Friday Offcuts – 8 July 2022

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It’s a perfect storm out there right for employers looking to attract workers. For New Zealand (and it’s a similar situation across in Australia right now), there are far fewer school leavers as a percentage of the total population. We’ve got a rapidly ageing population and there’s a greater desire, particularly after the last few Covid years, from more people looking to retire early. With closed borders we’ve got far fewer immigrants coming in to help out. There’s also a mass exodus of young people who’re booking flights, after 2-3 years of being locked down. They’re heading offshore to travel, to take advantage of labour shortages to gain their own offshore work experience and of course, better pay. Foreign employers are also reportedly now to be picking off New Zealand workers.

In our lead story this week Warwick Quinn from Te Pūkenga describes the situation as being “on the edge of a demographic cliff”. In Australia, as seen by this week's SnapSTAT graph, job vacancies have soared. The reality is, we can’t ‘solve’ the skills shortage by going back to those traditional pools of people that we’ve targeted before. Those pools are now too small. Warwick is suggesting that to comprehensively address the skills shortage, employers must fundamentally broaden their thinking about who’s targeted for vocational education and training...and how it is that we go about training them. The good news is ... we do have options. Check out the link to the full article below.

For an insight into what’s happening with NZ log exports this month, the team at Forest360 have provided a timely update. With some of the lowest log export prices recorded in June for several years now, the toll’s being felt on an already financially stretched contractor workforce. There are stories now of harvesting and log cartage contractors looking to exit the industry permanently. Slight increases in export pricing have been seen but production in July in NZ is likely be weaker than June with woodlot jobs finishing and crews that have nowhere to go. August supply into China is expected to be decidedly average, as will September. The full commentary can be read below.

On the fire front, new published research (link supplied) shows that fire seasons are getting longer around the world – especially in Australia. The new study shows that, between 1979 and 2019, annual fire seasons have become an average of 14 days longer. In Australia, the fire season has increased from 100 days per year to 130 days per year. There’s also been a 56% increase in extreme fire weather days. Recent research has found that not only has the number of megafires in Australia spiked since 2000, but a greater expanse of land is being burnt, and they’re happening more and more in autumn and winter. Warnings have also been given that we should be preparing for another severe fire season in the summer of 2022/23.

And another new research report (link supplied) updates our knowledge on wildfire risk in New Zealand and the impact of climate change. Highly detailed climate model simulations have found that for many regions across the country, climate change is predicted to increase the wildfire risk substantially, with an increase in the frequency, severity and season length of fire weather conditions through until at least mid-century, regardless of climate mitigation efforts. And from North America, textile and forestry experts have together been developing new “Fire Shelters”, different to many of the earlier fire-resistant shelters that are being used, to help protect firefighters caught in the middle of fast-moving wildfires. Check out the video coverage below. And, that’s it for this week.

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Demographics deliver a ‘perfect storm’

Demographics tell a powerful story and right now, a perfect storm is brewing.

In the past, school leavers were funnelled through New Zealand’s vocational training system, a traditional ‘next step’ into adulthood. Our offering was far from perfect but as a sector, we dutifully churned out some of the skilled workers our employers and our economy needed. Each year, thousands of young people would emerge newly qualified and eager to take a job.

Those days have gone. Demographically, New Zealand has far fewer school leavers as a percentage of our population and the situation gets worse from 2023 onwards so will not change any time soon. Coinciding with that, we have a rapidly ageing population and a greater desire from more people to retire early.

On top of that, enter Covid-19. Closing our borders meant our access to immigrants stopped overnight. There is now some easing of that, but the change will take time to filter through and it is unlikely we will see the same numbers of international students as before, or indeed, the same numbers of immigrants in New Zealand workplaces.

Meanwhile, with borders now opening our own young people who may previously have entered vocational education and training are at risk of bolting, heading off on their rite of passage, the ‘Great OE’. Those who remain are having no trouble finding full employment, conscious no doubt of forecast economic hardship ahead.

