrupled the volume of wood they’re handling each year since 2000. Within eight years, they’re expecting the current volume of 1.6 million tonnes to climb to 3 million tonnes. Like Gisborne, the forestry sector’s contributing around NZ$100 million to the Hawkes Bay community.

Port of Tauranga has also just reported log volumes increasing by 13% compared with the same period last year. The transhipment of cargo from other New Zealand ports to Tauranga has also quadrupled in the past year. Forestry, as evidenced by the welcome focus the incoming Government is giving to the sector and to regional development, is really making its presence known now in provincial New Zealand.

With registrations still rolling in for the annual Australasian remote sensing and forest inventory series, ForestTECH 2017, we’ve included this week a story (and link to a short report) from one of the companies who’ll be presenting in both New Zealand and Australia in a couple of weeks. The company’s developed a new Continuous Plantation Monitoring System. It leverages off both free and commercial satellites to provide local forestry and resource managers with timely and accurate information on their harvesting and plantation development. You can check out the information in this week’s story and for late registrations to the series, you can go to the event website.

Finally, in Australia this week, an inquiry into VicForests by a group of cross party MPs has made seven recommendations to the State Government including a recommendation that Victoria should look at developing a transition plan to help its timber industry move from native logging to plantation timber. We also cover a report on the movement in Australia at the moment to increase the acceptance and use of prefabricated timber building systems for large scale projects. Enjoy this week’s read.

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Forest products help record earnings for Oregon Group

Oregon Group, which manages a New Zealand portfolio of businesses for Malaysia's Tiong family, expects record earnings in 2018 on rising prices for forest products and the completion of apartments in its land development unit.

Net profit fell to NZ$41 million in the year ended June 30 from NZ$95 million a year earlier, but managing director Thomas Song said that masks the underlying performance of the company. That's because income in 2016 was boosted by a NZ$124 million gain on the value of its forests, while the latest year had only three months of consolidated revenue from New Zealand King Salmon prior to the fish farmer's initial public offering in October 2016.

"2018 will be a record year as all forestry commodities have had a price upswing," Song said. "Land development will also assist with the expected completion of apartment building." The breakdown of revenue was NZ$343 million from forestry, NZ$97 million from land development, a three-month contribution of NZ$28 million from King Salmon and NZ$11 million from plastic and brushware manufacturing, Song said in an email.

Excluding a land purchase of about NZ$33 million operating cash flow was about NZ$3 million ahead of 2016. The company's 100,000-hectare forest estate was valued at NZ$774 million at June 30 from NZ$781 million a year earlier, accounting for more than half Oregon's NZ$1.41 billion of total assets. Oregon's NZ$88 million of carbon credits were valued at $17.20 per unit at the balance date, up from NZ$84.2 million at $17.85/unit price a year earlier.

Oregon tends to fly under the radar but it owns a range of high-profile businesses in New Zealand including the country's fourth-biggest forest estate, Ernslaw One and its subsidiary Winstone Pulp International, 40.2 percent of King Salmon, Innova Products - better known for its ClickClack kitchen storage products, and property development company The Neil Group.

It also owns 50 percent of a joint venture Edible Forest Fungi NZ, 29 percent of NZ Marine Hatcheries, which isn't currently trading, and 100 percent of Talus Industries NZ, a brush making and plastic moulding company that Oregon is winding up "because of ongoing losses". Notes to its accounts say most of the staff at Talus were made redundant in August and the sale of assets was expected to exceed the carrying value of the business.


Continuous monitoring of your forest resource

To effectively manage resources decision makers, require timely information at an appropriate scale. In the recent years there has been a marked increase and uptake of remote sensing technologies – drones, LiDAR and satellite imagery. In a sense they all have a place provided they are cost-effective, provide consistent results, and add value.

Not to go unnoticed is the increased availability of Earth Observation (EO) data and advances in technologies that allow cost-effective repeat assessment of forest resources. The two main catalysts have been the launch of more satellites and the development of cloud-based processing engines – enabling the development of near real-time monitoring applications.

