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.
Ikea acquires Otago land for forestry
16 September 2021
Contracting industry becoming ‘cut throat’
2 September 2021
Another major NZ industrial plant switches to biomass
27 August 2021
New video for NZ primary school students
19 August 2021
Father and son graduate forestry course together
18 August 2021
Fonterra announce another switch to wood biomass
27 July 2021
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.
Forestry Work Opportunities
“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
Careers in Forestry
Forestry Careers & Training Opportunities
There are a wide range of exciting roles within the forestry industry. Check out the stories below highlighting young men and woman who picked forestry as their future career. The training and jobs now being undertaken by all of them are as diverse and exciting as the industry.
A One-Stop-Shop for Forestry Careers
A new web portal, forestrycareers.nz, is a comprehensive starting point for anyone interested in forestry education, training and careers. It provides a wealth of information and directs you to other relevant websites and sources of information.
It contains information about the myriad of career opportunities available in forestry. It covers options from practical roles in silviculture and harvesting to forest management, engineering, surveying, research, administration, human resource management, IT and others. Details on some 30 types of jobs are provided. In addition, an outline of the work involved, salary range, and what training or education might be needed to match each particular job is shown.
For more information on forestry careers, click here.
Forestry training – what’s on offer?
Details on the many regional and national education and training courses on offer can be found on the web portal, forestrycareers.nz (http://www.forestrycareers.nz). A full range, from entry level practical and academic courses through to options for further training mid-career to ideas for people thinking of moving into forestry from other sectors is supplied. There are numerous links to the various course providers’ websites and contact people.
For more information on forestry training options, click here.
Forestry Careers resources
A surprisingly large number of scholarships, awards and other assistance packages are available for education and training at every level in the industry.
For further information on what’s available, click here.
Scholarships & awards available
A raft of resources for school careers advisers or anyone else who needs information about forestry careers, education and training is able to be accessed through forestrycareers.nz. A great collection of videos and other resources are accessible and downloadable for people running careers and recruitment events.
For further information on what’s available, click here.
Video Profiles & Highlights
Careers Available in Forestry
Young Leader: Pauline Edge
Young Leader: Brionny Hooper
Technology & science careers
Young Leader: Acacia Farmery
Rayonier: The next generation
Check out what's happening in forestry careers – News, events, training opportunities and scholarships
The forestry awards programme for the lower South Island is held every year. This event recognises the training achievements of forestry workers and crews that have really stood out over the past 12 months. The Awards also enable the industry to come together and celebrate training and business success.
The 2021 Southern Wood Council Forestry Awards was held at the Dunedin Stadium, Dunedin, on Friday 21 May 2021. This event attracted 350 forest managers, forestry contractors, wood processing and transport operators. Over 250 National Training Certificates, 8 apprentices and 9 major industry awards were presented.
“The message on the value of the awards evening has certainly found its mark with many companies bringing through all of their staff and workers, from Invercargill through to Timaru. One local contractor for example brought through close to 40 of their workers to celebrate their achievements in picking up training qualifications over the year as well as rewarding the harvesting crews for their efforts over the year”.
Planning for the SWC Awards 2022 is already underway.
The Southern Wood Council (SWC) 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.
|City Forests Ltd||PO Box 210, Dunedin||Grant Dodson (SWC Chairman)||(+64) 3 467 7722||www.cityforests.co.nz|
|Competenz||PO Box 2132, South Dunedin 9044||Phil Williams||(+64) 3 4817 102||www.competenz.org.nz|
|Daiken Southland Ltd||PO Box 189, Gore||Dean Cochrane||(+64) 3 209 3106||www.customwood.co.nz|
|Ernslaw One Ltd||PO Box 36, Tapanui||Phil de la Mare||(+64) 3 204 8061||www.ernslaw.co.nz|
|Forest Management Ltd||101 West Plains Road, RD4, Invercargill, Southland 9874||Daniel Robertson||(+64) 27 597 3043||www.forestmanagement.co.nz
|Great South||PO Box 1306, Invercargill||Allison Beckham||(+64) 3 211 1414||www.greatsouth.nz|
|Log Marketing NZ Ltd||PO Box 542, Invercargill 9840||Greg Lindsay||(+64) 3 230 3027||www.logmarketing.co.nz|
|Ministry for Primary Industries||Private Bag 4765,|
|Parnell Trost||(+64) 3 951 4705||www.mpi.govt.nz|
|Pan Pac Forest Products (Otago) Ltd||PO Box 135, Milton 9241||Anthony Conway||(+64) 27 201 7951||www.panpac.co.nz|
|PF Olsen & Co.||PO Box 975, Dunedin||David Thode||(+64) 3 453 6819||www.pfolsen.co.nz|
|Port Blakely||PO Box 139, Timaru||Andrew Cocking||(+64) 274 375 405||www.portblakely.com|
|Port Otago Ltd||PO Box 8, Port Chalmers, Dunedin||Craig Usher||(+64) 3 472 9886||www.portotago.co.nz|
|Rayonier Asia Pacific Ltd||PO Box 1742, Invercargill||Hamish Fitzgerald||(+64) 3 211 1290||www.rayonier.com|
|South Port NZ Ltd||PO Box 1, Bluff||Jamie May||(+64) 3 212 6000||www.southport.co.nz|
|South Wood Export Ltd||PO Box 7010, Invercargill||Graeme Manley||(+64) 3 218 2073||www.swel.co.nz|
|Southern Wood Council||PO Box 904, Dunedin||Brent Apthorp (SWC Secretary)||(+64) 3 470 1902||www.southernwoodcouncil.co.nz|
|Venture Forestry||104 Bond Street, PO Box 748, Dunedin 9054||Anne Bridger||(+64) 21 0843 0235||www.ventureforestry.co.nz|
|Wenita Forest Products Ltd||PO Box 341, Mosgiel||David Cormack||(+64) 3 489 3234||www.wenita.co.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 208,744 hectares (1 April 2017). This resource represents 12.23% 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
as at 1 April 2017
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