Combined, these measures paint a challenging picture for NZ Inc and our sectors, given almost every employer in New Zealand is already struggling to find staff, and given we are only on the edge of our demographic cliff. The reality is, we can’t ‘solve’ the skills shortage by going back to those traditional pools of people we have targeted before – those pools are now too small.

Our challenge – and our opportunity – is to work together to fundamentally broaden our thinking about who we offer vocational training to, and how best we should do that. We need to unbundle and repackage what we have to offer so it better meets learner and employer needs. Finding a workforce In the last month, New Zealand has seen a new unified funding system launched for vocational education that is heavily weighted in terms of work-based and work-integrated learning at the expense of classroom learning. Put simply, it means more emphasis on people upskilling while at work or embedding real industry problems in an academic curriculum that learners and employers work collectively on.

Te Pūkenga supports this approach, given 60 percent of vocational learning is undertaken in the workplace. Our challenge is to continue to work alongside employers to provide as much support as we can. We recognise the effort and investment of employers is a key step in growing and supporting a highly skilled workforce. But before we can train a new workforce, we need to find people keen and able to be involved.

With a diminishing supply of school leavers, our traditional approaches to recruitment may no longer deliver what New Zealand needs. We must consider how to attract those people into vocational education and training who might not have previously been involved. We need to think differently, and in many instances, offer something different to make it easier for firms to train people more productively and more quickly. We need a much more nimble and agile system in order to respond to the workforce challenges we will face over coming decades.

The good news is ... we do have options.

For the full story click here.

Photo: Warwick Quinn
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Forest360 NZ log export market update

June is never a fun month in this game. We’re generally kidding ourselves that it’s going to be a dry winter or that we’ve had enough rain already and there can’t be much left, a bit like Jacinda hoping the covid debt is going to miraculously disappear.

To top it off, June is generally the lowest point for export prices as China construction historically slows during the hot season and the log inventory hangover from Chinese New Year celebrations gets a cocaine hit with a slug of volume arriving from the last of the NZ summer production peak. This year was no different and we’re all happy to see June dead and buried with the lowest export log prices for several years taking its toll on an already financially stretched contractor workforce.

Most of us have been able to secure longer term export contracts at prices around the 3-year average to protect the baseline volume of our clients, however, this is at lower volume levels which means harvesting and cartage contractors must reduce production to levels generally below breakeven.

While there’s nothing new in the cyclical nature of the forest industry (it is a commodity trade after all) this time the cycle is more painful with the effects of fuel costs, staff illness and a couple of covid lockdowns thrown in the mix. Due to the lack of reliable labour and continued focus on health and safety, more people are in cabs rather than wielding chainsaws. This mechanisation of our industry and the resulting capital investment and debt loading of many of these businesses is eyewatering.

What was a medium sized ground-based crew with a capital cost of $2M five years ago is now a high production fully mechanised crew with a capital cost of over double that now. As equity doesn’t just magic itself into a business, many of these operators have debt to equity ratios that would even make Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae squirm. That’s all good when you can keep the volume pumping through the system in a consistent manner and fuel producing countries don’t start lobbing missiles at their neighbours, not to mention someone eating a bat from a wet market.

There’s been plenty of discussion around the traps from harvesting and cartage contractors who have had enough and are looking to exit the industry permanently. Some won’t have a choice, but the luckier (read higher equity) ones will. A quick search on Trademe shows this is a reality and, although most finance companies understand the game they’ve invested in, there comes a time when they have to clear the carparks for the influx of machinery being returned.

July export prices have seen some slight increases with A grade generally in the early to mid-$110 range per cubic metre which, although a welcome increase, is like being happy with Omicron when you thought you might get Delta. The CFR price in China (sales price in $US landed in China) has eroded slightly through June and is currently in the high $US140’s to early $US150’s/m3, a reduction of around $US30 from April.

To read this week’s full commentary, click here.

