FORESTRY – BUILDING A FUTURE IN THE SOUTH
The Southern Wood Council Inc (SWC) was set up in 2001 to promote, encourage and coordinate the sustainable economic development of the forest products industry in the Otago and Southland regions of New Zealand.
Our Industry Role
The Southern Wood Council includes all the major forest owners within the region, forest managers, larger wood processing and manufacturing companies, port authorities and representatives from local councils, industry training and Government organisations. SWC member companies own or manage the majority of the larger plantation forests within the region. It is one of few truly independent groups of its type that have been set up and currently one of the most active regional forestry groupings operating in New Zealand.
To promote, encourage and coordinate the sustainable economic development of the forest products industry in Otago and Southland.
To promote cooperation within and between established national and regional forest industry bodies, local authorities and other relevant groups.
To provide an independent body to bring together and improve communication between persons and groups involved with the business of forest products in the region to work collectively on issues of common interest.
To promote and support regional forestry initiatives and assist in implementing national initiatives.
To actively promote the benefits of forestry and related industries to the community.
For all the latest forest and wood products news and developments, SWC recommends the industry’s leading news source, Friday Offcuts.
Major Industry Promotions
NZ Wood: Love our Forests
The NZ Wood advertising campaign was launched in December 2015. The aim of this campaign is to promote and profile the forest growing industry in a positive light and to educate the general public and politicians about the huge value the industry brings to New Zealand and New Zealanders.
The concept “Love our forests” underpins all the reasons that forestry is great. Real people have been to tell the story and in the process, some great talent lurking in the forestry industry has been found!
For this first phase of the campaign we have chosen three key areas:
- The economic benefits of forests (link)
- The environmental benefits of forests (link)
- The recreational benefits of forests (link)
These three themes have been created for both billboards and magazines/newspapers. Attached is a short video being used as part of the campaign to promote forestry – to the community – to the industry and to Government.
“Women are the answer to New Zealand’s skilled worker shortage,” says Pamela Bell, CEO PrefabNZ. “Wood is going to be bigger than dairy – more sustainable and provide the jobs for our future,” says Pamela.
PrefabNZ, in collaboration with Carter Holt Harvey Woodproducts, BCITO and CareersNZ, has produced the logs4jobs video to raise the awareness of young people, especially females, of the work opportunities open to them in wood processing and manufacturing.
Statistics New Zealand estimates a growth in employment of 107,800 jobs in primary industries, manufacturing and construction by 2023. Women are also the untapped workforce able to fill the future skilled worker shortage according to recent research (Destination Trades).
Growing the Safety Culture
A video and case study with tips on improving the safety culture of forestry workers was released in August 2016 and has been posted onto the SafeTree New Zealand (www.safetree.nz) website.
It features a Southern Wood Council member. See how forest owner/manager Blakely Pacific reduced injuries and boosted productivity by working on attitudes towards health and safety among its workers.
Watch the video here or read the full case study here.
The Southern Wood Council Forestry Awards
The Southern Wood Council Awards programme is run in conjunction with Competenz. The event has been hosted at the the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin for the last couple of years. We have seen record numbers every year since 2015. Forest managers, forestry contractors, transport operators and product and service suppliers to the industry from throughout the lower South Island attend. Around 350 have attended each year. These Awards are the most widely attended and supported forestry event in the region.
2017 Forestry Training and Success Celebrated in the South
Friday 12 May 2017 saw another outstanding turnout by local forestry companies, contractors and transport operators from throughout the lower South Island of New Zealand. The function was the 2017 Southern Wood Council Forestry Awards.
The Council, representing all major forest owners and most of the major wood processing companies in Otago and Southland ran the 2017 Awards programme in conjunction with the country’s industry training organisation, Competenz.
In addition to profiling the contribution that forestry and those working within the industry are making to the economic and social well-being of the region, the night was really designed to celebrate the success of those that had achieved formal training qualifications over the year. Through a series of nine major awards, the event also recognised the forest industry’s top performers from across the lower South Island.
