Celebrating the best in forestry

Nearly 500 pack Showgrounds Event Centre to applaud efforts of those honoured for work in local forestry industry.

Nearly 500 pack Showgrounds Event Centre to applaud efforts of those honoured for work in local forestry industry.

THANK YOU: East Coast MP Anne Tolley with Big Bark Loading’s Brian Deam, the overall winner at last night’s Eastland Wood Council Forestry Awards. Mr Deam was one of two winners from Big Bark Loading at the annual awards, which celebrate the booming forestry industry and its contribution to employment and growth in this region. Pictures by Stephen Jones
Scholarship winners Shideen Nathan-Ngaronoa and Willie Hollis, with EWC chairman Iain McInnes.

BRIAN Deam was a popular winner of the Eastland Wood Council (EWC) Skilled Professional of the Year title at the 2017 awards held last night.

Nearly 500 people packed the Showgrounds Event Centre to applaud his effort, and others honoured for their work in the local forestry industry.

It is the eighth year the Eastland Wood Council Forestry Awards have been run and again they attracted some “stellar entries”, said EWC chief executive Prue Younger, who paid tribute to the thousands involved in an industry that meant much to the wider region.

“These awards are a chance to celebrate the efforts of those out there doing it, but are also an important part of the promotion of the industry and recognition of the continual upskilling of our workforce,” she said.

Ms Younger said huge inroads had been made across the industry, but there was still plenty to work on.

Chief judge Julian Kohn said that while the region faced challenges around infrastructure, the industry was in very good health from a commercial point of view.

“We are moving into a very strong growth phase from a harvesting perspective,” Mr Kohn said.

“A lot of the plantings from the early to late 1990s are now coming up to a harvestable age, and when you look at that in conjunction with strong development in the Chinese market, and to a lesser extent, the Indian and domestic onshore markets, it augurs well for the future.”

Mr Kohn said the stars had lined up for supply and demand.

“We face issues around infrastructure and specifically skilled labour for local roading. There is a serious constraint on the size of the port and capacity, which means the costs are particularly high. However, the industry is working hard alongside the port, as it has done for some years, to improve efficiency there.”

Those numbers had improved dramatically over the past six years. But Mr Kohn said there was still a long way to go until it became as cost-effective as many other ports around New Zealand.

Finding good skilled labour was also a challenge.

“The perception of forestry as an employment opportunity for a lot of young New Zealanders is not a positive one, so it is a harder task to attract people into a labour force, competing against other industries that also face labour shortages.”

Mr Kohn said the opportunities in forestry were huge, with jobs spanning administration to harvesting, planning, potting, engineering, management, planting and more.

“We have been at a critical point for labour for three or four years already, but somehow the logs are still going out over the wharf and we find the people.

Seven or eight years ago when we were doing 70,000 tonnes a year, we were having the same conversations.”

Now, the district produced around 2.8 million tonnes a year, and over the next five years — subject to market and infrastructure capacity — Mr Kohn expects that to be “north of 3.7 million tonnes”.

Awards

Eastland Wood Council Skilled Forestry Professional of the Year Brian Deam, Big Bark Loading
Training Excellence:
NZ Apprentice of the Year Angus Fraser, Blackstump Logging.
Trainee of the Year Kevin Leopard, Down n Out Logging.
Training Company/Contractor of the Year Ian and Marcella Diack, Diack Contractors.
Skilled Professionals:
Forestry Excellence Jesse Kapene, TKT Limited.
Roading Excellence Brian Deam, Big Bark Loading.
Harvesting Excellence Matthew MacIntosh, Big Bark Loading.
Distribution Excellence Richard Bronlund, STS Transport.
Breaker Out Excellence Tom Wehi, Blackstump Logging.
Faller Excellence Steve Maynard, Blackstump Logging.
Extraction and Skidwork Excellence Phillip Cosgrove, Raywood Contracting.Industry Development Awards:
Contractor of the Year Blackstump Logging.
Outstanding H and S Management Eddie Te Kahika, Kimberly Contractors.
Outstanding Environmental Management Patrick Bethel and Wayne Trafford, Hikurangi Forest Farms.
Outstanding Regional Service Performance Turanga Ararau.
See www.eastlandwood.co.nz for full results.