Source: Forest360

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Bioenergy is the solution for keeping lights on

The lack of electricity supply security because of thermal generation plant unavailability reinforces the importance of the need for an integrated Energy Strategy in New Zealand. Greater use of bioenergy and biofuels which are storable energy forms would ensure that electricity supply can be optimised says the Bioenergy Association.

Brian Cox, Executive officer of the Bioenergy Association says that “the news that Transpower had to declare an electricty supply emergency situation indicates a significant weakness in the energy market if there is too much reliance on electricity for decarbonisation. Electricity should only be used for where it is the ideal option. Not only is bioenergy and biofuels a long term sustainable source of storable energy, with sound forward planning it is available everywhere. Recent work has shown that there can be adequate biomass available to meet demand for biofuels.”

Cox said that “Bioenergy from wood chip and pellets uses technology which is proven and off the shelf so doesn’t need research and is quick to install. It can often be a drop-in fuel as Fonterra has shown at its Te Awamutu milk processing facility where conversion from coal to wood pellets was able to be done quickly and with minimal capital expenditure (as covered in last week's issue).”

“Renewable diesel can be used to firm electricty supply. Renewable diesel is also a drop-in fuel so can be used immediately in existing vehicle engines with no need to replace the vehicle, unlike for electrity and hydrogen. We could have Kiwirail on a low emissions fuel within months with no need to replace engines or build infrastructure. It is assessed that the fuel cost premium of using renewable diesel would be less than the Government and vehicle owners are spending on electrification of transport, so if Government were serious about decarbonisation it would investigate this option.”

“Government’s new focus on using organic wastes to produce beneficial products, such as energy and biofertiliser, would also allow production of biomethane which can augment our declining natural gas reserves.”

Cox said that “The growing shortages of electricity show New Zealand is going to have to embark on a large new power station building programme and that will push the cost of electricity up so decarbonisation using electricty will not be cheap. The alternative is that biomass is already available and otherwise being left on the forest floor or exported. In addition, farm forestry has enormous potential for providing biomass for energy and improving land management. This will also increase employment and ensure that we transition to a more sustainable agriculture with consequences for improved sustainable world trade.”

Source: Bioenergy Association of NZ

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Increased wildfire risk for New Zealand projected

Climate change modelling predicts that New Zealand will become hotter and drier, creating conditions that will increase both the frequency and severity of wildfire events.

A new report titled Adapting and mitigating wildfire risk due to climate change: extending knowledge and best practice, updates our knowledge on wildfire risk for New Zealand and the effect of climate change. It has been released by Scion’s Rural Fire Research Team and Dr Nathanael Melia, Victoria University of Wellington’s adjunct senior research fellow at the National Climate Change Research Institute and director of Climate Prescience.

Highly detailed climate model simulations in the research describe future wildfire danger projections in every 5x5 kilometre grid cell across the country. This has found that for many regions, climate change is predicted to increase the wildfire risk substantially, with an increase in the frequency, severity and season length of fire weather conditions through until at least mid-century, regardless of climate mitigation efforts.

Scion general manager for Forests and Landscapes, Dr Tara Strand, says the risk of wildfire is higher in some parts of the country than others, depending on climate patterns and how densely populated an area is. “Concerningly, the study showed conditions that led to the devastating ‘Black Summer’ fires in Australia during 2019-2020, already occasionally occur in parts of Central Otago, but could become much more frequent with climate change, occurring every three to 20 years in some Mackenzie Country, Central Otago and Marlborough areas,” Dr Strand says.

The Pukaki and Lake Ōhau fires in 2020 are a devastating reminder of the damaging effects of wildfire events and highlighted the importance of effective fire management planning and tools. The Pukaki fire burned over 3,000 ha and the Lake Ōhau fire burned 5,000 ha and destroyed 48 houses.

Residents living in Mt Iron, a community between Wānaka and Albert Town, 70km from Lake Ōhau, took part in focus groups and interviews in a detailed case study led by senior social scientist Lisa Langer from the Scion Rural Fire Research Team. This focused on the rural-urban interface where residential houses are right next to, or mixed with, rural vegetation.