The terms ‘big data’ and ‘planetary-scale analysis’ have become synonymous with the processing of Earth Observation (EO) datasets. In essence, these terms refer to the vast volumes of EO data collected and archived since 1972, a trend that has continued with the launch of the Sentinel satellites - a constellation commissioned by the European Space Agency (ESA). The two Sentinel satellites 2A and 2B alone, enable repeat imaging of the same spatial location every five days at a spatial resolution of 10 m. Combined with the Landsat constellation (L7 and L8) this increases to 6-7 observations per month.

The increased temporal resolution represents an important shift towards continuous monitoring of resources. The ability to monitor the same location repeatedly enables the detection of subtle changes in vegetation vigour and identification of trends. The real analytical efficiencies are accomplished by leveraging off cloud computing architecture which hosts and serves petabytes of historical and recently acquired images on-demand. With data held in this environment there is no need to individually review, download, or process and analyse satellite imagery as was the norm in the recent past.

These developments represent a major change in the way data is analysed – allowing on-demand processing while simultaneously accessing an ever-increasing repository of global datasets, satellite images, topographic and climatic observations. For decision makers this moves the conversation towards better understanding of when and how these datasets should be applied and what questions they assist in answering.

The resource monitoring team at Indufor have developed a Continuous Plantation Monitoring System that leverages off both free and commercial satellites to provide timely and accurate information. This service enables the monitoring of harvesting and plantation development across large areas. For more information on the CPMS click here.

Further information on this and raft of new developments around forest resource management and monitoring are going to be covered in the upcoming ForestTECH 2017 series which starts in Rotorua on 15-16 November and then run again for Australian foresters in Melbourne on 21-22 November. Full details can be found and last-minute registrations made on the event website,

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Prepare for life after native logging

Victoria must develop a transition plan to help its timber industry move from native logging to plantation timber, a group of state MPs has recommended. The Inquiry into VicForests by a group of cross party MPs made seven recommendations to the State Government, including the call for it to establish an industry transition plan and work with VicForests, and the Forest Industry Taskforce to consider “supporting innovative industry players (and) …. how current forestry-dependent communities can be actively supported through any transition plans”.

Nationals MP Luke O’Sullivan was the only MP on the committee to vote against the recommendation for a transition plan. The report also recommended calling on the Government to explain the Forest Industry Taskforce and deliver tighter oversight of VicForests, and the way it manages the resource.

The taskforce was a Labor Party election commitment, which brought together leaders from the forestry, conservation and union sectors. Formed in 2015, it went into recess earlier this year before it made any formal proposals to the Government.

“We have heard very little from this taskforce, which has yet to provide any recommendations to Government,” the VicForests Inquiry chair, Liberal MP Bernie Finn, said. “My view is that the funding may be better spent elsewhere on assisting those working in the industry, or supporting measures to enhance the industry’s competitiveness within the global market for fibre and wood products.”

Mr Finn also called said there was an “immediate need” to ensure that jobs in the forestry sector were secure. “We also need ongoing transparency and accuracy around supply of timber so that the industry has a clear understanding about what they can achieve in any given period,” he said.

The Government has six months to consider the VicForests Inquiry. VicForests said it would work with the Government on any recommendations it accepted.


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Log export volumes booming in Napier

Dubbed "The Wall of Wood", it is the result of a spike in planting in the 1990s when log prices soared. Most wood is exported as logs, mainly to China, and Napier Port has made changes to the way it operates to accommodate the increase, including the ability to load logs from four berths.

Port commercial manager Andrew Locke said the volume had quadrupled since 2000. "We have gone from 400,000 tonnes to 1.6 million tonnes," he said. "Within eight years we will be at 3 million tonnes and I think that is a very conservative number."

"About 95 per cent of what we handle via Napier Port is on the truck and last year about 200,000 tonnes on rail. We think that will grow. We are working with the Wairoa rail option at the moment to try and take some trucks off the road. We think long term, we might get 300,000 to 350,000 tonnes on rail."

The wood sector has faced criticism about its lack of wood processing facilities in the region, but Mr Locke said it was a major economic contributor. "The latest number is $100 million that the forest sector brings to the Hawke's Bay community."

