Friday Offcuts – 1 July 2022

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This week around 200 forestry and environmental managers along with local Council’s from across New Zealand – and further afield – met up as part of the first Environmental Forestry event run for the forestry industry. The timing was spot on as evidenced by the turnout. A number of outstanding case studies, both from larger corporate forest owners and smaller woodlot operations, were able to be shared on guidelines and innovative operating practices that have been developed and adopted to minimise the environmental impact from forest establishment, roading and wood harvesting operations. A common theme throughout the event though was the real need for the industry to improve and coordinate its messaging to the wider community on the advancements being made by forest owners and contractors to ensure that the environment – onsite and downstream - is being protected. An environmental focus was essential for the industry’s future and integral to its social license to operate. Presentations from the event will shortly be sent out to event delegates.

The pain being felt by builders and home owners, both in New Zealand and Australia right now, is well documented. It’s almost now a daily feature in local media. Higher housing starts of course mean much higher demand for lumber. Mills are all flat out. The real extent of price rises and shortages in building materials in New Zealand released this week can be viewed in the story below. We’ve also built in a story from Australia that explores in much more detail the depth and the impact of the current situation. Supply issues of course in Australia have been exasperated by the enforced and increasing cut back of logging from native forests and the significant losses that have occurred in commercial plantations as a result of the 2019-20 bush fires. There’s no easy fix in the immediate future – other than imports. The suggestion is though that the pressure won’t actually ease until at least 2023 when the pace of housing construction is expected to slow down. In the meantime, mills are expected to remain under the pump to meet this demand.

Another answer to ongoing building material shortages? A construction board that could substitute for plywood, particle board and plaster board. What’s more, it’s made with zero water, zero glues, zero chemicals and has zero VOC emissions or formaldehydes. Add to this, the product is claimed to provide up to a 90% reduction in carbon emissions compared with other construction boards. And, it appeals to the environmentalists being made from packaging waste such as used beverage cartons, soft plastics and coffee cups. Too good to be true? Not so. The first NZ factory producing saveBOARD was opened in June and a AU$5 million facility in New South Wales is scheduled to be producing the new board this year. Details on the new board and plant are contained in the story below.

And finally, we cover in this week’s issue a case study of a conversion of a large NZ dairy factory. They switched their 43-megawatt coal-fired boiler to run on wood pellets. The figures are pretty emphatic. Emissions from the boiler have been cut by 98.4 per cent – a reduction of 89,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent each year, based on the first 12 months of operations using wood pellets. The boiler’s thermal efficiency improved by approximately 4 per cent, air quality has improved, pellet deliveries has reduced truck movements and handling on the site is more automated, improving production efficiencies. Details of the full case study can be seen below. This, along with other major industrial heat plant or energy users that have switched to using biofuels, will be discussing plant conversions and more particularly, their specific wood supply requirements for those looking to supply residues as part of the upcoming Residues to Revenues 2022 event being run later this month. And that’s all for this week.

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Timber shortages expected well into 2023

If you’re building or renovating a home, and frustrated with huge delays, you’re not alone. Australia’s builders are struggling to find timber. For items such as laminated veneer lumber, they’ve reported waiting up to four months. For trusses – used to build walls and roofs – up to nine months.

Fears these shortages could send builders bust have been exaggerated, but the pain of delays and escalating price is real enough for tradies and clients. There’s no easy fix to this crisis. It has been caused by the confluence of four factors: government stimulus for the building industry; increasing reliance on imported lumber; the pressure placed on global shipping by the pandemic; and the effect of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the world market.

Government (over)stimulus

If one had to choose a specific date for when the crisis began, it would be June 3 2020 – the day the Morrison government announced its AU$688 million Homebuilder scheme. This scheme provided up to $25,000 towards building a new home or renovating an existing one. State governments also subsequently offered building grants.

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Source: BusinessNewsAustralia

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Drone planting 40,000 tree pods a day

Giant drones are the latest weapon in an ongoing "war" against the introduced African olive tree in southern Sydney.