The study identified both individual and collective actions that need to be taken in their community to mitigate wildfire risk. These included having a designated evacuation route, clearing vegetation and having an early warning system for residents. Some issues were outside of the control of residents, such as restrictions to remove protected native kānuka vegetation around their properties and access for fire trucks on the same one-way evacuation routes for residents.

“The research team worked with local representatives from Fire and Emergency NZ (FENZ), Queenstown Lakes District Council, Emergency Management Otago, Department of Conservation, and the Wānaka Community Board. Following on from this research these agencies have collectively established a Mt Iron Wildfire Risk Reduction Project with community involvement to help support the evaluation and implementation of risk reduction actions.”

Additionally, Dr Strand says the research team reviewed preparations that individuals and communities living in high-risk areas can implement. “In order to provide advice for homeowners to prepare themselves and their homes to reduce their risk from wildfire, best-practice mitigation recommendations from New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States were reviewed,” Dr Strand explains.

Queenstown Lakes District Council risk and resilience manager, Bill Nicoll, says “this research has played an instrumental role in helping to establish risk awareness and collaborative planning for the Mt Iron community. The team has helped shed new light on the status of current preparedness and it has identified key areas of focus where mitigation and readiness initiatives will be of most benefit.”

To read the full report, fire technology transfer note summary and list of mitigation recommendations for homeowners and communities, visit:

Photo: An example of the rural-urban interface. In the 2017 Port Hills wildfire, 14 houses were destroyed or significantly damaged and over 450 households were evacuated

Source: Scion

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SnapSTAT - Australian job vacancies soar

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ActivAcre launched for Tasmanian agroforestry

A first-of-its-kind Tasmanian program incentivising northern farmers to grow trees on their farms launched this week. The ActivAcre Program sees farmers lease part of their less productive land in return for a reliable, annual income. In addition to increasing the productivity of existing farm activities, the program aims to enhance environmental outcomes such as climate change mitigation and improving biodiversity, soil conservation and water quality.

The program is being managed by Tasmanian-owned plantation and natural assets management company SFM, which currently employs 25 staff and manages over 50,000 hectares of plantation resources across southern Australia. As part of the initiative, ActivAcre and SFM will plant new trees on under-utilised farming land, to create a regular income for farmers enabling them to share in the benefits of both timber and carbon markets.

Managing Director of SFM, Andrew Morgan said ActivAcre had been co-created with a group of farmers to enable trees to be integrated within the agriculture landscape in a manner that works for them. “In developing the program with farmers, we identified there was between 10-20 per cent of unproductive farmland in Tasmania. We need to consider ways to maximise the productivity of all land without negative environmental or social impacts,” he said.

“This requires a level of flexibility that enables landowners to have trees in their landscape that won’t impact other farming pursuits, in fact, it’ll enhance them. With climate change and the growing future demand for timber in Australia, we need programs like this which are flexible in nature and strive to partner with landowners and the community – the right tree in the right place for the right reasons.”

Underpinning ActivAcre is Sydney-headquartered New Forests, a global investment manager of nature-based real assets and natural capital strategies who developed the program over a period of two years, using its experience in managing forestry within agricultural landscapes for sustainable production.

New Forests’ Chief Executive Officer David Brand said one of the core objectives of ActivAcre was to partner with farmers and landowners so they can contribute to, and share in the rewards of, a decarbonising economy. “New Forests vision is to see investment in land use and forestry as key to the transition to a sustainable future, and we see programs like ActivAcre being an integral component of this,” he said.

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Australian Pine Log Price Index report released

The latest Australian Pine Log Price Index for the July to December 2021 period has just been released. The Australian Pine Log Price Index is compiled by KPMG using data provided by Australian softwood growers. The Index documents changes in pine log prices achieved by large-scale commercial plantation owners selling common grades of plantation softwood logs to domestic processors.