He said the largest forestry company, Pan Pac, which produces timber and wood pulp, ships 800,000 tonnes of cargo through Napier Port annually and employed more than 45 people. "The multiplier effect is a very large number."


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Ministers seed Sustainable Forest Product Trade

Ministers from APEC member economies are stepping up their push to salvage the majority of the world’s dwindling forests and the livelihoods of millions of people that depend on these resources as consumer demand in the region surges.

Ministers meeting in Seoul this week launched growth-friendly actions for realizing their ambitious goal of increasing forest cover by at least 20 million hectares by 2020 across APEC. Together, APEC economies account for half the world’s forests and 80 per cent of global timber trade.

A viable step towards mitigating climate change, the move sets the tone for the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in Da Nang on 6-11 November that will aim to improve trade-driven growth in the region and the sustainability and equity of its economic and social outcomes.

“The huge increase in the middle class in APEC made possible by greater connectivity and trade is driving a consumption-led growth recovery but also putting pressure on high demand resources like wood and timber products,” explained Dr Alan Bollard, Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat.

“APEC economies are enacting measures to boost legitimate trade flows that weed out illegally harvested wood before they hit consumer markets and undercut legal producers,” Dr Bollard continued. “Eliminating price distortions caused by illicit timber could have a major impact on forest preservation and the large numbers of jobs they support.”

Ministers are focused on raising governance and transparency standards among APEC economies for the trade of timber and wood products such as lumber, paper, flooring and furniture, in coordination with Interpol, industry and conservation groups.

This includes building on work administered by the APEC Experts Group on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade to enhance customs inspections of timber and wood products at borders, implement timber legality methodologies and establish efficient lines of communication with law enforcement agencies.

Parallel measures to be taken forward by APEC economies centre on facilitating sustainable forest management practices and community support needed to help forests re-germinate and promote emerging business and employment opportunities.

The Seoul Statement endorsed at the conclusion of the Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Forestry outlines the actions to be advanced by APEC member economies towards this objective.

Source: Scoop

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Small port supplying world’s biggest timber importer

Pine trees moving across Gisborne’s port meet an astonishing six percent of China’s total international demand for soft wood, says Eastland Port General Manager Andrew Gaddum. The January to June 2017 figures extracted from online industry newsletter WoodWeek reiterate what a significant player this region is in a global business, worth billions.

“Six percent may not sound like much but when you consider that the Chinese soft wood log market was worth a staggering $US2.2 billion for the first half of this year, then that’s monumental,” says Eastland Port General Manager Andrew Gaddum.

China is the world’s biggest importer of timber. Nearly a quarter (24%) of China’s soft wood comes from New Zealand, with Russia the second biggest supplier at 23%. Figures from the report show that of the 6.2 million cubic metres of soft wood (Pinus radiata) that left New Zealand for China in the first half of this year, 17.5% or 1,080291 cubic metres came out of Gisborne over the same period.

“Every time you see a log it’s phenomenal to consider it’s going across the wharves of a pint-sized port at the bottom of the world and making a big dent in wood supply for the world’s biggest consumers. And because of that international demand, thousands of this region’s families are benefiting.”

Mr Gaddum says the industry’s attention to sustainable forest harvesting means there’s a continuing cycle of planting and growth, known as rotation. “Certainly, everyone is working towards sustainability in this industry for a long time yet.”

As further evidence of local industry strength Eastland Port recorded a solid September for log throughput, and a significant milestone. “Overnight, on 21 September, we handled the 2 millionth tonne of wood for this calendar year. We’ve reached that 2 million tonne mark six weeks ahead of last year,” says Mr Gaddum.

This September, 225,274 tonnes of wood was loaded onto 10 log vessels. It would have been more had bad weather not trapped two ships at Port of Tauranga as the month clicked over to October. As part of its twin berth development plans Eastland Port submitted its first resource consent application (to rebuild wharf 6 and 7, and reshape the slipway) to Gisborne District Council this month.

