Friday Offcuts – 13 October 2017

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Virtual reality. Headsets that the kids strap on to play games in their own computer generated virtual environment. No, not anymore. We cover this week a story that featured recently in a Brazilian forest industry newsletter. It includes an interview with Dr Winyu Chinthammit from the Human Interface Technology Laboratory (HIT Lab) at the University of Tasmania, Australia. He’s one of the key presenters involved in the upcoming ForestTECH 2017 series that’s running in both New Zealand and Australia in November.

Researchers from Australia and New Zealand are concluding a project that’s linking forest inventory, data processing and Virtual Reality (VR). It’s one of few globally that’s using VR in forest inventory. It could well change just how we’re currently manging commercial forestry operations. How could it work? Accurate yield estimates as part of a forest inventory would be acquired from terrestrial or airborne platforms with photogrammetric or LiDAR technologies. The dense point cloud data collected from these platforms would then use 3D visualisation with VR back in the office to assess stands and individual trees. The advantages could be significant. The opportunities are certainly exciting. The VR prototype is already receiving positive feedback from industry.

Another forest inventory project featured this week plans on developing new methods for using remote sensing data to more accurately assess small plantations and woodlots across New Zealand. There’s estimated to be around 14,000 small-scale and medium-scale forest owners with much of this resource being found on New Zealand’s farms. Recent advancements in forest inventory techniques up until now have been developed for larger commercial plantations. This new two-year research programme being led by Scion will be looking at practical tools that will be able to provide more precise and cost-effective estimates of the volume and value of small to medium-scale forests.

Finally, last week we covered an article and video posted by a young US logger who was enthusiastic and glowing in his praise for the opportunities open to the younger generation or young millennials in forestry. The challenge was for much more of this type of coverage to appear in our own media. The challenge was picked up. One of New Zealand’s Regional Wood Councils major award winners has been profiled in a major newspaper this week. The piece was picked up by media across this country and further abroad. It profiled the award winner, a young woman in Northland, a mum and a co-owner of her own logging crew who’s working out in the forest, who is now an assessor for the country’s industry training organisation and is a strong advocate for H&S. She’s achieving - and she’s loving it. We just need now more of these stories to surface. Enjoy this week’s read.

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NZ forestry a first test in party negotiations

Some of New Zealand forest owners are suspending replanting of trees and re-thinking investments as the country’s third-largest export earner finds itself in the sights of maverick politician Winston Peters’ protectionist agenda. The election king-maker last week said he would prioritize a restructure of the forest industry in closely-watched coalition talks with major parties after last month’s inconclusive election result.

The plan includes a possible quota system which would force growers to favour local mills over a higher-paying export market. Exports of forest products totaled around NZ$4.75 billion in 2015, with China the top destination. That has put the Pacific nation’s lucrative forestry sector at the heart of concerns that New Zealand First in power will spell greater government intervention in New Zealand’s small, outward facing economy.

“Every time the government has done something like that we get what you call a hole in the supply of timber and we’re going into a hole now, an undersupply,” said Joe Carr, the owner of a privately-held logging business managing 500 hectares of forest in the far north of the country. Carr is holding off replanting 60 hectares of his land due to the possible restrictions and said on average growers were paid a third less to sell logs locally than to export them. He said his son was re-thinking whether his family should stick to forestry after 44 years in the business.



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2,000-year-old King Billy pines being sampled

King Billy pines don't really look all that impressive — they're not the biggest, prettiest or widest of trees — but they can tell us a lot about our history. Athrotaxis selaginoides, known as King Billy or King William pines, are endemic to Tasmania and found throughout the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park.

The trees, which are actually conifers but not pines, have been used in an eight-year study by an international research team to understand the environmental history of Australia.

Kathy Allen from the University of Melbourne led the research team and said the process sampled living and dead trees. "We got several hundred trees or cores from these trees," she told Leon Compton on ABC Radio Hobart. "Some of the dead trees have been on the ground for 1,000 years and they're still solid logs."