KPMG updates the Index biannually, with the two reporting periods being January to June and July to December. The Index has a base period of January to June 1998. KPMG acts as the independent Index manager and collects confidential data on log volumes and stumpage values for all sales, including long and short-term contracts and spot transactions, at the end of each reporting period. Quantity information on export sawlogs and export pulpwood is also provided.

This report presents a summary of the results of the Index report released for the period 1 July to 31 December 2021. The findings in this report are based on data provided by Forestry Corporation of NSW, HVP Plantations, Forest Products Commission and OneFortyOne Plantations.

The report is attached here for your information.

Source: KPMG

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Hyne Timber’s 140 Years celebrated

As a salute to Hyne Timber’s 140 years, long standing timber industry stakeholders recently came together for a grand luncheon at the Brisbane Tattersalls Club. Representing Hyne Timber and the Hyne family, Optimisation Lead Kelly Hyne was invited to give a short speech including thanking the organisers, Jim Bowden and Dr Gary Bacon. She proudly recognised the 140-year milestone, while sharing some of her fond memories as well as challenges over the years.

“Reaching this milestone of 140 years is incredible and something I am extremely proud to be a part of. This is a year for my family to reflect on our ancestry, the trials and tribulations through wars, floods, financial crisis, bushfires, and pandemics”.

“More importantly, 2022 is our year to celebrate 140 years of growth, innovation, and sustainability, all of which, could not have been done without the support and hard work of our team members, including those who have come before us, key stakeholders, and industry supporters.

“Personally, I have lived and breathed timber for as long as I can remember. As a young child, my father, Chris Hyne used to pilot my siblings and I in a small plane to visit our sawmills out west. My father was there for work, we were there to explore; sawmills quickly becoming our playground, getting lost in the intrigue and adventure”.

“We’d go on family walks through rain forests where my father would point out the various species, explain their identifying features, making a bit of a game of it, to entertain us along the way. We’d enjoy hearing many stories of old, such as how my grandfather, Lambert Hyne used to send his young son, Uncle Warren, down the railway line to spy on barges arriving at the then Wilson Hart sawmill”.

“To this day, sawmill banter often gets a workout around the dining table, to the point where my mother proclaims, ‘ok, enough sawdust, change of topic please. By the age of 17, I was working for Hyne doing relief work during school holidays at Head office in Maryborough, as mail clerk or laboratory assistant testing wood samples.

“At the age of 19, I experienced my first encounter of being a woman in what was then, a man’s world. I asked a supervisor to consider me for a job. He laughed, thinking that I was joking. I turned up anyway, ready for work! He agreed to give me a go stating “I’m not going to get into trouble here am I. Your father does know, and it is, ok?” My father had no idea! Was it ok? Why would it not be, ok?

“During this time, it wasn’t uncommon to be told I should just observe, as ‘this is not light work, not a job for a woman’. After 12 years I finally felt defeated unable to find my place, so I went off into the world. I recognise with hindsight, that I needed that time to grow as did Hyne. I undertook a chef apprenticeship and worked in various food production facilities before taking on a management role with the Parkside Group. However, all the while, I was watching Hyne from a distance with pride”.

“Just two years ago, I returned to Hyne where I believe I was always destined to end up. I currently work in a technical role as Optimisation Lead at the Tuan Mill where manufacturing is no longer a male dominated domain. I am the first Hyne female family member to work for the company and no doubt the start of more Hyne women to come”.

“I am proud that our 140-year journey is one of progression including embracing diversity with more and more women choosing great careers in manufacturing, some of these outstanding women I have the great privilege to work alongside and learn from.

Photo: Jim Bowden and Kelly Hyne at the Tattersalls Club, Brisbane

Source: Hyne Timber

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Australia’s fire season is a month longer

Fire seasons are getting longer around the world – especially in Australia. A new study shows that, between 1979 and 2019, annual fire seasons have become an average of 14 days longer. In Australia, the fire season has increased from 100 days per year to 130 days per year. There’s also been a 56% increase in extreme fire weather days.

