Friday Offcuts – 8 June 2018

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Robotics and the automation of manufacturing operations have often been profiled in this newsletter. The technology advancements are also being covered in most FIEA events run for local forestry and wood products companies. Improved productivity and the reduced costs of some of this new equipment is often been quoted as the tipping point for new investment. In Europe though it has been the shortage of skilled workers that’s really been the driving force behind companies changing how they’ve been operating. Automation has been a godsend for manufacturing companies wanting to remain competitive.

Some are now suggesting that 2018 is the tipping point. Labour shortages are starting to really bite with economic growth being impacted on countries right across Europe. Automation is now an essential strategy being followed by the region’s manufacturing companies. The speed of change can be demonstrated with some recent stats. The International Federation of Robotics estimates that 9,900 robots were installed in central and eastern Europe last year. This was up 28 percent from the year before. The IFR is projecting a 21-percent compound annual growth rate in robot shipments to the region by the end of this decade. The full report along with a video clip can be found in the story below.

Still in the tech space, Insight Robotics who are headquartered in Hong Kong has just received a hefty investment to further their work in gathering and processing large-scale aerial survey data from forest operations. And closer to home, collaboration between the forest industry, University of South Australia and the South Australian Government has just been launched to undertake research to boost productivity of the large plantation forests in the south east of the state. Among the first projects planned by the Forestry Research Mount Gambier is to develop sophisticated imaging sensors that can be fitted to drones. Some of the early results from these trials will be integrated into this year’s annual ForestTECH 2018 series ( set down for November.

As part of an FWPA funded project, CSIRO have also just developed a new climate risk tool for Australian forestry companies. For the first time, forest managers and planners will be able to look at their forest estate (either a 5km x 5km grid level or across a user defined area), build in factors like rainfall, temperature and fire risk and then check out the future impact that climate change may have on their forests. The tool will make it that much easier for foresters to make much more informed decisions as part of their longer-term planning. A link to test out this new tool has been supplied in the story below.

Finally, in New Zealand, last Friday was Gypsy day. For the dairy industry it means only one thing – time to move. As the new season starts, thousands of sharemilkers’ load cows onto stock trucks and move their equipment and families to new farms. It’s a familiar sight right across the country. Jobs as well as locations all change on that one day. For the forestry industry, this week we must have the equivalent. Check out the numerous jobs that on offer in this week’s issue. Enjoy this week’s read.

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New tool to predict forestry climate change

Forest managers will be able to gauge the likely effect of climate change on growing conditions in their specific areas with a new interactive online tool developed by the CSIRO with funding from Forest & Wood Products Australia. The free Forest Climate Risk Tool provides information on factors such as the likely periods of drought, rainfall, number of heatwave days, temperatures and fire risk in detail down to a 5km x 5km grid of almost all forested and plantation areas of Australia.

The best available scientific models for climate change have been used in developing the tool, which enables users to see both the “most likely” result and a range of other possible results for 2030, 2050 and 2070, as opposed to the current situation. CSIRO Research Scientist, Dr Patrick Mitchell, said the tool was intended to increase the industry’s awareness of climate change and, ultimately, to manage risk and improve productivity.

“We’ve tried to make the tool really easy to use, without compromising its scientific integrity. There are also user videos on the site as well as a written user guide,” he said. “Climate change is particularly crucial for forestry because there’s such a long lag between planting and harvesting. We’re hoping this tool will mean that forest managers can make more informed decisions.”

In addition to probing results for particular locations or areas, the Forest Climate Risk Tool enables forest managers to explore climate change by questions and by themes. The themes are: temperature; rainfall and drought; and heatwaves and fire danger. The questions relate to changes in the planting window; water and heat stress over the rotation; climate drivers related to pests; and fire danger.

General Manager of Forest Resources at HVP Plantations, Tony O’Hara, said the firm had an increasing focus on the threat that climate change could pose to 170,000 hectares they have under plantation in Victoria.

“The risks in terms of fire, pests, diseases, planting timing and even care of staff in the field could all change with the climate, making it valuable to have information on predicted variations in climate and the likelihood of extreme events. The next step is to work on what we can do to accommodate that future situation.