Dr Allen said the small cores from the trunks of the trees allowed them to see the tree rings without cutting them down. The samples were then combined into what is called a tree ring chronology which dates back 1,700 years. The tree ring chronology shows the growth rate of the ancient trees, which can be used to interpret the climate and other environmental influences in Tasmania. Dr Allen said there was ongoing work to be done interpreting the tree ring chronology — not just looking at the climate, but also searching for evidence of things such as bushfires.

"We looked at approximate establishment dates for this site [Weindorfer Forest at Cradle Mountain] and for a place called Mount Read which also has some very old trees," she said. "We could tell for Cradle Mountain there seems to be what we call a reasonably even establishment over time. "That suggested to us that ... within the small sites that we looked at ... there hadn't been these major fires there in those conifer forests for about 1,700 years."

Dr Allen's study, titled A 1,700-year Athrotaxis selaginoides tree-ring width chronology from southeastern Australia, has been published in Denrochronologia. Source: ABC News

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Streamlined Building set to grow NZ's CLT supply

Since veteran property investor Bob Jones announced his intention to build a high- rise office building in Wellington using engineered wood, the spotlight in industry has been on this new form of construction. Coincidentally, at a national wood building event in Rotorua a couple of week's ago, a major Australian building company announced its intention to grow New Zealand’s capacity to build more wood office towers and residential units.

Speaking at the Innovatek "Changing Perceptions" Conference, Strongbuild's business development manager Shane Strong, announced that they are launching a new business entity called Streamlined Building Solutions which will be a supplier of engineered timber products into the New Zealand marketplace.

“Streamlined Building Solutions will be a full service engineered timber resource centre that will be able to address the supply concerns of many NZ builders,” said Mr Strong. “We are offering a full suite of services from design, drafting and detailing to installation, compliance and certification,” he added.

Streamlined Building Solutions is an alliance between two like-minded companies , Strongbuild and Binderholz, dedicated to inspiring a positive, healthy change in the building industry. Binderholz is the leading European manufacturer of Engineered Timber products with a history spanning more than 60 years. Binderholz currently produce over 250,000m3 of CLT per year. Strongbuild is Australia’s leading innovator in the Timber Revolution, with extensive hands on local experience in CLT design, drafting, offsite manufacturing, compliance, certification and construction. Streamlined Building Solutions is the exclusive distributor of Binderholz Engineered Timber Product (CLT and glulam) in Australia and New Zealand.”

Innovatek director John Stulen says, “Right now our local market will welcome this new supply capacity for engineered wood panels and multi-residential housing capacity. With more office buildings like the one Bob Jones is planning set to go ahead, Strongbuild’s arrival here is good news for the market in Auckland and the regions.”

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Virtual reality and it’s use in local forests

This piece is drawn from a recent article published in a Brazilian forest industry newsletter. It features an interview with one of the key presenters, Dr Winyu Chinthammit from the Human Interface Technology Laboratory (HIT Lab), Australia at the upcoming ForestTECH 2017 series running in both New Zealand and Australia in November.

Increasingly, we are being able to walk through the forest without leaving the office. Researchers from Australia and New Zealand are concluding a project linking forest inventory, data processing and Virtual Reality (VR). We talked with Dr. Winyu Chinthammit, leading research scientist at the Human Interface Technology Laboratory at the University of Tasmania in Australia. He believes that over the next few years the technology will be completely dominated and may change the concept with which we manage forestry operations.

What are the great advances in the use of Virtual Reality (VR)? How can they be effectively applied in the forest?

Virtual Reality (VR) is a 3D human computer interface technology that enables users to be immersed in a computer generated virtual environment. VR has made possible applications, such as Telepresence, where users can perform tasks from remote locations.

In forestry, there are a number of essential tasks that currently are performed manually in timber plantations and native forests, such as tree and plot measurements for inventory assessments. The VR technology offers a unique opportunity to fundamentally change forest operation practices for which human perceptual skills are required.

In which areas would these be?

We are currently investigating the potential of immersive VR environment in forest inventory, in particular an operation aiming to obtain both tree size measurements and stem quality assessments, such as branching and sweep required for accurate yield estimates. We call this operation “cruising”.

