Southern Wood Council update – Rural South

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Southern Wood Council is an industry grouping of companies sharing an interest in forestry based in Otago, Southland and South Canterbury. The current chair, Grant Dodson, believes it’s a great example of different arms of an industry working together for the common good. “It represents the industry where we have areas of commonality,” explains Grant. “An obvious one is health and safety, and training, but also regional planning, roading access, policy, the environment and those sorts of things.” Member companies include major forest owners such as New Zealand owned City Forest Limited, of which Grant is also the current CEO, … Read More

2021 Forestry Training and Success Celebrated in the South

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Last Friday saw again an outstanding turnout by local forestry companies, contractors and transport operators from throughout the lower South Island of New Zealand.  The function was the 2021 Southern Wood Council Forestry Awards. The Council, representing all major forest owners and wood processing companies in Otago and Southland ran the 2021 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 … Read More

Update to Forestry Careers Resources

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Forestry Careers is an important initiative designed to promote New Zealand forestry as an exciting career choice. The website is also 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. We have added a couple of Forestry Careers adverts and videos to our Careers Section of the SWC website. Forestry Careers has also recently released a comprehensive booklet to help introduce people to forestry and outline the opportunities available. The booklet covers everything from genetics, nursery and silviculture, to … Read More

SWC describes forests amendment bill as ‘a lemon’

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Southern forestry groups are wary of an amendment that would attempt to control log market prices for the industry.  The Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forest Advisors) amendment bill would require compulsory registration of log traders and forestry advisors, and set up a Forestry Authority to make rules and regulations for forestry practice standards. So far it had reached a lot of opposition, with the majority of submissions against it.  The bill is sitting with the committee of whole house in parliament.  Southern Wood Council (SWC) chairman Grant Dodson said the bill was “a total lemon” that would create … Read More

SWC Forest Products Scholarship 2020

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University of Canterbury forestry student picks up major award A University of Canterbury forestry student has just received top forest industry honours with a major scholarship being awarded. This year’s Southern Wood Council (SWC) Scholarship has been awarded to Nic Melvin, a Bachelor of Forestry Science student, studying at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch. Nic, from a strong forestry and farming background in Dipton, Southland has also had long family history within the industry. Both sides of the family can trace their family history back to Southland’s early settlement way back in the 1860’s. His father has been a contract … Read More

SWC Awards 2020’s Guest Presenter: Simon McKinney

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The eagerly awaited 2020 Southern Wood Council Forestry Awards is quickly approaching. On Friday, 8 May 2020, the forestry industry from throughout the lower South Island will meet for an evening of celebration in Dunedin. It’s the one event clearly marked on everyone’s forestry calendar. We are pleased to announce that our guest speaker this year is one of NZ’s best headline comedians, the multi-talented Simon McKinney. Simons unique skills have seen him become recognized as New Zealand’s leading stand up impressionist and a much sought-after comedian for both live, touring and corporate performances. His impressions of TV celebrities, the … Read More

City Forests contribution to the region

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Forestry may be getting a bad rap lately particularly from the farming community, but there is no arguing with its returns. Brent Melville logged some time with City Forests this week, discovering a truly biodiverse, sustainable industry on Dunedin’s back door. City Forests is now well into logging its third generation of forests. The company, which has held forestry investments since 1906, will celebrate its 30th anniversary of being a subsidiary of Dunedin City Holdings next year.  Since coming under DCHL ownership, the forestry estate has contributed more than $225million to the council — a nice round 1000% on the initial investment … Read More

Nominations are Open for 2020 SWC Forestry Awards

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The 2020 Southern Wood Council Forestry Awards is being held on Friday 8 May 2020 in Dunedin, New Zealand. This is the annual celebration of the forestry industry throughout the lower South Island. Nominations are now open for the 2020 awards. This is a unique opportunity to recognise those involved in training, in growing, processing and transporting wood and for those who support the industry through the provision of products and services. Now is the time to take time out to nominate an individual or company that has really stood out in 2019-20. The process of nominating has been kept as … Read More

The 2020 Southern Wood Council Forestry Awards [New Date]

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Mark the date into your diaries, Friday 8 May 2020.  This is the date set down for the eagerly awaited 2020 Southern Wood Council Forestry Awards. Every year the forestry industry from throughout the lower South Island meet for an evening of celebration in Dunedin. It’s the one event clearly marked on everyone’s forestry calendar. It’s the one event every year that continues to draw in 300-400 people directly employed in or associated with forest growing, wood harvesting, wood transport and timber processing from across the region to celebrate training and business success.  It’s a great night out. As well as the presentation of … Read More

Transpower / Forestry Workshop [2 Oct 2019]

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If you’re a forestry contractor, harvest planner, forestry manager or owner involved in wood harvesting operations in the Otago or Southland region, this workshop has been set up for you. It’s free. What’s more, if interested, it links into a dinner meeting set up for the local forestry industry at the venue, the first in three years. Date: Wednesday 2 October 2019 Venue: Rosebank Lodge, Balclutha When: 3.00pm – Afternoon Tea | 3.30pm – Workshop | 5.30pm – Drinks What’s been covered at the workshop?   National grid transmission lines often run through plantation forests. There are certain requirements for … Read More

Otago-Southland Forest Products Industry Dinner Meeting [2 Oct 2019]

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It’s time to gather as an industry again. It’s been a long winter, log prices have probably seen better days and it’s been now four years since collectively we got together to have a dinner and catch up on happenings from across the region. Date: Wednesday 2 October 2019 Venue: Rosebank Lodge, Balclutha When: 5.30pm – Drinks | 6.30pm – Dinner | 7.15pm – After-Dinner Presentation The Southern Wood Council (SWC), in conjunction with the local branch of the NZ Institute of Forestry and the Mid & South Otago Branches of the NZ Farm Forestry Association have planned an evening’s … Read More