The drones are planting out a steep ridge line in the Australian Botanic Garden at Mt Annan in Sydney's south, where 85 per cent of the highly invasive species has been cleared so far. The park's director of horticulture, John Siemon, said the aggressive woody weed had covered almost 20 per cent of the 416-hectare park before a concerted effort began to remove them.

The drones are being trialled with funds from an Australian Research Council grant as part of a study led by Western Sydney University. The start-up Air Seed claims its drones can plant up to 40,000 seeds a day, are 25 times faster and 80 per cent more cost effective than traditional planting methods.

The company hopes to raise AU$10 million in capital later this year and to be planting up to 100 million trees a year by 2024. Co-founder Andrew Walker said the 36-kilogram drones were built with off-the-shelf technology but were programmed to identify where not to plant seed pods.

A smaller sentry drone plots the landscape before seeding taking high resolution photographs and collecting data. "We use that information to identify the best places to plant, but also the places that you don't want to plant such as fallen trees, rocks, gravel, roads and so on," Mr Walker said.

"So, the algorithm creates the optimum flight path for the drone to fly and tells the drone where to plant those species." Mr Walker said Air Seed also had a patent pending on its seed pod biotechnology, which encases seeds with organic matter to improve the chances of germination.

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Source: ABC

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Coal to wood pellets – a Kiwi case study

As part of the upcoming Residues to Revenues 2022 event, large scale industrial heat or energy users Fonterra, Danone and the Canterbury District Health board will be outlining their recent major plant conversions to wood residues. Probably more importantly for those supplying or co-ordinating the harvesting and delivery of residues from local forestry or wood processing operations, they’ll be outlining what specific requirements they have as end users of woody biomass.

The programme planned to run in Rotorua on 26-27 July looks like it will be a sell-out. Registrations if keen to register for the event can still be made on the event website. Note, for those outside New Zealand, on-line virtual registrations to the event can also be booked.

Background to case study.

On 25 August 2020, Fonterra took a bold step in the use of renewable energy for milk processing at its Te Awamutu factory. A NZ$12 million investment had been completed during the prior months with numerous COVID-19 restrictions in place, to convert the site’s 43-megawatt coal-fired boiler to an entirely sustainable, renewable source of energy – locally sourced wood pellets. EECA supported this project with co-funding of NZ$200,000 through the Technology Demonstration Fund.

For the next seven months of the milk processing season the boiler ran continuously on a steady supply of wood pellets, reliably delivering 43 megawatts of steam to process 2.8 million litres of milk every day.

Benefits and insights

By switching to wood pellets and modifying the boiler to do so, the boiler’s thermal efficiency improved by approximately 4 per cent and carbon emissions from the boiler have been cut by 98.4 per cent – a reduction of 89,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per annum based on the first year of operations using wood pellets. Sulphur dioxide emissions have also been reduced.

Kevin Liao, Fonterra's Senior Energy and Utilities Engineer, was the Commissioning Manager for the project. He says the project delivers on both environmental and financial outcomes.

"The use of wood pellets has cut both the rate and concentration of particulate emissions from the plant to less than 10 per cent of the currently consented levels, which materially improves air quality and should make reconsenting much simpler in the future," he said. Additionally, whereas coal ash contains toxic chemicals, the organic wood pellets create an organic ash stream that is rich in potassium. "This potassium is a valuable nutrient used to make potash which we are assessing for it to be recycled as a natural fertiliser for use on Fonterra farms," he said.

Kevin Liao said the Fonterra fuel switching project was a case study with much wider application for other energy intensive industries across the economy looking to cut carbon emissions and increase operating efficiency.

"The new fuel supply chain has been smooth and reliable thanks to a long-term supply contract with wood pellet manufacturer, Nature’s Flame. "Changes required to the actual boiler itself were relatively modest. The main focus has been on boosting fan capacity in the boiler to increase combustion, improvements to the exhaust stack to capture fine particulates and covering the fuel reception area to keep the wood pellets dry. "Unlike coal, wood pellets are hydrophilic and do not perform well when wet."

Operationally there have been a number of efficiency benefits in switching from coal to wood pellets. Whereas coal has approximately 30 per cent moisture content, the pellets contain just 10 per cent. As a result, the plant used to require seven to eight truck deliveries per day for coal, and now requires five to six for wood pellets.