The inventory plots are acquired/scanned with terrestrial or airborne platforms with photogrammetric or LiDAR technologies. The results are a set of dense point cloud data, which can be viewed with visualization software on a desktop platform. However, users are required to operate through the small field of view of a conventional display screen. This is where VR and its 3D immersive rendering could be very beneficial.

What are the advantages of using VR in the Forestry Sector?

The visualization of 3D spatial data such as structures of trees in a forest in a VR environment has advantages over a conventional desktop/laptop environment. The immersiveness of a VR interface allows users/operators to see the 3D scanning of the trees in a 1:1 scale with the real-world environment, and therefor enables operators to perform the tasks (e.g. assessment) with their natural perceptual ability, very similar to physically being on location.

Could you share with us a successful case?

I and my colleagues Dr. Jon Osborn - Discipline of Geography and Spatial Sciences, University of Tasmania, and Dr. Christine Stone – New South Wales Department of Industry – Lands & Forestry are working on a project that is investigating how VR technology can be used for a remote assessment of individual Pinus radiata trees with dense point clouds.

The project is still in its early stage however; our current VR prototype has already received positive feedback from collaborating industry partners and the funding body, Forest and Wood Products Australia. It should be noted that success to this approach is dependent on the accuracy of the dense point clouds and adequate coverage over the features of interest such as tree stems. This is currently being investigated in another part of our project.

What about using this technology to improve management, to better observe what is happening overall?

I believe VR technologies have the potential to change the current practices in mainstream commercial forestry; however, an advanced interface technology, such as VR requires a comprehensive understanding of the specific tasks that the VR interface is designed into. Therefore, we would need to know precisely each task of the inventory workflow, before we can determine whether VR could make a difference. However, I think one example about how the VR technology can improve is in improving the clarity of communications over 3D spatial data. For example, a 3D note or annotation of a specific point in the 3D dataset can be marked by an operator for another operator to view them in his/her VR environment. This would reduce a potential misunderstanding of the communication. Do you know which countries are more developed in this area?

As far as I am aware, the work of using VR in forest inventory assessments is new and we are one of very few who are investigating these issues. In Australia and New Zealand, we have an annual technology event, ForestTech (, which covers emerging technologies in forest resource management, remote sensing, GIS, mapping, and inventory. There are a number of talks on using VR and Augmented Reality in forestry.

Read more.

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Expressions of interest - Woodflow 2018

Early expressions of interest are being sought from presenters for next year’s Woodflow 2018 technology series. It’s being run in June next year in both New Zealand and Australia by the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA).

What is it?
The Woodflow series is Australasia’s premier technology event run every two years. It provides insights into innovations and new tools being developed and employed by leading forestry, wood products and transport companies.

The objective, with 30% – 40% of delivered log costs being contributed by transport, is to profile the very latest technologies for moving wood from the forest through to the log yard, processing plant, port or market. New initiatives and operating practices being employed to improve planning, logistics & operations within the wood supply chain are also showcased.

The FIEA event is run every two years. It’s run in both Australia and New Zealand. In 2017, the wood harvesting event, HarvestTECH, was sold out. Over 450 logging contractors, forestry managers and key suppliers attended. It was the largest event of its type yet seen in New Zealand.

In September 2016, over 250 harvesting contractors, wood transport operators and planners attended FIEA’s Wood Flow Optimisation event. The 2018 event will be building on the success, momentum and feedback that's been provided by the industry over the last two years at both of these events.

What’s being covered?
- Effective tools, models and case studies for collaboration through the wood supply chain
- Remote sensing and real-time tracking of logs and wood products
- Innovative systems to integrate planning, operations, harvesting, transport & sales
- Advances in automated measurement, materials handling, packaging and distribution
- New innovations around log and wood product handling, trucking, rail and shipping
- New mobile communications and data transfer technologies for local operations
- Developments in information technology and data management
- Opportunities using robotics, automation, augmented and virtual reality, machine learning, telematics and UAV’s
- Health and safety initiatives around forestry and wood transport operations
- Resolving key skills and labour shortages
- International models adding value to supply chain management.