Photo: The Eastland Port display at the Gisborne A&P Show provided an opportunity for public feedback on the port's planned twin berth development, and it also gave people the chance to pilot a tug. Six-year-old Winston Williams was among those to steer the remote-controlled tug around the model wharf, seawall, and port. Image credit: Brennan Thomas Strike Photography

Source: Eastland Port

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Machine learning in manufacturing optimisation

Materialize.X, a UK based company has just launched two new products that they think will revolutionize the US$300 billion-a-year engineered wood market. The start-up has created a patented non-toxic adhesive to serve as an alternative to urea-formaldehyde.

Materialize.X plans to license to chemical companies, or engineered-wood manufacturers so they can make the adhesive on site. Materialize.X is also providing engineered-wood factories with software that uses machine learning to optimize how their adhesive is used in the production process.

For example, there’s a standard formula for creating engineered wood — you take wood chips, add adhesive and press them together until they are bonded into the shape you want. But this standard formula doesn’t always produce the best results. That’s because it doesn’t account for variables that can change from day to day, like type of wood, temperature/humidity in the factory and even when the machines were cleaned last.

So, Materialize.X has created software that uses machine learning to take in all those variables and make slight changes to the manufacturing process that can greatly improve the quality of the final product. Examples of these changes are adjusting the amount of adhesive used or increasing the pressure in the bonding process depending on the variables listed above.

Source: Tech Crunch,

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A year of transition for Forestry Tasmania

Yesterday, Forestry Tasmania’s Annual Report was released. The report was tabled in Parliament on Thursday and is available on Sustainable Timber Tasmania’s website.

Forestry Tasmania’s comprehensive result for 2016/17 was a loss of AU$24.1 million, a significant improvement from the AU$65.4 million loss in 2015/16. Both of these results however were significantly impacted by non- cash items, namely the revaluations of the forest estate and superannuation liabilities.

“The Board, management and staff of Forestry Tasmania have been very focussed over the last year on the transition to a new operating model” said Mr Rob de Fégely, Chairman of Sustainable Timber Tasmania’s board.

“We have completed a range of projects including negotiating sawlog price increases, implementing new contracts for southern residues, completing an organisational restructure, conducting an internationally competitive plantation sale process, moving several offices into more appropriate accommodation, and completing the sale of the Tahune Airwalk business.”

“These significant changes have been necessary to ensure we have the right structure, systems and skilled people to deliver our ongoing legislative obligations, while also meeting the Government’s clearly stated expectations for our new business. These expectations include being leaner, financially sustainable, and more focused, efficient, innovative and accountable.”

“We did this while continuing to supply 50 customers with about 1.43 million tonnes of forest products from Permanent Timber Production Zone land, despite the challenges created by a heavy rain and major floods which impacted our operations. This included over 117,000 m3 of high quality sawlogs.”

The report describes the focus on increasing revenue and reducing expenses during this transition year provides a solid foundation to transitioning to a financially sustainable business. The improvements in 2016/17 as a result of the transition projects will underpin future gains in ongoing cash earnings of at least AU$7.5 million per year.

“At the end of the financial year we had net borrowings of AU$26.1 million which have now been retired with part of the proceeds from the hardwood plantation forestry right sale. A highlight of the year has been obtaining Forest Stewardship Council® Controlled Wood certification for our plantation operations - a significant step in our journey seeking FSC® Forest Management certification.”

Source: Sustainable Timber Tasmania

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Biosecurity Week 2017 kicks off

Pests and diseases from offshore can cause serious harm to New Zealand's unique environment and primary industries; and the Port of Tauranga is one of many potential gateways. Biosecurity Week activities highlight the importance of biosecurity and the role that everyone in the Bay of Plenty can play in managing unwanted biosecurity risks says Kiwifruit Vine Health Chief Executive Barry O’Neil.

“We’re looking forward to talking to people who work on and around the Port about biosecurity – it’s such an important issue and one that really does affect everyone. People who own and work at local businesses remember what Psa has done to the kiwifruit industry. There are bugs and pests that we don’t want here in New Zealand because of the devastating effect they will have not only on kiwifruit, but on the whole of our horticulture industry and environment.”