The pellets are more uniform in size than coal, enabling delivery into the boiler to be more automated and consistent. Adjustments were required to conveyor belts carrying the pellets and a solution was required to manage additional dust from the pellets.

Looking to the future

Kevin Liao said while the fuel switching project stacked up commercially from the time it was commissioned, increasing carbon prices would increasingly advantage the wood pellet plant. He said that additionally, the long-term domestic wood pellet supply chain looks positive as more and more forestry is being developed both to absorb carbon and deliver for the timber market.

As the world becomes increasingly concerned about climate change and the environmental impacts of the products they consume, Fonterra’s Te Awamutu project has shown what can be achieved with the right vision and commitment. The plant is setting new environmental standards in a sector that has traditionally been viewed as difficult to shift to renewable energy sources. In doing so, it’s also future proofing the plant and delivering better economic performance for shareholders.

The full case study can be viewed here

Source: EECA

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Komatsu Forest to acquire Bracke Forest

Komatsu Forest AB, a wholly owned subsidiary of Komatsu is going to acquire Bracke Forest AB headquartered in Bräcke, Sweden, a company that develops, manufactures and sells application-specific attachments for silviculture.

Komatsu is planning to close the acquisition on 1 July 2022 on the condition that all necessary procedures for closing are completed. The impact on Komatsu’s consolidated business results is estimated to be minimal.

Tree planting is expected to expand worldwide for lumber production and environmental concerns, such as the promotion of carbon neutrality. At the same time, the need for mechanization is growing, especially because tree planting is labour-intensive work, with an increase in planting in remote areas, and a decrease in the workforce.

With extensive know-how of silviculture over the years, Bracke develops, manufactures, and sells application-specific attachments for use in silviculture processes. Since 2014, Bracke and Komatsu have engaged in joint development by sharing respective technologies and experience accumulated over the years, respectively in forest and construction machines.

Komatsu will continue to incorporate Bracke’s technologies and expertise in the field of planting in order to accelerate its pace of mechanization of all processes other than harvesting and forwarding, which have already been mechanized. Komatsu will work to generate synergy for smart forestry and provide higher value-added products in order to enhance the safety and productivity of customers’ jobsite operations and make carbon-neutral contributions.

Source: Komatsu, Bracke

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saveBOARD construction board plant officially opens

The Te Rapa factory of New Zealand company saveBOARD, which converts packaging waste into environmentally sustainable construction boards, has been officially opened by Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate and Hamilton West MP Dr Gaurav Sharma.

Mayor Southgate said she was delighted Hamilton had been chosen as the base for an innovative technology that addressed both an environmental issue by reducing waste to landfill and a building supply issue by turning that waste into a certified, safe and low carbon construction board.

saveBOARD Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Paul Charteris said the factory started producing saleable product on 21 November 2021 and since 10 January it has been operating 24 hours a day, three days per week producing 400 boards a day and diverting up to 4,000 tonnes of waste from landfill annually. The company plans to ramp the factory up to six days per week as demand increases. The factory has created new jobs with more expected as the project grows.

Mr Charteris said New Zealand builders can now replace plywood, particle board and plaster board, with saveBOARD’s low carbon, environmentally sustainable construction boards made from packaging waste such as used beverage cartons, soft plastics and coffee cups. saveBOARD has funding and support from industry leaders Freightways, Tetra Pak and Closed Loop Solutions which will provide recycled material as well as transport and logistics solutions.

The saveBOARD production process uses heat and compression to bond materials, eliminating the need for glues or other chemical additives. saveBOARD is made with zero water, zero glues, zero chemicals and has zero VOC emissions or formaldehydes. The product provides up to a 90% reduction in carbon emissions compared with other construction boards. saveBOARD has put in systems in place to recover offcuts and end of life boards to be remanufactured into new board products, providing a zero waste to landfill solution.

The technology to turn waste into high performance building material was developed in the United States where it has been widely used for more than a decade. The product was chosen by Tesla as the membrane roof substrate for its 200,000m2 gigafactory in Nevada. The Tesla roof equates to upcycling 2,000 tonnes of composite plastics and saves 336,000 kgs of embodied CO2 compared to using plywood.