The industry certainly rallied on the night. Like the previous two years, around 350 forest managers, forestry contractors, transport operators and product and service suppliers to the industry from throughout the lower South Island attended the awards evening at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium. This is the third major annual awards programme held in Dunedin. Support for the event and numbers turning out from across the region continue to be high every year.
“The turnout by forestry workers, their families and supporters on the night is probably a true reflection on the momentum that’s been building over the last year or so with on-site training and safety in this region” says Grant Dodson, Chairman of the Southern Wood Council. “In addition to recognising the training achievements of forestry workers and crews that have really stood out over the past 12 months, the industry was able to come together at one place to celebrate the industry along with training and business success.”
Presenters and speakers at this year’s awards evening include; Jamie MacKay, Host of NZ’s New Zealand’s flagship rural radio show, The Country, Hon. Louise Upston, Associate Minister for Primary Industries, Hon. Michael Woodhouse, Minister for Workplace Relations & Safety, Wiremu Edmonds, Director and Safety Champion, Tuakiri Ltd, Fiona Kingsford, CEO, Competenz and guest speaker Warren Alcock, the NZ Rugby Players Association‘s first accredited players agent (representing more than 80 All Blacks including Ritchie McCaw, Dan Carter, Ben Smith and Aaron Smith).
Around 120 National Training Certificates that had been achieved in Forestry & Wood Processing were awarded to top local contractors and forestry and wood processing employees. In addition, nine major industry awards were presented to:
|Training Excellence Award - Apprentice of the Year||Southern Wood Council||Ryan Spillane, MJ Logging|
|Training Excellence Award - Forestry Trainee of the Year (harvesting)||Rayonier/ Matariki Forests||Martin Gordon-Glassford, Griffin Logging|
|Training Excellence Award - Forestry Trainee of the Year (silviculture)||Dynes Transport||Russell Te Ngahue, X-Men|
|Skilled Professionals Awards – Forestry Excellence Award (establishment, silviculture, fire, harvesting)||South Wood Export||Alistair McKenzie, Johnson Forestry Services|
|Skilled Professionals Awards – Wood Processing Excellence Award||UDC||Rodney Lonneker, Pankhurst Sawmilling|
|Skilled Professionals Awards – Forest Products/Logistics/Transport/Port Award||Oil Imports||Desiree Hollister, C3|
|Industry Excellence Awards – Forestry Environmental Management Excellence Award||Otago Regional Council||Heavyweight Hire|
|Industry Excellence Awards - Training Company/Contractor of the Year||City Forests||Shane Griffin, Griffin Logging|
|Industry Excellence Awards - Forest Products Health & Safety Award||Ernslaw One||Barry Wells, Port Blakeley|
|Tree Faller Certification – Otago Southland||Ten certificates for Professional Tree Faller Certification, a scheme that has been implemented in the Otago/Southland region were also awarded.|
Congratulations go to all the winners, the nominees, their employers and families. This year’s awards programme with strong support from the wider industry, supporting organisation’s and major equipment and product suppliers has again been another important milestone for the forestry industry in the lower South Island. It’s firmly established now as the major fixture each year on the local forestry calendar.
CAREERS IN FORESTRY
Check out the stories of three young women, Pauline Edge, Acacia Farmery and Briony Hooper, who have all recently picked forestry for their future career. The training and jobs now being undertaken by all of them are as diverse and exciting as the industry.