“A good example is a particular type of bug we’re concerned about – it’s one of our most unwanted and called the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. It’s a major nuisance that attacks fruit when it feeds and ruins it. It infests homes and in the USA we’ve seen it stop people from being able to sit outside their homes and have a simple BBQ.”

Port staff, transitional facilities, associated industries (such as transporters and other logistical operators), and biosecurity experts will be meeting at several events over the next six days to raise awareness and understanding of the importance of managing biosecurity risk.

Special guest Ruud 'The Bug Man' Kleinpaste will also be attending several industry and community school group presentations during the week to discuss the vital role of everyone who works and lives in and around the Port and local community in keeping unwanted pests and diseases out of New Zealand.

Throughout the week there will also be discussions with post-harvest facilities and transitional facilities to learn more about the frontline biosecurity systems they have in place. Biosecurity Week is part of the biosecurity excellence partnership between Port of Tauranga, the Ministry for Primary Industries, Kiwifruit Vine Health, NZ Avocado, Dairy NZ, Forestry Owners Association, NZ Customs and Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

The award-winning partnership aims to build a port community committed to biosecurity excellence, with an ambitious goal of no biosecurity incursions coming through the Port of Tauranga. It is a successful regional example of the Ministry for Primary Industries, local industries and regional government, partnering to build a biosecurity team of 4.7 million New Zealanders.

It also benefits from strong engagement with the science community, including a formal partnership with the New Zealand’s Biological Heritage national science challenge and the B3 (Better Border Biosecurity) science collaboration. This has been boosted by a $1.95 million co-funded research project with B3 to trial new tools and technologies in the port environment, monitor biosecurity awareness amongst the local community, and measure the impacts of changes on biosecurity risk.

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive Mark Cairns said the week provides a good opportunity to strengthen the significance of biosecurity within the Port community.

“Effective biosecurity awareness is critical to us running a successful business and being able to continue to service the Bay of Plenty region. The various events we’re holding for our staff, contractors and local businesses who regularly interact with us and our facilities will give us the chance to show people what they should be looking out for and what to do if they find anything.”

“It’s an opportunity to demonstrate the good work that happens here at the Port, day in day out, to keep an eye out. Our people are at the frontline – they’re the ones most likely to first notice an unwanted pest on cargo, vehicles or equipment moving off the port. By knowing what to look for and reporting unfamiliar insects or suspicious looking pests they help protect everyone’s livelihood and the future of the kiwifruit, avocado and forestry sectors.”

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China’s sawn-wood imports increased by 16%

In the 1H 2017, China’s sawn-wood imports totalled 18.12 million cubic metres valued at $4.75 billion, a year-on-year increase of 16% in volume and 24% in value, ITTO reported. The average price for imported sawn-wood in the 1H 2017 was $262 per cubic metre, up 7% over the same period of 2016.

Of total sawn-wood imports, sawn softwood imports rose 37% to 12.41 million cubic metres, accounting for 68% of the national total. The average price for imported sawn softwood in the first half of 2017 was $192 per cubic metre, up 12% over the same period of 2016.

On the other hand, sawn hardwood imports fell 13% to 5.71 million cubic metres. The average price for imported sawn hardwoods in the first half of 2017 was $414 per cubic metre, up 20% over the same period of 2016.


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Kiwi shines at International Forest Mechanisation event

Hunter Harrill (photo), a researcher at the School of Forestry, University of Canterbury, was awarded ‘Best Conference Paper and Presentation’ at the recent International Forest Mechanisation conference held in Brasov, Romania. The conference attracted 200 delegates from 30+ countries, with more than 80 presentations.

“This is a great recognition for the work Hunter has sustained over the last 7 years with us. Hunter is not only passionate, but also very well prepared and engaging during his presentations”, says Associate Prof Rien Visser. The paper itself is co-authored by Rien Visser and last year’s top graduate James Byron and combined two related projects.