Mr Charteris said saveBOARD had received a A$1.74 million grant from the Australian and New South Wales Governments towards setting up a A$5 million facility in New South Wales that is scheduled to be in production this year.

More information about saveBOARD is available at

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Building costs going through the roof

Life is difficult at the moment for builders and their customers in New Zealand.

Building products are scarce as hen’s teeth, and if you do find what you want, the price has gone through the roof. It's almost enough to make you want to up sticks and cross the Tasman. Here are some numbers to illustrate the damage.

21. The average cost of building a standard three-bedroom home in a New Zealand city has risen 21% in the past year, according to QV CostBuilder. Earlier this month the construction cost database provider released its latest pricing update, for the end of April, and warned that prices would keep rising. Between April and the end of 2021, the average cost of reinforcing steel jumped 29%, metalwork was up by 18%, external works were up 11%, and piling and excavation costs were up 11%.

15. Placemakers is planning a 15% increase in the price of framing timber next month, according to a price list seen by Stuff. The price of bagged concrete is set to rise 10%, steel reinforcing will go up 8%, and glass wool insulation prices will rise between 7.5% and 10%. And that’s just July’s scheduled increases – in August, MDF prices will rise 6%, and wet wall linings will go up 7.5%. But wait, there's more – in September, you can kiss cheaper longrun roofing goodbye as the price increases 10%.

18. Looming price rises build on already steep increases last year. Stats NZ said the price of plywood sheets went up 18% over 2021. At the same time, the price of some tools jumped 43%. Supply chain issues and staffing shortages, partly due to Covid-19 and other illness, continue to cause havoc.

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Source: Stuff

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First AI-enabled carbon offsets for native NZ forests

New Zealand's first voluntary carbon credit marketplace, Carbonz (pronounced carbon zee), is here to restore native biodiversity and help Aotearoa reach its carbon zero goals by selling the first carbon credits exclusively from native forest.

Climate change PhD candidate Finn Ross is the founder of Carbonz. He says the foundation of the business is rooted in allowing Kiwi businesses and investors to maximise the impact of their carbon offsets via supporting native forest.

“There is currently little liquidity in the New Zealand marketplace for carbon credits. Typically, carbon credits are sold in large blocks via the Emissions Trading Scheme with infrequent trades,” says Finn.

“The existing Emissions Trading Scheme for carbon offset purchases is not well set up for kiwis hoping to support regeneration of native forests. It’s made for foresters with pine monoculture plantations. Carbonz is for kiwis who want to see more native forests being restored in Aotearoa.”

Carbonz is the country’s first voluntary carbon credit marketplace for tradable credits that can be traced right back to the source. Each credit is equivalent to one tonne of carbon dioxide.

Carbonz is partnering with CarbonCrop to bring buyers and sellers of native carbon credits together. CarbonCrop, a New Zealand company that uses artificial intelligence to measure the carbon sequestration of regenerating native forest on private farmland, has this week launched Native CarbonCrop Units (CCU).

These recognise native carbon sequestration outside of the Emissions Trading Scheme, giving landholders easy access to a new income stream and providing brands a new source of high-integrity carbon offsets dedicated to native forest.

CarbonCrop CEO, Jo Blundell (pictured), is excited to launch Native CarbonCrop Units and give landholders a new way to earn revenue from native regeneration on their properties.

“Partnering with Carbonz means we can connect our landholders with buyers of carbon offsets who care about native forest and want confidence in the origin of the offsets they purchase. Collectively, these efforts will incentivise the restoration of native forest across New Zealand in addition to offsetting carbon emissions.”

Carbonz is selling voluntary carbon credits certified by CarbonCrop, as well as New Zealand Units (NZUs), the carbon credits used by the Emissions Trading Scheme, sourced from native forests. Businesses, investors and individuals can purchase carbon credits through the platform to not only offset a carbon footprint, but also as an investment.

“With the carbon market building momentum across the globe, now is the time for traceable carbon credits that celebrate native biodiversity regeneration. We are proud to be providing this to Kiwis,” adds Finn.