Forestry opportunities offered to school students

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A group of young foresters put their best foot forward at Otago’s annual Careers Expo that ran in the town hall on Thursday 13 June.  Over 2000 secondary school students from about the region attended the event, with the purpose being to showcase future employment and career opportunities open to them. An incredible effort from the Southern Wood Council, member companies and other forestry and contracting businesses who had planned the stand in the lead up to the event meant that the forestry collective, which took up at least two stands, had the largest, most interactive, and one of the … Read More

Paige picking up top honour in forestry awards

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Paige Harland was born to be in the bush.  Miss Harland (21) comes from a Southland family who have sap in their blood over three generations. Named apprentice of the year at the recent 2019 Southern Wood Council Forestry Awards, she works for Harland Brothers Logging. The business was established by her grandfather and great-uncle, later taken over by her uncle Peter and is now run by her cousins Jesse and Corrie Harland.  Being in the family business was “awesome”, particularly as they were now working on blocks that earlier generations had cut down 30 years ago, she said. Miss … Read More

The future in forestry – a combined approach

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Southern forestry employers are adopting a collaborative approach to ensure the next generation of workers are not only keen on what the industry can offer but have the necessary skills to take on these positions. In order to showcase opportunities available and ignite interest, a forestry careers day was held in Winton on March 21, dubbed ‘Be the Future of Forestry. Hosted by Southland Youth Futures in partnership with Acacia Farmery and other local members of the newly-formed Future Foresters Group, the day was a great success and there are talks to replicate the format in Otago. With a turnout … Read More

Forestry Training and Success Celebrated in the South

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Last Friday saw an outstanding turnout by local forestry companies, contractors and transport operators from throughout the lower South Island of New Zealand.  The function was the 2019 Southern Wood Council Forestry Awards. The Council, representing all major forest owners and wood processing companies in Otago and Southland ran the 2019 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 … Read More

The future of forestry for Southland schools

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Southland students have been encouraged to become the future of forestry.  To coincide with the UN International Day of Forests, a forestry careers day was held on Thursday 21 March to introduce students to the many varied jobs available in forestry in Southland, New Zealand. Held at the Winton Salvation Army, the event attracted 70 students including eight students who travelled from Tokomairiro High School in Milton, where they are involved in forestry classes two days a week. Students were able to learn about the harvesting, management, environmental and new technology aspects of forestry from speakers from Rayonier Matariki Forests … Read More

Inaugural Forestry Scholarship Recipients Named

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Three Southern tertiary students are among the eight recipients of an inaugural forestry scholarship. The Nga Karahipi Uru Rakau scholarships were developed to encourage young, talented individuals into the forestry industry. They were available to Maori and/or female students enrolling in a bachelor of forestry science or bachelor of engineering (Hons) in forest engineering. The scholarships were presented by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Forestry Minister Shane Jones at a ceremony at the University of Canterbury. The recipients included Max Gomez, from Dunedin, Hannah Humphreys, from Wanaka, and Nicholas Melvin, from Winton. Over the past five years, fewer than a … Read More

Southern forestry training course starts

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A new forestry training course set up by Tokomairiro Training in partnership in the lower South Island of New Zealand with Johnson Forestry Service has attracted considerable interest.  It began last week with four pupils from East Otago High School, two from Taieri College and two from Tokomairiro High School signing up. Tokomairiro Training operates under the NZQA accreditation of Tokomairiro High School from a site in Milton.  Programme manager Lynda Allan said she was pleased with the response.  The forestry industry could take 50 people into the industry immediately following basic training, Tokomairiro Training forestry tutor Alistair McKenzie said. … Read More

Southland Youth Futures working with students

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Southland Youth Futures is a community programme being run in the lower part of New Zealand. It’s linking young people with career and training opportunities in primary sector-related industries – farming, horticulture, forestry, primary processing, manufacturing, trades, environmental monitoring, science and technology, professional support services (farm consulting, accountancy, legal etc), exporting. Local forestry company, Rayonier Matariki, actively supports the programme, as coordinator Allison Beckham explains. “Southland Youth Futures began in mid-2015 and has been growing steadily ever since. We work with almost 60 employers; all 15 secondary schools in Southland (and one in West Otago); training providers; foundation studies providers; … Read More

Forestry apprentices growing the industry

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In a recent issue of Friday Offcuts, we asked for more good news stories to profile the industry, particularly to the younger generation. Attached is one supplied by Rayonier Matariki Forests. The company is stumping up tuition fees for its Southland contractors to train their apprentices in a bid to encourage school leavers to join the NZ forestry industry. Tuatapere brothers, Jackson and Ethan McCallum are the first to sign up to the apprentice programme being offered through Rayonier Matariki Forests. Jackson (18) and Ethan (16) leapt at the opportunity to get a qualification in the industry they love. Their … Read More

Future Foresters quick growing

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A group of young New Zealand foresters is working to raise the profile of their industry and provide support for those looking to develop careers in the sector. The Future Foresters group grew out of the NZ Institute of Forestry conference last September and has got off to a strong start, with some 200 members already on the books. As well as raising awareness of the industry, the group aims to encourage people into the industry and make the wider community aware of the employment opportunities in forestry. The group is unashamedly modelled on the Young Farmers organisation and hopes … Read More

Careers in Forestry

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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. Further information can be found at the Careers in Forestry section of the SWC website.

NZ Forest Industry Important Nationally, Regionally and Environmentally – NZIER Report

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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 … Read More