This first was recent FGR work on wire rope end connectors and the second was James’ final year dissertation project on non-destructive wire rope testing in winch-assist systems. The wire rope end connector project was funded by Keith Raymond and his team at FRG, and the student project on non-destructive rope testing supported by Rowan Struthers at Hancock Ltd.

“This shows the benefit of great industry engagement, the projects and the information generated are very real and this is highly regarded by our international colleagues” says Visser.

This success also follows on from Francis Obi, a PhD student in Forest Engineering, being awarded second place for his poster on Data Envelope Analyses using the FGR benchmarking system data at this year’s NZ Institute of Forestry conference in Rotorua, as well as current final year student Luke Holmes being award the Otago/Southland scholarship award in part on his successful research work investigating innovative and productive mechanised yarder systems. Both projects were supported by Rayonier (led by Brendan Slui).

More information on the FORMEC conference award can be found here.

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Push to boost prefabricated timber in Australia

An industry-led movement is underway to increase the acceptance and use of prefabricated timber building (PTB) systems for large scale projects in Australia. As part of a FWPA-funded project, researchers have been looking at the drivers for, and barriers to, the increased use of PTB systems in Class 2 to 9 commercial buildings, including apartments, hotels, offices and schools.

The benefits of the material are well-known, including a high strength-to-weight ratio, design and construction flexibility, general environmental credentials including carbon storage, and prefabrication’s suitability for use on restricted access and other difficult sites.

In addition, legislative constraints have now largely been removed, thanks to changes to the 2016 National Construction Code. Increased awareness of successful developments utilising PTB systems due to widespread media coverage and multiple award wins, coupled with the continued growth and population density of Australian cities and regional centres, means that opportunities for the material’s use will only increase.

Despite the obvious attractions, some perceived and real barriers continue to have an inhibiting effect on the uptake of PTB systems. Established conventions defaulting to steel and concrete, the need for an accessible and affordable supply chain, ensuring effective industry training, and a lack of proactive communication of the viability and benefits of timber alternatives continue to temper opportunities.

To overcome these barriers and leverage momentum, an increasing number of new PTB solutions are being developed and commercialised to compete with both traditional construction methods and increasingly sophisticated steel and concrete prefabricated solutions. Technical solutions are now being established for many of the issues associated with PTB systems which, along with continued industry education, are likely to be the key means of influencing their increased usage.

“An increase in large scale mid-rise PTBs, alongside the increasing nationalisation and internationalisation of the top tier building companies, suggests market acceptance will grow as PTB buildings increasingly become viewed as the norm,” said Ric Sinclair, Managing Director of FWPA.

For more information, click here.

Source: FWPA

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Strong growth recorded at the Port of Tauranga

The Port of Tauranga has just reported first quarter trade volume growth of 15% on the previous corresponding period.Overall container numbers grew 26%, due to a significant increase in transhipment (containers transferred from one ship to another at Tauranga) in the three months to 30 September 2017. Log volumes increased by 13% compared with the same period last year.

Port of Tauranga Chairman, David Pilkington, says the first quarter results are further proof that Tauranga has cemented its role as New Zealand’s hub port. “The trend to larger ships, and those ships making Tauranga their only Australasian call, has led to a significant increase in transhipment,” he says. “Transhipment of cargo from other New Zealand ports to Tauranga has quadrupled in the past year.”

The largest container vessels to ever visit New Zealand have been able to call at Tauranga since the September 2016 completion of a major dredging project and $350 million expansion programme. Mr Pilkington says the (unaudited) group net profit after tax is up 15% on the prior corresponding period.

“Based on the first quarter’s performance, and notwithstanding any significant market changes, we expect full year earnings to be between $88 and $92 million,” Mr Pilkington says. This compares with net profit after tax of $83.4 million for the year ended 30 June 2017.

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, says the port has ample headroom to handle increasing volumes. Of its 190 hectares of land, the Port has approximately 40 hectares of land still available for cargo growth. “This will allow us to handle around three million TEUs (twenty foot equivalent units) without any further reclamation,” he says.