“Carbon markets are currently gate kept in New Zealand and most Kiwis don’t understand how credits work or their ability to access and trade them. All Kiwis can get on the carbon credit train by making small purchases, you don’t need to be a large corporation contributing tens of thousands of dollars.”

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For further coverage on this initiative click here.

STOP PRESS. One day after the Carbonz website publicly launched to sell carbon credits to businesses and consumers, trading was paused. At least NZ$140,000 of carbon credits had been sold in pre-launch sales.

The carbon credits issued by CarbonCrop did not require landowners to do anything differently – likely breaching the standards of the wider offset industry. The companies behind the product are now seeking input from the government and industry.

Under decades-old standards, forest owners can only earn and sell carbon offsets if they undertake new action, such as planting seedlings or introducing pest control. But owners issued CarbonCrop credits were not required to meet this bar.

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Forestry centre stage at Good Employer Awards

Tāne Mahuta NZ Ltd have made the forestry industry proud, taking out the Māori Agribusiness Award at New Zealand’s 2022 Primary Industries Good Employer Awards this week. The Bay of Plenty based contractors were also finalists for the Supreme Award.

Hosted by MPI, the Good Employer Awards are a time to celebrate their passion towards supporting employees by putting their health, welfare and wellbeing first. Tāne Mahuta NZ Ltd directors Wini and Simon Geddes were in attendance to accept their award for Māori Agribusiness, recognising employers who drive good employment practices.

Speaking about their win, Simon and Wini said: “We congratulate the Tane Mahuta team in making this achievement possible. From our Rangatahi Kaimahi in the Ngahere to the Administration team supporting each one of us. They are the testament of what can be achieved by believing in the Kaupapa.”

With more than 45 years of expertise in the forestry sector, Tāne Mahuta’s kaupapa (purpose) is to “train, qualify, and employ rangatahi (young people) to work on their own whenua (land).” In 2014, the company launched a youth-focused programme for rangatahi who were not only unemployed but also facing major social issues including drug addiction, criminal activity, violence, and relationship breakdown with whānau, hapū, and marae.

The programme has successfully reduced psychosocial issues that affected the ability of rangatahi to be employed and engage in healthy, positive whānau, and community activities and relationships. To date, Tāne Mahuta have trained, qualified, and employed over 450 rangatahi.

Forest Industry Contractors Association CEO Prue Younger says it’s awesome to see one of its members doing forestry proud. “Tāne Mahuta have got their people at the forefront of their business, and it shows in the results they’ve achieved through their innovative programmes,” says Ms Younger.

“It’s great to see have this positive forestry story on the national stage – they deserve all the recognition and FICA congratulates directors Wini and Simon for doing us proud.”

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Applications open for NZIF Awards

Applications are invited for the awards and scholarships offered by the NZIF Foundation for 2022. The total value of awards offered is NZ$24,700.

The awards open for application are:

• A Future Forest Scholarship for post graduate research of up to NZ$10,000
• The New Zealand Redwood Company Scholarship of NZ$5,000 for an undergraduate scholarship at the University of Canterbury School Forestry
• One or more Otago Southland Awards up to a combined total of NZ$5,200 to assist a project or projects of relevance to forestry in the Otago/Southland region
• A Mary Sutherland Scholarship of NZ$1,000 for a polytechnic student
• A University Undergraduate Scholarship of NZ$1,000
• A Frank Hutchinson Postgraduate scholarship of NZ$1,000
• Student poster prizes at NZIF Conference (1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes of NZ$800, NZ$500 and NZ$200)

Applications are now open. Further details and an application form are available on the Foundation web page.

Applications must be received by the Foundation administrator ( no later than 5pm on Monday 22nd August 2022. The awards will be announced at the Awards Dinner at the NZ Institute of Forestry conference being held in Auckland from 11th to 13th September 2022.

Enquires to the Foundation( or phone +64 4 974 8421.

Source: NZIF

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Fed Farmers struggling with the law and arithmetic

The NZ Forest Owners Association says Federated Farmers have got their sums wrong on the rate of forest planting and don’t understand the law on overseas investment either.