“This complements other work we’re doing, for example increasing the resilience of trees and working with land owners outside our plantations to reduce fire risk. Using this new tool, we have established some level of comfort that we are going to be able to grow trees in future in most of our current areas. The next step in using the tool would be to input data from it into other systems such as CABALA (which models tree growth) and the Phoenix Rapid Fire bushfire modelling tool.”

The steering committee for the project included representatives of HQPlantations, Forico, NewForests, HVP Plantations and the Forestry Corporation of NSW.

You can request access to the tool here.

Case study – Mount Gambier, SA, in 2050

(Most likely scenario) compared to the previous 30 years.

Two degrees increase in annual temperature – 16 degrees in 2050 vs 14 degrees now. Five per cent reduction in annual rain – 763mm in 2050 vs 803mm now Four more high fire danger days per year – 31 in 2050 vs 27 a year now. Five more days over 35 degrees per year – 12 in 2050 vs 7 a year now.

Using this information, further modelling outside the Forest Climate Risk Tool suggests there is likely to be a reduction of between five and 15 per cent in total volume at harvest in 2050, compared with that which would occur if the current climate continued unchanged.

Source: FWPA

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Enter the robots: automation filling the gaps

Plant manager Gabor Kiraly remembers the meeting a couple of years ago when he and his Austrian bosses learnt how severe the worker shortage in Hungary was about to become - it was, he said, a "shocking realization". The unemployment rate in the western Hungarian town of Papa, where Hirtenberger Automotive Safety employs 725 people making products such as seat belt pre-tensioners, was approaching virtually zero. High turnover was already a big problem.

Enter the robots. Hirtenberger has since spent 2.5 million euros automating two production units at the factory to meet surging demand from the likes of BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen and Audi. And it's not alone. Companies across eastern Europe are ramping up investment in automation to cope with a labour shortage that started after the 2008 financial crisis and after final curbs were lifted in 2011 on worker flows to richer countries in the European Union.

While policymakers and economists in many parts of the world worry about the potential social negatives of robots displacing humans, here automation is a godsend for companies that want to avoid losing market share. The changes indicate a shift in the labour-intensive model of the former Communist satellite states, which have attracted foreign investment with tax incentives and labour costs that pale in comparison to those in the West.

While companies have jacked up wages significantly, it hasn't been enough to persuade young people to stay, or to make up for demographic trends that indicate a shrinking, aging population. Economists warn the labour shortage could have a crippling effect on some of eastern Europe's economies before the end of this decade, at a time when companies in the west are also complaining about the scarcity of workers, including in Germany, the Netherlands, France and Britain.

"While the gradual tightening of labour markets has been evident for at least three years, 2018 may be a tipping point, with labour shortages starting to weigh on economic growth," analysts at UniCredit said in a note. Companies may also start to think about relocating.

The Frankfurt-based International Federation of Robotics (IFR) estimates that 9,900 robots were installed in central and eastern Europe last year, up 28 percent from the year before. The IFR projects a 21-percent compound annual growth rate in robot shipments to the region by the end of this decade, nearly double the European average.

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Source: Reuters

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HVP Plantations appoints new COO

HVP Plantations has announced that it has appointed a new Chief Operating Officer (COO). Rob Hescock (photo), who has held the position of General Manager Northern Region at HVP Plantations since 2010, has taken up the COO role. Prior to his time at HVP, Rob held a series of operational roles across forestry in Australia and the U.S. Additionally, the General Manager Northern Region role has also been filled, with Anne Partridge promoted to the leadership team in this role.

Stephen Ryan, HVP Plantations’ Chief Executive Officer, commented “We couldn’t be happier to have appointed Rob for this important role. He has worked across a variety of HVP’s locations and operational functions, as well as served as a member of our leadership team for the past eight years. Each of these elements of his career has equipped him with skills and knowledge that will benefit HVP.”

Mr Ryan stated that “HVP also saw the value in appointing a person to the General Manager Northern Region position who has a strong understanding of the regions’ customer needs and forest operations”. Anne Partridge takes on this role with over twenty-five years’ experience in forestry, including fifteen years within HVP in harvest, haulage and customer management roles.