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Prefab Macquarie building up in 5 months

An Architectus-designed prefabricated building has opened at Macquarie University in Sydney, and it took just five months to construct. The timber-designed Incubator has been conceived “as a pair of pavilions”, and will nurture, equip and accommodate entrepreneurs as they grow a business idea or social venture into a successful start-up.

The building incorporates a blend of timbers and cork. The materials were constructed offsite, minimising disruption to classes. It was completed within just five months of construction commencing.

“We looked to timber as the main construction material for the Incubator for its capacity to be beautifully engineered, swiftly fabricated to high quality, and for its potential for future dis-assembly and relocation,” says Johnson.

“A variety of timber species were used throughout, including a ceiling diaphragm of cross-laminated timber, large-span laminated veneer lumber beams and glulam V columns, as well as spotted gum hardwood and cork for the interior floor surfaces, and plywood for the external walls.”

Sustainability was a driving force behind the design, which includes a number of environmental features such as operable wall panels to facilitate natural ventilation, cantilevering roofs to shade the double-glazed windows from excessive solar radiation, and self-reporting solar panels. Inside, the Incubator offers hot desks, meeting rooms, and conferencing facilities.


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Buy and Sell

  • Expressions of Interest

  • Forest/Land Sale

  • ...and one to end the week on ... Merger tips for 2017

    For all of you with any money left, be aware of the next expected mergers so that you can get in on the ground floor and make some BIG bucks. Watch for these consolidations in 2017:

    1. Hale Business Systems, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Fuller Brush, and W. R. Grace Co. will merge and become: Hale, Mary, Fuller, Grace.

    2. Polygram Records, Warner Bros., and Zesta Crackers join forces and become: Poly, Warner Cracker.

    3. 3M will merge with Goodyear and become: MMMGood.

    4. Zippo Manufacturing, Audi Motors, Dofasco, and Dakota Mining will merge and become: ZipAudiDoDa.

    5. FedEx is expected to join its competitor, UPS, and become: FedUP.

    6. Grey Poupon and Docker Pants are expected to become: PouponPants.

    7. Knotts Berry Farm and the National Organization of Women will become: Knott NOW! And finally,....

    8. Victoria 's Secret and Smith & Wesson will merge under the new name: TittyTittyBangBang.

    OK, one more for you.

    A man walks into the street and manages to get a taxi just going by. He gets into the taxi, and the cabbie says, "Perfect timing. You're just like Frank."

    Passenger: "Who?"

    Cabbie: "Frank Feldman. There's a guy who did everything right. Like my coming along when you needed a cab. It would have happened like that to Frank every single time."

    Passenger: "There are always a few clouds over everybody."

    Cabbie: "Not Frank. He was a terrific athlete. He could have won the Grand-Slam at tennis. He could golf with the pros. He sang like an opera baritone and danced like a Broadway star and you should have heard him play the piano."

    Passenger: "Sounds like he was something really special"

    Cabbie: "There's more"......."He had a memory like a computer. Could remember everybody's birthday. He knew all about wine, which foods to order and which fork to eat them with. He could fix anything. Not like me. I change a fuse, and the whole street blacks out."

    Passenger. "Wow, some bloke then"

    Cabbie: "He always knew the quickest way to go in traffic and avoid traffic jams, not like me, I always seem to get stuck in them."

    "Passenger. "Mmm, there's not many like him around."

    Cabbie: "And he knew how to treat a woman and make her feel good and never answer her back even if she was in the wrong; and his clothing was always immaculate, shoes highly polished too."

    Passenger: "An amazing fellow. How did you meet him?"

    Cabbie: "Well, I never actually met Frank."

    Passenger: "Then how do you know so much about him?"

    Cabbie: "I married his ......... widow."

    And on that note, enjoy your weekend. Cheers.

    Brent Apthorp
    Editor, Friday Offcuts
    Distinction Dunedin Hotel
    6 Liverpool Street, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
    PO Box 904, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
    Tel: +64 (03) 470 1902, Mob: +64 21 227 5177, Fax: +64 (03) 470 1906
    Web page:

    This week's extended issue, along with back issues, can be viewed at

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