For more detailed information on the NZ forestry industry, training, career options and job opportunities, visit;
The Southern Wood Council represents a wide cross section of the forest and wood products industry, associated key service suppliers and representatives from local and central Government. All major forest owners and most wood processing and manufacturing companies in Otago and Southland are represented. Members along with contact details are listed below.
|Blakely Pacific Ltd||PO Box 13-980, Christchurch||Phil Taylor||(+64) 3 365 2846||www.portblakely.com/blakely-pacific/about|
|City Forests Ltd||PO Box 210, Dunedin||Grant Dodson (SWC Chairman)||(+64) 3 467 7722||www.cityforests.co.nz|
|South Wood Export Ltd||PO Box 7010, Invercargill||Graeme Manley||(+64) 3 218 2073|
|Southern Wood Council||PO Box 904, Dunedin||Brent Apthorp (SWC Secretary)||(+64) 3 470 1902||www.southernwoodcouncil.co.nz|
|Venture Southland||PO Box 1306, Invercargill||Cathy Jordan||(+64) 3 211 1400||www.southlandnz.com|
|Wenita Forest Products Ltd||PO Box 341, Mosgiel||David Cormack||(+64) 3 489 3234||www.wenita.co.nz|
|PF Olsen & Co.||PO Box 975, Dunedin||David Thode||(+64) 3 453 6819||www.pfolsen.co.nz|
|Craigpine Timber Ltd||PO Box 55, Winton||Shaun Cawood||(+64) 3 236 7533||www.craigpine.co.nz|
|Ernslaw One Ltd||PO Box 36, Tapanui||Phil de la Mare||(+64) 3 204 8061||www.ernslaw.co.nz|
|Ministry for Primary Industries||Private Bag 1926, Dunedin 9054||Parnell Trost||(+64) 3 477 8454||www.mpi.govt.nz|
|Port Otago Ltd||PO Box 8, Port Chalmers, Dunedin||Peter Brown||(+64) 3 472 9886||www.portotago.co.nz|
|Dongwha New Zealand Ltd.||PO Box 189, Gore||Jihoon Kim||(+64) 3 209 3100||www.patinna.com|
|Rayonier Asia Pacific Ltd||PO Box 1742, Invercargill||Mark Grover||(+64) 3 211 1272||www.rayonier.com|
|South Port NZ Ltd||PO Box 1, Bluff||Nigel Gear||(+64) 3 212 6000||www.southport.co.nz|
|Pan Pac Forest Products (Otago) Ltd||PO Box 135, Milton 9241||Blair Watson||(+64) 6 831 0138||www.panpac.co.nz|
|Competenz||PO Box 2132, South Dunedin 9044||Phil Williams||(+64) 3 4817 102||www.competenz.org.nz|
NZ Forest Industry Important Nationally, Regionally and Environmentally – NZIER Report
A report on the plantation forest industry has highlighted its value to national and regional economies, as well as forestry’s beneficial effect on New Zealand’s ecology. The NZIER Report was commissioned by the New Zealand Forest Owners Association and Farm Forestry Association.
The Report has found the forestry and logging sector is worth $1.4 billion to the national GDP, making a substantially larger contribution to GDP than either the sheep meat or beef sectors. Forestry is hugely important for many provincial economies.
The Report details that our production has gone from 10 million cubic metres of timber in 1989, to 28.7 million cubic metres last year. MPI forecasts New Zealand forest product export returns to reach $6.15 billion by 2020, from the current $5.14 billion in 2016, with increasing returns from sawn timber, wood panels, pulp and paper all contributing.
Otago/Southland Forestry Profile
A profile of the forestry sector in Otago – Southland has been prepared to support the recently released wood availability forecasts. The profile provides readers with:
- an overview of the regional estate (in terms of species, distribution and ownership);
- the trends in timber processing;
- a summary of the harvest projections;
- key contacts; and
- a description of the infrastructure and services that have supported the growth of the industry.
Wood Availability Forecasts – Otago/Southland
New wood availability forecasts for the Otago – Southland wood supply region were released in 2014. The forecasts cover the period 2014 to 2050, and replace the earlier forecasts from 2008. The forecasts were prepared by Indufor Asia Pacific Limited, and incorporate the harvest intentions of the region’s major plantation companies (with over 1 000 hectares of planted forest).