Note: HVP Plantations is a privately-owned plantation forestry company, managing over 240,000 hectares of land across Victoria. HVP supplies logs for sawn timber, paper manufacturing, treated panel board and other timber uses to domestic and export customers.
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Logs cause major damage on the East coast

Masses of forestry debris that flooded a small town north of Gisborne has created a NZ$10 million cleanup, but questions have been raised about who should pay. Heavy rain caused water to flood through Tolaga Bay, crashing through homes when the Mangaheia River burst its banks on Monday.

It took slash – forestry debris – in its wake damaging roads and bridges and piling up on farms and in gullies. Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon said while the forestry sector would support in what he expected to be a NZ$10m cleanup, ratepayers would have to help pay. Foon said most of the flood damage affected roads and bridges.

When asked if forestry should foot the whole bill for clean-up efforts, Foon said forestry had been supportive in the past. The council began looking into the issue of slash in the wake of ex-tropical Cyclone Cook in April last year. As of two months ago a national environment standard meant there were stricter planting and fresh water rules. "We will be making sure that we implement those," Foon said.

Forestry Minister Shane Jones called the debris-strewn flood an extraordinarily severe weather event and a "wake-up call". The Government, he said, would decide in the next week or so what it could do to help. We've got to do better. I don't know of anyone in the forest sector who does not accept that their practices need to improve."

New Zealand Forest Owners Association communications manager Don Carson said the land which held slash and timbers was some of the most "highly erodible" land in the world. Similar incidences were known to happen but no landscape could have tolerated such a high amount of isolated rainfall. The area was forested in "less enlightened times".

Carson said anyone who caused environmental damage should not buck their obligations, nor should anyone be held totally accountable. "I do know that companies in the Nelson area assisted in the cleanup there. I would expect the same sort of thing to happen in Tolaga Bay."

Source:, Photo: Marty Sharpe

Note: As anticipated, reaction to the flood and stark images of forestry debris from the flooding seen in the media has been swift.

- Tougher rules needed to stop logging debris – environmentalist
- Protest over forestry mess in Northland
- Forestry companies responsible for post-flood slash – Environment Minister, and
- Two families still homeless as environmentalists blame forestry for East Coast flood.

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Biosecurity for NZ forestry lagging

The recent arrival of myrtle rust in New Zealand has led many to question whether our biosecurity system is really world-class, particularly in keeping plant diseases out of the country. New evidence from the Bio-Protection Research Centre, and published in PLoS Biology, has for the first time assessed just how well our biosecurity system stacks up.

New Zealand is in a unique position, having kept records of plant diseases since the late 1800s. “This allows us, for the first time anywhere in the world, to piece together the long-term trend in plant disease arrivals and whether biosecurity measures have had an impact,” says Prof Philip Hulme, of the Bio-Protection Research Centre, based at Lincoln University.

Despite increasing numbers of international tourists and growing global trade, the number of new plant diseases appearing on our crops each year has been declining since New Zealand began improving border biosecurity in the 1980s.

“The Government and industry invest millions of dollars in keeping plant diseases out of the country, but this is the first evidence to suggest there is a tangible return on this investment,” says Prof Hulme. “Our results suggest that without effective biosecurity the number of plant diseases found in New Zealand each year would have increased in step with the level of trade imports. The fact this isn’t the case is a significant outcome.”

But the findings are not good news for all industries, as agriculture rather than forestry reaps the greatest benefits.

“The combination of government investment in agricultural quarantine and an industry-based seed certification scheme could explain the decline in the arrival of plant diseases in the cereal and pasture sectors,” says Prof Hulme. “In contrast, forestry biosecurity has come late to the game, especially with imports of untreated wood being permitted until relatively recently, and so diseases of forest trees are still increasing at a similar rate to our level of trade imports.”

Prof Hulme said it was important to realise that even when they were effective, biosecurity measures only slowed down the rate of pests getting into New Zealand, rather than stopping them altogether.

“We are still getting diseases coming in, but at a much slower rate than we would have, given the huge growth in international trade,” he says. “Thus, while targeted investment in biosecurity may be effective in reducing plant diseases arriving through trade, there is still scope for improving border biosecurity and expanding disease surveillance.”


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Expressions of Interest – ForestTECH 2018

ForestTECH is this region’s premier technology series. It’s run for Australasia’s forest resource managers, planners, inventory foresters and GIS and mapping specialists by the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA). Since 2007, it’s the one event every year that focuses on this particular part of the forestry industry.