The study is published in Reviews of Geophysics.

The researchers examined global weather records from the past 40 years to discern when, each year, different parts of the world were at risk from bushfires or forest fires. They also examined the land area burned by fires each year.

Interestingly, while fire seasons have increased in length, there’s been a decrease in the total area burned by wildfires at a global scale over the past 20 years. The area burned has decreased by roughly a quarter worldwide.

“That’s because over the last 40 years, we have continued to put in more and more money to fight fires,” explains co-author Dr Pep Canadell, a Chief Research Scienctist in CSIRO’s Oceans & Atmosphere division, and executive director of the Global Carbon Project.

“And, over the last 40 years, we have done a lot of deforestation, and converted a lot of grassland into cropping. So, we have less forest to burn, less nature to burn in many parts of the world.”

The African savannah accounts for a huge amount of this decrease, which – until recent grazing and human management – saw fires every year. The trend is also not true of Australia, where other research done by Canadell and colleagues shows a 350% increase in burned areas over the past 30 years.

“That’s the nature of going global – you just get the big patterns,” says Canadell. “When it gets into details, you need to be careful.”

The extension of the fire season is set to increase over coming decades, according to the researchers. If climate change is permitted to continue to 2°C of warming, boreal forests in Siberia, Canada and Alaska and temperate forests in the western US are all expected to face unprecedented fire weather, like that which contributed to the Black Summer bushfires in Australia of 2019-20.

At 3°C of warming, the researchers expect “virtually all world regions” to experience unprecedented fire weather. “It’s an incredible frustration for many people, seeing the changes that are already happening,” says Canadell. “Not just what potentially may happen in the future, but the fact that a lot of things are happening now – and now we have high certainty that it has a very strong imprint of human-induced climate change.”

Read more: World is unprepared for 50% increase in global wildfires

For further coverage on the research click here

Source: cosmos magazine

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Forestry experts help develop prototype fire shelters

N.C. State textiles and forestry experts developed new “Fire Shelters” to protect firefighters caught in the middle of fast-moving wildfires. July and August are the two most active months for wildfires, mostly in western states but they can occur anywhere, including the south east U.S. which includes North Carolina.

Joseph Roise, an NC State University professor of forestry and natural resources, says no such shelter is fire-proof. “But what we can do with material combinations is give more time to the person underneath the shelter,” he said. The new prototype shelters are different from many earlier fire-resistant shelters that looked more like pup tents.

Longer protection means more time for rescue efforts before flames engulf the shelters. They were tested inside NC State’s “Pyro-Dome” chamber. Inside the “Pyro-Dome”, the fire-shelter is surrounded by propane burners with flames reaching up to 302 degrees Fahrenheit.

More >>

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Mid-rise Advisory Program to WoodSolutions

Australia’s Mid-rise Advisory Program (MAP) is entering its next phase, which will see the management baton passed from the existing, dedicated MAP team into the capable hands of WoodSolutions.

Since 2016, the MAP team developed a strong reputation for providing expert, impartial advice to building and design professionals and key industry decision makers. In partnership with the federal government and industry sponsors, this unique program has become renowned for engaging and educating the construction industry around the benefits of timber and supporting specific project applications using engineered wood products (EWPs).

Comprised of Australia’s leading technical specialists with experience in architecture, structural engineering and costing, the team has shared information based on up-to-date research findings to progress the adoption of timber in mid-rise construction. Members have acted as advisors and facilitators, helping project teams to optimise and realise the benefits of timber systems.

The program has enjoyed great success that following its initial three-year pilot period in Victoria and Queensland, it was expanded to cover all Australian east coast states, along with additional limited coverage for South Australia and Western Australia. This development was a strong endorsement of everything the program achieved during its first three years.

Since the program’s inception, it was agreed funding arrangements would be reviewed at the six-year mark, and in the event that industry partners elected not to continue their funding contributions, management, contacts and resources would be handed over to the WoodSolutions team.