FOA is responding to claims made by Federated Farmers to Parliament’s Finance and Expenditure Select Committee that the rate of conversion of farmland to exotic forestry ‘will far exceed what the Climate Change Commission projected as a sustainable amount (25,000ha/yr)’ and that will reduce employment in rural communities.

Forest Owners Association President, Grant Dodson, says Federated Farmers own figures, which are between 2017 and mid-2021, produce an average new planting of 22,244ha/yr. “My arithmetic tells me that just over 22-thousand hectares is actually less than 25-thousand hectares,” Grant Dodson says, “It does not ‘far exceed’ it.”

“Moreover, it now appears that the government has abandoned its unrealistic goal of planting native trees at a similar rate. This will require a higher yearly planting rate for exotics close to 30-thousand hectares to still hit the zero-carbon target by 2050.”

Grant Dodson also points to the official statistics of the total planted forest area in New Zealand. In 2003 it was 1.827m/ha. The latest figure, 2021, is 1.74m/ha. “Using my maths again, I work out that the forest estate is 87-thousand hectares less now than it was in 2003. The area of plantation forest has actually shrunk.”

FOA is also drawing attention to the clear law that prevents overseas investors buying farmland for conversion to carbon-only forestry. “Federated Farmers are complaining to a select committee about carbon-only forests which has nothing to do with the legislation under consideration.”

“Overseas investors have to cover the cost of planting and managing their forests in strict accordance with the National Environmental Standards – Plantation Forestry, which governs a harvest rotation regime. There is simply no permission regime for overseas owned permanent carbon- only forests”.

“The Feds are inventing scenarios of an incredibly high price of carbon way into the future leading to those forests never being harvested. If that ever gets to happen it could only be the result of catastrophic failure of government policy to get greenhouse gas emissions down and consequent overreliance on forests to sequester carbon.”

“Federated Farmers are complaining that forestry is making it more difficult to attract shearing gangs on to farms. It is a strange claim. I suspect the decline in the national wool clip has much more to do with the low price of wool and farmers making their choice to farm alternative stock.”

“It would be good if farmers were also left alone to choose whether to plant trees on their land as well. Diversified farms, incorporating livestock and areas of trees for commercial harvest and carbon will be a win for the farmers and the environment we all care for.”

“Let’s focus on getting a win -win scenario for both land uses which should be complimentary and put aside bogus claims and incorrect statistics.”

Source: Forest Owners Association

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Maersk to launch NZ coastal shipping service

Shipping giant Maersk is launching a dedicated New Zealand coastal service to help strengthen the supply chain and improve vessel schedule reliability. It’s the first time the company has offered such a service in the country following 25 years of operation here. The service, Maersk Coastal Connect, will begin on 12 July operated with New Zealand crew.

Two 2500 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent container) vessels, Maersk Nadi and Maersk Nansha, will be deployed visiting ports in Timaru, Nelson and Tauranga on a weekly basis and Auckland and Nelson fortnightly. It aims to enhance domestic connection and offer sustainable and flexible supply chain solutions for importers, exporters and domestic distributors. The combined capacity will reach 250,000 TEU each year, the company says.

Maersk Oceania managing director Henrik Jensen says COVID-19 has driven the need for more resilience in the local and global supply chains. “By operating two dedicated vessels, we can position empty containers to the right places more efficiently to meet export requirements.

“At the same time, we are enabling more than four days of additional schedule buffer to reduce impact from the supply chain disruptions, including port congestion, tidal windows, swell, lower port productivity and longer port stay. This will ensure smooth connections to our international mainliner network and benefit more than 2000 cargo owners in the country,” Jensen says.

The new service comes on top of the announcement of Government funding support for four other operators to introduce new coastal shipping services.

Source: Transport Talk

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NZ’s largest mass timber office building planned

Tauranga City Council’s new office building at 90 Devonport Road is set to be the largest mass timber office building in New Zealand and will target a net zero carbon footprint for the building’s construction process.