Forest owners, forestry mangers, key researchers and technology providers are also now picking up the opportunity of building in their own client meetings, workshops and discussion groups around the event.

Last year we had over 270 delegates attended the ForestTECH series. All major forestry companies in Australia and New Zealand were represented along with representatives from major Indonesian and South African companies.

The focus for ForestTECH 2017 was “unlocking the true value of data”. New systems for better measuring, managing and analysing this information were reviewed. Emphasis was also put on research findings from in-forest trials and a three-year, AU$1.8 million collaborative research project on remote sensing jointly funded by Forest & Wood Products Australia (FWPA), forestry companies, universities and government.

What’s planned for 2018?

Key themes for this year’s event will include;

- Storage, processing and management of "big data"
- The practical application of automation, robotics and sensors by forest managers
- Integrating virtual and augmented reality into forestry operations
- Results and lessons from reconciling remote sensing data into the field
- New innovations in mobile forest apps and collection tools
- Mobile communications advances in more remote locations
- Results from remote sensing research and in-forest trials
- Workflow solutions for data collected from airborne and UAV systems
- New mapping and GIS applications
- Changing skill sets required by today’s forest resource managers

Already a number of leading offshore companies (researchers and tech suppliers from Canada, the USA and Europe) have put up their hand to be involved in ForestTECH 2018. At this stage, we are now calling for expressions of interest for presenting at this year’s November series. It’s planned to run in Rotorua, New Zealand on 14-15 November and then again in Melbourne, Australia on 20-21 November.

Further details can be found on the event website. Information on exhibition opportunities will be sent out in the next month or so. If interested in presenting this year, please contact the Programme Manager, BEFORE Friday 29 June.

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Gordon Hosking picks up top honours

The New Zealand Institute of Forestry has congratulated Dr Gordon Hosking this week for his recent appointment as an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit, for services to Conservation. Dr Hosking has been a member of the New Zealand Institute of Forestry since 1977, and his achievements during his career as a scientist and conservation leader, are unquestionably worthy of high honours.

Dr Hosking’s contributions to the establishment and the achievements of the Project Crimson, Living Legends and Trees That Count projects are exemplary. The importance of active management of our conservation estate (through tree planting, tending, biosecurity and other measures) will increase, as pest and disease incursions become more likely, and as climate change puts additional pressure on New Zealand’s conservation forestry resource.

Source: NZIF

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Infrared sensing gives drones a new edge

An ‘x-ray vision system’ that overlays three specific technologies to assess the structure and health of individual trees in plantation forests through the canopy is being developed in South Australia. University of South Australia autonomous systems expert Professor Anthony Finn said an infrared sensor gave the drone the “x-ray vision” to see through forest canopies.

The collaboration between the forest industry, University of South Australia and the South Australian Government was launched recently to undertake research to boost productivity in the large plantation forests in the south east of the state. Among the first projects undertaken by the Forestry Research Mount Gambier is to develop sophisticated imaging sensors that can be fitted to drones.

The three-pronged measurement approach uses Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), thermal infrared imaging and the hyperspectral imaging to generate 3D data. The remote sensing will allow both ground data and airborne data to accurately predict wood volumes, consider the impact of fires, insect damage and wind damage on yields.

University of South Australia autonomous systems expert Professor Anthony Finn said the addition of the infrared sensor gave the drone the “x-ray vision” to see through the canopies to provide a full image of the trunk.

“We – like everyone else – use LIDAR to get point clouds but one of the challenges of LIDAR is the canopies to the trunks of the trees,” he said. “What we do with the infrared cameras is we carefully manage the spectral properties of what we’re looking at so we can see through to the trunks – in simple terms you could consider it almost like x-ray vision. In addition to this we look at the surface chemistry using the hyperspectral imaging sensor, which provides us with an insight into how the trees are thriving as well.”

LiDAR and drones have been used by the forestry industry for a decade but the additional use of high-resolution cameras and infrared sensors allows the researchers to “fill in the gaps”. The system aims to achieve significant cost savings through a reduction in manual groundwork and more precise measurement and troubleshooting capabilities.