After careful consideration by members, the MAP program has drawn to a close. During an ongoing period of handover, WoodSolutions is working closely with the MAP team (as it has done throughout its existence) to ensure the many exciting ongoing projects are completed as intended. Beyond this, WoodSolutions will work to build on the impressive legacy created by the founding team.

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Source: FWPA

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NZ Council bills forestry companies for roading

A decision to introduce a targeted rate to help repair roads damaged by logging trucks is winning few friends in Taranaki.

Stratford District Council says the roads - some of which were designed for horse and cart - cannot cope with 50 tonne trucks and forestry operators need to contribute to their upkeep, but critics say the council has had decades to fix them.

Ian Coombe farms beef cattle in remote East Taranaki well off State Highway 43 - better known to many as the Forgotten World Highway. He said the condition of Puniwhakau Rd was "diabolical", but he did not necessarily blame the logging operators.

"When the road starts getting small holes you ring the council and they may send someone out and then when the hole gets so big that we've seen logging trucks and trailers get stuck in the holes then they come out, so they're throwing good money after bad all the time. They don't act straight away."

Coombe said when forestry began in the area, the council told the operators 'you plant the trees and we'll look after the roads' - but it had not happened. Now, the Stratford District Council is targeting the owners of 26 forestry plantations - aiming to raise $100,000 a year from them in rates.

In one case, the owner of a 4,000 hectare plantation could see their rates jump from just over $4000 to more than $20,000. NZ Forestry manages about 8000 hectares of plantation forest in the Stratford district and 35,000 hectares across the west of North Island. Its regional representative Cameron Eyre was not happy about the new rate.

"The issue from our end is that the council has known about the upcoming harvest for a very long time and they have done little to nothing pre-emptively."

Eyre said the industry was not against paying its fair share, but reckoned the council and forestry owners needed to work better together. "With that collaboration we both need to come to the party and look at why the [roading] spend is so high and poorly done and see if there's other ways to manage it."

The new rate comes into effect on 1 July and will be reviewed annually.

Further coverage on the decision can be read here.

Source: RNZ, Stuff

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Rebooting China’s carbon credits in 2022

Carbon market players are watching closely to see how China’s version of carbon credits, the China Certified Emission Reductions (CCER) scheme, will be rebooted.

China’s national carbon market opened in July last year, and the first implementation period for allowance trading is already complete. However, market players eager to see the CCER scheme up and running again are still waiting.

This article looks at the scheme’s history and explores some of the opportunities and challenges linked to bringing it back.

More >>

Source: chinadialogue

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Buy and Sell

... and one to end the week on ... the maths test

An Irishman wants a job, but the foreman won't hire him until he passes a little math test.

Here is your first question, the foreman said. "Without using numbers, represent the number 9."

"Without numbers?" The Irishman says? "Dat is easy." And proceeds to draw three trees.

"What's this?" the boss asks.

"Have you ain't got no brain? Tree and tree plus tree makes 9" says the Irishman.

"Fair enough," says the boss. "Here's your second question. Use the same rules, but this time the number is 99."

The Irishman stares into space for a while, then picks up the picture that he has just drawn and makes a smudge on each tree... "Ere you go."

The boss scratches his head and says, "How on earth do you get that to represent 99?"

"Each of da trees is dirty now. So, it's dirty tree, and dirty tree, plus dirty tree. Dat makes 99."

The boss is getting worried that he's going to actually have to hire this Irishman, so he says, "All right, last question. Same rules again, but represent the number 100."

The Irishman stares into space some more, then he picks up the picture again and makes a little mark at the base of each tree and says, "Ere you go. One hundred."

The boss looks at the attempt. "You must be nuts if you think that represents a hundred!"

The Irishman leans forward and points to the marks at the base of each tree and whispers, "A little dog come along and poop by each tree. So now you got dirty tree and a turd, dirty tree and a turd, and dirty tree and a turd, which makes ONE HUNDRED!"

This Irishman is now head of Qantas (no, just kidding).

And one more image sent in by a reader this week.

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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