If you have a new technology, are currently undertaking research in this area, can recommend a topic or a speaker that you think would really add value to the event or have an interesting case-study that showcases just how efficiencies have been improved within the wood supply chain, please make contact with before Friday 3 November.

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Australian Pine Log Price Index report released

The latest Australian Pine Log Price Index for the January-June 2017 period has just been released. The Australian Pine Log Price Index is compiled by KPMG using data provided by Australian softwood growers. The Index documents changes in pine log prices achieved by large-scale commercial plantation owners selling common grades of plantation softwood logs to domestic processors.

KPMG updates the Index biannually, with the two reporting periods being January to June and July to December. The Index has a base period of January to June 1998. KPMG acts as the independent Index manager and collects confidential data on log volumes and stumpage values for all sales, including long and short-term contracts and spot transactions, at the end of each reporting period. Quantity information on export sawlogs and export pulpwood is also provided.

This report presents a summary of the results of the Index report released for the period January to June 2017. The findings in this report are based on data provided by HQPlantations, Forestry Corporation of NSW, HVP Plantations and OneFortyOne Plantations.

The report is attached here for your information.

Source: KPMG

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Improving small-plantation and woodlot inventories

Small plantations and woodlots are a vital part of the New Zealand forest sector. Growers of these woodlots include an estimated 14,000 small-scale and medium-scale forest owners and much of this resource is found on New Zealand’s farms.

Accurate assessment of these forests is important for ensuring realistic valuation during forest transactions and to understand current and future wood availability at regional and national levels.

Forest inventory traditionally involves installing sufficient sample plots to estimate saleable volume separated by log grade. This may deemed to be too expensive for smaller plantations because they are sometimes highly variable, and are of low total value compared to larger forests. As a result, insufficient field plots may be measured to keep costs down.

Too few ground plots can lead to inaccurate estimates of the forest value. Precision estimates obtained in this way, such as probable limit of error (PLE), may be misleading. Potential buyers may undervalue the resource to compensate for the high degree of uncertainty. On the other hand, an over-estimation of the value could lead to unexpected results at harvest with detrimental flow-on effects for rural businesses.

Improving the methods for estimating yields is important to support the management of small-plantations and to ensure the sustainability of this important wood source. A two-year research programme initiated at Scion (NZ Forest Research Institute) aims to do just that.

This research will develop methods to integrate remotely sensed data into forest inventories at an appropriate scale and in a cost-effective manner. Remote sensing based inventory techniques have been developed for larger plantations, but these methods are not well suited to smaller forests. We intend to develop new methods to allow for more precise and cost-effective estimates of the volume and value of small to medium-scale forests.

The research programme has several distinct themes including re-using existing data where appropriate, providing methods for integrating newly collected data and focussing on developing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for forest inventory. At the end of the project we will have a set of options for small to medium-scale forest growers to assess their trees more accurately.

In recent years, statistical techniques have been developed that enable data from laser scanners on board conventional aircraft (LiDAR) to be integrated into forest inventories. These techniques are now routinely applied across major commercial forests in New Zealand and Australia with considerable success.

However, these methods are not well suited to small-plantations. This is due in part to the requirement for a large number of field sample plots to exploit the most popular statistical modelling methods.

These plots can easily be accommodated in the measurement programme of a large estate, but are prohibitively expensive for small-plantation growers. Furthermore, larger forests can access cost efficiencies in aerial data collection through acquisition over larger areas.

As part of this research Scion will investigate whether small to medium-scale forest growers can access the benefits of existing techniques by following a community-based, data sharing method. We hope to collate a database of field plots from a group of participants who are willing to share their data. Field plot data may have been installed specifically by a user for this purpose or may be acquired from pre-existing sources such as permanent sample plots (PSPs), already established forest inventory plots, or field measurement plots associated with the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). These data will be combined with freely available remotely sensed data frequently collected by regional or national government agencies. We hope that this will provide useful forest yield data for all participants.