Field trials of the technology were conducted last month in South Australia and New South Wales, with mapping set to soon begin near Mt Gambier. The drones are currently only able to scan small sections of forest at a time but Professor Finn said miniaturisation of the imaging software and possible commercialisation in the future would shrink the payload and allow it to be fitted to much smaller, more efficient drones.

“The trick at the moment is you’ve got to get a high-resolution sensor and in order to get one of those you almost have to build your own,” he said. “Initial prototypes tend to be bigger than people are used to so you have to use a bigger drone.”

Some of the early results from these in-forest drone trials in S.A. using imaging sensors (LiDAR, electro-optic, thermal infrared and hyperspectral) will be presented this year at this year’s ForestTECH 2018 series scheduled to run in Melbourne on 20-21 November. The New Zealand leg of the annual remote sensing tech event will be run a week earlier, in Rotorua on 14-15 November. Early details can be found on the event website (

Source & Image;

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New bandsaw equipment available in Australasia

Checkmate Precision Cutting Tools Ltd have just announced their association with the Kohlbacher range of Bandsaw Equipment out of Germany for local sawmills. With the recent changes in the market for Bandsaw Equipment, the Kohlbacher range provides a new line of well proven sawshop equipment for servicing bandsaws.

Kohlbacher has been operating for over 25 years and has served primarily the European market; however, over the last 10 years Kohlbacher sales have stretched across to the U.S/Canada. Kohlbacher have a range of full flood CNC equipment, along with Cam driven models for the smaller Bandsaw Range.

Siegfried Kohlbacher owner/director of Kohlbacher has spent his life in engineering and development of Sawshop Machinery and after working for other companies he moved and started planning and building his own machines for sharpening and producing band saws. He has extended his manufacturing and there is continued R & D development evolving into their range also.

For further information on the new range you can check out the recent story posted on the local sawmilling and wood manufacturing website.

You can also contact Checkmate or visit the Kohlbacher website.

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Fletcher's Laminex exits Southland MDF plant

Fletcher Building's Laminex NZ unit has exited a 10-year investment in a Southland medium density fibreboard plant with Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed Daiken getting clearance to buy the 124ha site at Mataura, Southland in New Zealand.

Daiken convinced the Overseas Investment Office with a plan to increase capacity at the facility, which was likely to increase New Zealand's exports and drive up demand for pulp logs. Daiken has an existing MDF plant in Rangiora, north of Christchurch. It has acquired Dongwha New Zealand from South Korea's Dongwha International and Laminex, gaining its Patinna subsidiary that owns the Southland site.

The sale price was withheld, however, last September, the Nikkei Asian Review reported that the deal was thought to be worth about 10 billion yen (US$89.7 million). Daiken already has production centres in New Zealand and Malaysia and is hoping to expand operations through Dongwha's sales networks in Oceania and North America, the Review wrote at the time.

Alongside the release of the OIO decision, Daiken released Dongwha NZ's 2017 report, providing a snapshot of returns at the Southland plant. It made sales of $87.6 million in calendar 2017, up from $91.6 million the previous year but costs ate up most of the gains and net profit actually fell to $4.8 million from $7.7 million.

Source: BusinessDesk

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Insight Robotics receives funding for forestry

Hong Kong venture capital fund Beyond Ventures has joined with Linear Capital of Shanghai to lead a US$9 million investment that will benefit forestry in national parks and other natural resources all over the world. They are funding Insight Robotics, which pursues a mission to facilitate risk management of the world's assets by generating and making sense of data.

Other entities involved are Brizan Investments co-founded by Professor Ping K Ko, former Dean of the School of Engineering at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Insight Robotics optimizes management of forestry, agricultural land and oil palm plantations. It provides intelligence based on multispectral and spatial data from aerial and terrestrial sensors to facilitate early detection of man-made and natural threats to forestry.

One major outcome is enabling environmentally and economically sustainable management of the world's national parks, as well as conservation areas and commercial forests. The funding will enable Insight Robotics to build on its leadership in Asia Pacific, while developing new technologies. One beneficiary will be a project to develop a high-speed, high-resolution multi-spectral aerial survey camera designed to gather data by covering very large tracts of agricultural land. The camera's advanced data-processing algorithms yield best-in-class image quality.