Property development and investment company Willis Bond has worked alongside Warren and Mahoney architects to design the 10,000sqm building, which uses engineered timber in place of most traditional concrete and steel elements, with a view to reducing embodied carbon – carbon emitted through the manufacturing, transportation and installation of building materials and components – to its lowest possible point.

The building also features rainwater harvesting, electric vehicle charging and facilities that encourage active transport options. The building is targeting the highest 6 Green Star - Design and As-Built NZv1.0 – Design Review Rating, demonstrating world leadership in sustainability.

Willis Bond Executive Chair Mark McGuinness says the project sets a new precedent for innovative and sustainable building design in New Zealand. “Our goal is always to keep as much carbon in the ground as possible and to walk with a light footprint. What makes this project unique is the scale at which we’ve been able to achieve this,” Mark says.

Commission Chair Anne Tolley says sustainable outcomes were front of mind when considering a new, purpose-built office space. “We wanted to push the boundaries to design a wholly-sustainable, future-focused workplace which maximises the use of natural materials, such as the exposed timber columns which celebrate the uniqueness of the building,” says Anne.

Construction of the building is expected to commence in late-2022 and be completed before the end of 2024.

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Pine pollen offers high-value opportunity

Pine pollen containing a rare natural source of plant-based testosterone could prove a goldmine for New Zealand’s forestry sector.

Pine Pollen New Zealand Limited, trading under the name Bio Gold, has received NZ$288,500 in Government funding through the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund (SFF Futures) to lay the foundations for a pine pollen industry in New Zealand.

“Pine pollen has been consumed for health and wellbeing in China, South Korea and Japan for more than 3000 years,” says Bio Gold founder Carl Meyer. “It’s been found to contain a naturally occurring testosterone, and lately there’s been a new wave of interest from the natural health industry in the United States and Canada.”

Common reasons for taking pine pollen as a dietary supplement include to support energy levels, hormonal balance, immune function, and overall wellbeing.

“We’ve furthered our research and development work for the past 18 months with the help of SFF Futures funding to understand how the biochemistry of New Zealand pine pollen differs in relation to factors such as species, genetics, location, and more. We’ve also compared our pollen to that from overseas – and it’s looking very promising,” says Mr Meyer.

“We’ve spent years working out which specific type of Pinus radiata yields the best pollen – it’s not a matter of using any old pine tree,” says Mr Meyer. “It’s very complex, and you’ve got to really know what you’re doing. Safety and quality are our top priorities.” Mr Meyer says the final product is expensive because the seasonal window for pine pollen is often less than three weeks.

“Our pollen is currently harvested near Hanmer Springs and Kaikōura from trees on land owned and operated by Ngāi Tahu Forestry. However, we’re also open to exploring additional partnerships with other forest owners across New Zealand, as well as connecting with entrepreneurs, investors, and health companies to help scale things up. We encourage people to reach out to us.

“Callaghan Innovation has helped us with our research, including providing funding for a top Master’s student to investigate biochemistry and extraction on an even deeper level. The University of Canterbury has also assisted with harvesting trials, and we’re developing technology that’s able to do large-scale harvesting.”

Bio Gold has developed two prototype products so far. One is a concentrated liquid ‘Supercharge’ extract to support energy levels, sports and exercise performance, libido, and vitality. The other is a raw powder that can be added to smoothies and drinks for overall wellbeing.

For more information, please visit

Source: Ministry For Primary Industries

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Buy and Sell

... and one to end the week on ... out for dinner

So it's Saturday evening and David said to his wife Jan: "Lets go out to eat tonight."

Jan came back with the classic, "I have nothing to wear." reply.

So David said to her: "Just wear what you had on the last time we went out darling, you looked beautiful!"

So there they were in their local Chinese restaurant, David in jeans and a T shirt, and Jan in her wedding dress!

One more. Three friends from the local congregation were asked, "When you're in your casket, and friends and congregation members are mourning over you, what would you like them to say?"

Artie said, "I would like them to say I was a wonderful husband, a fine spiritual leader, and a great family man."

Eugene commented, "I would like them to say I was a wonderful teacher and servant of God who made a huge difference in people's lives.."

Al said, "I'd like them to say, 'Look, he's moving!'"

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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