‘Deep sadness’ at death of key leader in forestry

A reputation for being a strategic thinker and pragmatic in business

A reputation for being a strategic thinker and pragmatic in business

Gisborne’s forestry industry is today mourning the passing of the region’s largest commercial forest owner.

A statement from forestry company Ernslaw One Ltd advised, “with deep sadness and regret”, that its founding managing director Thomas Song passed away yesterday following a sudden illness.

“Thomas moved to New Zealand with his family from Malaysia in 1990 following the purchase of state forests by the Malaysian based Tiong family. He then through a succession of purchases and development of new forests built up Ernslaw One to become one of the largest forestry companies in New Zealand.

“He was also instrumental in assisting the Tiong family to purchase a number of other businesses in New Zealand through Oregon Group Ltd, including the land development company The Neil Group and Winstone Pulp,” Ernslaw regional manager and past Eastland Wood Council chairman Iain McInnes said.

“He later successfully promoted the restructure of the New Zealand salmon industry through the formation of NZ King Salmon Ltd which is now listed on the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges.

“Thomas developed a reputation for being a strategic thinker and pragmatic in business. He was commercially astute and built high quality enduring business relationships. He invested confidence in his management teams and was held in high regard by the many employees of the businesses that he had oversight of. Thomas became regarded as a leader in the forestry industry and his passing will represent a huge loss to the business interests of New Zealand.”

Thomas is survived by his wife, Leh Sieng, his son Steven and his daughter Swee Sing and two grandchildren.

Eastland Wood Council chairwoman Kim Holland said she was sad to hear of the loss of a key member of the forestry industry in New Zealand.

Gisborne’s forestry industry is today mourning the passing of the region’s largest commercial forest owner.

A statement from forestry company Ernslaw One Ltd advised, “with deep sadness and regret”, that its founding managing director Thomas Song passed away yesterday following a sudden illness.

“Thomas moved to New Zealand with his family from Malaysia in 1990 following the purchase of state forests by the Malaysian based Tiong family. He then through a succession of purchases and development of new forests built up Ernslaw One to become one of the largest forestry companies in New Zealand.

“He was also instrumental in assisting the Tiong family to purchase a number of other businesses in New Zealand through Oregon Group Ltd, including the land development company The Neil Group and Winstone Pulp,” Ernslaw regional manager and past Eastland Wood Council chairman Iain McInnes said.

“He later successfully promoted the restructure of the New Zealand salmon industry through the formation of NZ King Salmon Ltd which is now listed on the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges.

“Thomas developed a reputation for being a strategic thinker and pragmatic in business. He was commercially astute and built high quality enduring business relationships. He invested confidence in his management teams and was held in high regard by the many employees of the businesses that he had oversight of. Thomas became regarded as a leader in the forestry industry and his passing will represent a huge loss to the business interests of New Zealand.”

Thomas is survived by his wife, Leh Sieng, his son Steven and his daughter Swee Sing and two grandchildren.

Eastland Wood Council chairwoman Kim Holland said she was sad to hear of the loss of a key member of the forestry industry in New Zealand.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.