Another project focuses on a big data storage application that enables fast extraction of spatial data. It tracks changes over time and drives a data-mining process carried out by smart algorithms. A prime example of how technological innovation can help make the world a better place was highlighted by Kevin Chan, co-founder and CEO of Insight Robotics. He explained how the company was inspired by WALL-E, the science fiction movie, to design robots that are now improving fire detection to slash carbon emissions around the planet.

The significance of the breakthrough is that the deliberate burning of forests is responsible for about 30% of global carbon emissions, but some 1.5 million hectares of land are now being protected following deployment of more than 100 wildfire detection robots.

Expanding on the aerial survey element of the company's forestry management efforts, he said: "Our solution facilitates the full data journey - from data generation through to harvesting, processing, storage, analytics and visualization."

He added: "This will transform the entire risk management industry by virtue of a real-time risk assessment model. We are talking about a move from hedging financial risk with insurance, or buying commodity futures, to mitigating risk with data-generated intelligence."

Lap Man, co-founder and managing partner of Beyond Ventures, believes Insight Robotics is part of a nascent-yet-booming industry. He said: "A new era of the service industry being served by drones is opening up and will represent a larger opportunity than the drone market itself. Insight Robotics presides over its own core technology in photogrammetry, pattern recognition and database management - all in the context of the forestry management market."

Linear Capital VP Can Zheng said: "The Insight Robotics team has long been focused on large-scale aerial survey data processing and has accumulated in-depth hardware and software technology know-how. The application of big data technology to forestry and agriculture is still in its infancy, but the market potential is huge."

He added: "We hope development of data collection and processing technology will empower the company to provide high-calibre value-added services, such as risk assessment and management, to help its customers achieve real-time management driven by meaningful data."


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NZ Timber Design Awards finalists chosen

NZ Wood has announced the eagerly-awaited Stage Two Finalists for the 2018 NZ Wood-Resene Timber Design Awards.

This is New Zealand’s only timber design award event and allows engineers, architects, architectural designers and builders to showcase innovation using timber. Both local and international companies look to these awards for timber design inspiration. Our projects are the equal of others worldwide, as this year’s crop of entries proves!

Stage Two of the judging process will take place on August 7, when category winners and the supreme winner will be decided. All winners will be announced at a gala awards dinner at the Grand Millennium Hotel in Auckland on September 20, 2018.

To view this year’s finalists click here.

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Nominations open for Sustainable Forestry award

The Institute of Foresters of Australia is calling for nominations for, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales Sustainable Forestry Award for 2018. “It is about forests and foresters” said Mr Rob de Fégely, Vice-President of the Institute of Foresters of Australia and Director responsible for international relations.

“His Royal Highness has a well-known passion for forests and natural production systems. In recent years, he has provided support to the professional forestry institutes in Australia and New Zealand and prior to that in Canada and United Kingdom”.

“His Royal Highness wants to encourage greater awareness of the importance of sustainably managing the world’s forests and training and creating a network of young foresters who will manage them professionally. Forestry is about long term thinking and planning and the stability of his leadership should inspire many younger members of our profession to join his quest to sustainably managing the worlds’ forests”.

“We are fortunate to have such a prominent person as the Prince of Wales encouraging our profession and taking such a keen interest in forest management. It is critically important that we continue to train professional forest managers who have the broad range of skills that early foresters were trained for to manage our forests for production or conservation purposes. To rely on people with only specialist skills such as ecologists or botanists would be like trying to manage our health system without the General Practitioners”, said Mr de Fégely.

Mr de Fégely said, “This Prince of Wales award for sustainable forestry is to encourage engagement in and dedication to, the principles of sustainable forest management including policy, planning and practice and sound science-based land stewardship”.

Awardees must be committed to public outreach and knowledge exchange, focusing on the wise use and conservation of forests and the ecosystems that they encompass. Eligible recipients must either be a student or recent graduate and up to 30 years of age from a forestry, natural resources or environmental science university or college program, who have made outstanding contributions to their school and program, and to forest professionalism in general, within their community.

Nominations close on 30 June 2018. For further information click here.

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Soil Health Survey being undertaken

Scion are currently canvassing the opinions of a wide range of forest users, from plantation owners through to recreational users and timber/wood processors, on the importance of specific soil ecosystem services.