BRIAN Deam was a popular winner of the Eastland Wood Council (EWC) Skilled Professional of the Year title at the 2017 awards held last night.

Nearly 500 people packed the Showgrounds Event Centre to applaud his effort, and others honoured for their work in the local forestry industry.

It is the eighth year the Eastland Wood Council Forestry Awards have been run and again they attracted some “stellar entries”, said EWC chief executive Prue Younger, who paid tribute to the thousands involved in an industry that meant much to the wider region.

“These awards are a chance to celebrate the efforts of those out there doing it, but are also an important part of the promotion of the industry and recognition of the continual upskilling of our workforce,” she said.

Ms Younger said huge inroads had been made across the industry, but there was still plenty to work on.

Chief judge Julian Kohn said that while the region faced challenges around infrastructure, the industry was in very good health from a commercial point of view.

“We are moving into a very strong growth phase from a harvesting perspective,” Mr Kohn said.

“A lot of the plantings from the early to late 1990s are now coming up to a harvestable age, and when you look at that in conjunction with strong development in the Chinese market, and to a lesser extent, the Indian and domestic onshore markets, it augurs well for the future.”

Mr Kohn said the stars had lined up for supply and demand.

“We face issues around infrastructure and specifically skilled labour for local roading. There is a serious constraint on the size of the port and capacity, which means the costs are particularly high. However, the industry is working hard alongside the port, as it has done for some years, to improve efficiency there.”

Those numbers had improved dramatically over the past six years. But Mr Kohn said there was still a long way to go until it became as cost-effective as many other ports around New Zealand.

Finding good skilled labour was also a challenge.

“The perception of forestry as an employment opportunity for a lot of young New Zealanders is not a positive one, so it is a harder task to attract people into a labour force, competing against other industries that also face labour shortages.”

Mr Kohn said the opportunities in forestry were huge, with jobs spanning administration to harvesting, planning, potting, engineering, management, planting and more.

“We have been at a critical point for labour for three or four years already, but somehow the logs are still going out over the wharf and we find the people.

Seven or eight years ago when we were doing 70,000 tonnes a year, we were having the same conversations.”

Now, the district produced around 2.8 million tonnes a year, and over the next five years — subject to market and infrastructure capacity — Mr Kohn expects that to be “north of 3.7 million tonnes”.

Awards

Eastland Wood Council Skilled Forestry Professional of the Year Brian Deam, Big Bark Loading
Training Excellence:
NZ Apprentice of the Year Angus Fraser, Blackstump Logging.
Trainee of the Year Kevin Leopard, Down n Out Logging.
Training Company/Contractor of the Year Ian and Marcella Diack, Diack Contractors.
Skilled Professionals:
Forestry Excellence Jesse Kapene, TKT Limited.
Roading Excellence Brian Deam, Big Bark Loading.
Harvesting Excellence Matthew MacIntosh, Big Bark Loading.
Distribution Excellence Richard Bronlund, STS Transport.
Breaker Out Excellence Tom Wehi, Blackstump Logging.
Faller Excellence Steve Maynard, Blackstump Logging.
Extraction and Skidwork Excellence Phillip Cosgrove, Raywood Contracting.Industry Development Awards:
Contractor of the Year Blackstump Logging.
Outstanding H and S Management Eddie Te Kahika, Kimberly Contractors.
Outstanding Environmental Management Patrick Bethel and Wayne Trafford, Hikurangi Forest Farms.
Outstanding Regional Service Performance Turanga Ararau.
See www.eastlandwood.co.nz for full results.

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