The forecasts were reviewed by local forest managers and consultants, to ensure they are a realistic representation of future supply. The forecasts have been a joint initiative between the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Southern Wood Council.
Indufor has prepared separate forecasts for Otago and Southland, as well as for the combined wood supply region. The forecasts are intended as a planning tool for the forest industry, councils and infrastructure providers.
Southland Residue Supply Assessment
A Wood Energy Supply Study prepared by Ahika Consulting in July 2015 confirms available supply of wood fuel for southern industrial boilers until 2050. Businesses considering switching from fossil to wood fuels can be confident that there is sufficient supply through to 2050. The Wood Energy South project identified this concern from the offset and commissioned a study to quantify the volume of waste wood in the South Otago and Southland Region.
More than 1 million tonnes of logs are harvested annually and this is projected to continue to increase at a rate of 2% per annum over the next 30 years. A large majority of this is exported but a quarter (25%) of this harvest remains in Southland. The study estimates the annual waste wood volume is currently 200,000 tonnes and will increase to 600,000 tonnes per annum over the next 30 years.
Wood Energy South is a $1.5M joint venture project between Venture Southland and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). Currently there are eight wood fuel users across commercial, education and local government operations around Southland. The Wood Energy South project has technical expertise and funding available. For more information on this or to find out more about the wood supply please visit www.woodenergysouth.co.nz.
South Otago Wood Residue Supply Assessment
This report was prepared for Wood Energy South, Venture Southland and the Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority by Ahika Consulting in July 2015. The report was commissioned to provide certainty to candidate industrial wood energy users within South Otago about the ongoing availability of wood residue as an energy source.
The assessment is focussed on South Otago. It evaluates the available woody biomass resources that are available within the region, highlights the challenges and constraints to enabling a supply network, identifies solutions to overcome likely constraints, identifies the most profitable and effective supply chains and provides a clear strategy to enable the sustainable delivery of wood fuel to potential industry users.
The Southern Wood Council members manage plantations and processing operations in the Otago – Southland wood supply region. The region has a combined plantation estate of 206 900 hectares (April 2014).
This resource represents 11.8% of New Zealand’s national estate and is concentrated in the Clutha, Southland, Waitaki and Dunedin districts. The estate is New Zealand’s most diversified, in terms of species (with large areas of Douglas-fir and eucalypts) and has doubled in size since the mid-1980s.
Otago/Southland Breakdown of Planted Production Forest Area (ha) by Region
Value of Industry
The forestry and timber processing sectors are major export industries for the Otago – Southland economy. This export focus will increase over the next decade with the maturing of the region’s forests. The combined export returns for logs, sawn timber and woodchips stood at $229.7million for the March 2015 year (provisional figures). The region accounted for 7.2% of New Zealand’s log exports (by value) and 7.8% of sawn timber exports.
Otago/Southland Value of Log & Sawn Timber Exports (Year ending March 2015)
The Otago – Southland region has a history of sawmilling and timber processing that dates back more than 150 years. In the March 2014 year the region’s sawmills produced 346 000 m3 of rough sawn timber. This was equivalent to 8.8% of New Zealand’s sawn timber production.
Otago/Southland Production of Sawn Timber (m³) by Species from 2000 to 2014
The forestry sector is an important employer across Otago and Southland, particularly in regional centres such as Milton and Winton.
In 2014 the industry employed an estimated 1 741 workers in forestry and logging, support services and first stage timber processing (sawmilling, timber dressing and other wood product manufacturing). Of this total, 366 were employed in forestry and logging and 770 in sawmilling and timber dressing. The employment is concentrated in the Southland, Clutha and Dunedin districts.
Otago/Southland Employment in Forestry by Region from 2005 to 2014
Ph: (+64) 3 470 1902
Fax: (+64) 3 470 1904
Southern Wood Council Inc
c/o Distinction Dunedin Hotel,
6 Liverpool Street,
Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
PO Box 904,
Dunedin 9054, New Zealand