Given the extent of plantation forestry in New Zealand, and therefore the importance of plantation forests in New Zealand’s landscapes, we hope to obtain as many views as possible. As such, we’d appreciate it you are able to help out by completing the survey and also pass this invitation on to other people that may have an interest or viewpoint.

Because we appreciate the 10 minutes it may take to complete this survey, all who participate can go in a draw to win a $200 gift voucher. The winner of the gift voucher will be randomly selected from those participants who chose to leave a contact.

Please keep in mind this survey and our efforts are focused on soils under plantation forestry and woodlots, not native bush. We are looking for input from forest owners, forest managers, land owners, land managers, timber/wood processers, and recreational forest users (hunters, trampers and fishermen).

If you have any questions about the project or the survey, please contact Mathis Richard at, Steve Wakelin at, or Graham Coker at

We look forward to better understand what is most important to those surveyed. Thanks for your valuable input. The Soil Health team at Scion.

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Forest Enterprises expands in Gisborne

The success of the strategic alliance between forest investment manager Forest Enterprises and Gisborne-based forest services company Logic Forest Solutions, has led to an expansion of both companies in Gisborne and the mutual decision to play to their strengths independently. The alliance between the two companies formed in December 2015 was an efficient way for Forest Enterprises to manage their Gisborne harvest at the time by utilising the skills of Logic’s local team.

“Our strategic relationship with Logic has been successful, having achieved all the objectives we set for our businesses”, says Forest Enterprises CEO Bert Hughes. “It is time for each company now to focus on core business, and for Forest Enterprises this means fully engaging in the forest management functions within our estate.”

Dan Fraser was appointed to Forest Enterprises’ new executive role of Gisborne Regional Manager in 2017 to oversee the expansion of their Gisborne harvest programme. More than 210,000 tonnes are planned from the Gisborne estate in 2018, and this volume is expected to triple within four years.

Says Dan, “the Logic team are a great company and provider of contract services. For Forest Enterprises moving forward, we are best placed to add value in forest and harvest management in-house. To do that, we’ll be expanding the team at our Gisborne branch.”

Logic Forest Solutions has new opportunities in stumpage and management of small to medium-sized forests. The companies will continue to have a close working relationship, with Logic continuing to provide Forest Enterprises with ongoing technical forestry services. Forest Enterprises is obtaining new premises and has started the recruitment process for two new Gisborne-based forestry roles. Both companies have brought on new shareholders in the last year from their respective executive teams.

Source: Forest Enterprises

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Buy and Sell

...and one to end the week on ... the big hole

Two guys are walking through the woods one day when they stumble across a big deep hole.

The first guy peers into it and says, "Wow! That looks deep."

The second guy says, "It sure does. Let's throw a few pebbles in there and see how deep it is. We'll be able to tell the depth by how long it is before we hear the noise of the pebbles landing."

So they pick up a few pebbles and throw them in and wait. Nothing. There's no noise.

The first guy says, "Jeeez. That is really deep. I know, let's throw one of these great big rocks down there. Those should make a noise."

So they pick up a couple football-sized rocks and toss them into the hole and wait... and wait... Again, nothing.

They look at each other in amazement. Then the first guy gets a determined look on his face and says, "Hey, over here in the weeds, there's a railroad tie. Help me carry it over. When we toss that sucker in, it's gotta make some noise."

So, the two of them drag the heavy tie over to the hole and heave it in. Once again, not a sound comes from the hole.

Suddenly, out of the nearby woods, a goat appears, running like the wind. It rushes toward the two men, then right past them, running as fast as it's legs will carry it. Suddenly it leaps in the air and into the hole.

The two men are astonished with what they've just seen and look at each other in amazement.

Then, out of the woods comes a farmer who spots the men and ambles over. He asks them, "Hey, you two guys seen my goat out here?"

The first guy says, "You bet we did! Craziest thing I ever saw. It came running like crazy and just jumped into this hole and disappeared!"

"Nah", says the farmer, "That couldn't have been my goat. My goat was chained to a railroad tie."

And on that note, enjoy your weekend. For the Aussies, enjoy your extra day off on Monday. 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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