The success of this approach depends on finding willing participants who will share their data. All data can be made anonymous if required. If you are interested in helping with this research and becoming part of a community of users, we would love to hear from you. Please get in touch with by e-mail. We will also be targeting small-forest growers through forest management and forest consulting companies so you may well hear from us directly.

We will be presenting our research results via seminars and articles in both scientific and industry publications in 2018. The work is being supported by AgMardt, Forest Growers Levy Trust, New Zealand Farm Forestry Association, The Neil Barr Foundation and Scion’s core funding.

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Northland's Michelle Harrison picks up major forestry award

Michelle Harrison takes health and safety in the NZ forestry industry very seriously. The 35-year-old, who won Trainee of the Year at this year's Northland Forestry Awards, also looks out for kiwi during log harvesting.

She lives in rural Okaihau with her family. She has always worked with her husband, Nigel, in forestry, and two years ago the couple started their own logging crew, Wise on Wood Ltd. Husband Nigel said it's a balancing act for Michelle.

"Since joining the business Michelle has found time to concentrate on her own personal development and qualifications," he said. "That's no mean feat considering she works fulltime, looks after me and the boys, does the bookwork, runs the health and safety programme and still helps out in the community.

"Michelle is our rock when it comes to health and safety. She spends endless hours at night researching and keeping up with others discoveries and misfortunes in the industry. This is a real asset in our crew," he said.

Michelle said being a female in the forestry industry was not always easy and to receive the Trainee of the Year award was recognition for the hard work she had put in over the years. Her training is ongoing and she recently completed her Level 3 National certificate in business. In 2016, she was appointed a contract assessor for the industry training organisation for forestry, Competenz.

"There was a shortage of assessors who assess theory-based units in Northland," said her husband. "Michelle has the skills to read and interpret questions, rephrasing them so a logger can understand them. She has a true commitment to training and to improving our industry."

Recently Michelle has been working with DOC in the block it is currently logging, learning to locate kiwi with transmitters and moving them throughout the block as required to keep them out of harm's way while harvesting. The job is very challenging but also rewarding. In the 20ha block there were eight kiwi with transmitters, and we have managed to keep them all safe, plus discovered and caught three more," she said.

This is the second year the Northland Forestry Awards have been held. Organisers are pleased with the increased number of entries and support they received from the wider industry and sponsors.

"These awards are showing in this second year, how important they are for the industry in Northland because it is a chance to role model the professionals we have and continue the development of our safety culture within the region," said Andrew Widdowson, chair of the awards organising committee and spokesman for the Northland Wood Council.

"The Northland Forestry Awards provide us with an occasion to celebrate the industry and the positive impact it has for the region, the fantastic people we have working on the ground and the opportunities if offers."


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Digital technologies converging on primary sector

Every year MobileTECH brings together over 300 technology leaders, developers, early adopters and major industry operators from throughout the primary sector. Now in its 6th year, new technologies and innovations have always been the focus for this agritech event. It runs over two days and has always buzzed with activity. MobileTECH is a major cross-sector event, where technology leaders meet and exchange ideas from across the agricultural, horticultural and forestry sectors, both from within and from outside New Zealand.

The theme for next year’s MobileTECH 2018 event is “Innovation through Smart Data”.

In the past, innovations in hardware, equipment and machines were the main productivity drivers. Now business data and decision-making software are the catalysts for completely new technologies and growth in the primary sector.

Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, big data, the Internet of Things (IoT) and automation are creating new opportunities for the primary industry. Machine learning, where computer programs accesses data and use it to learn for themselves, can take petabytes of satellite imaging data and figure out how healthy crops are from space. Pest control companies are developing artificial intelligence based image-recognition technology to automatically identify and treat pest problems. The forest industry is also looking to use machine learning to better measure and manage their plantations.

Data, and access to it, is key in realising this potential.

In New Zealand over the last two years, Spark, Vodafone and other tech providers have been rolling out networks to utilise the Internet of Things for farms and orchards across the country. Fonterra and LIC have also launched a major new platform, called Agrigate, which aims to combine all the key data farmers need into an easy to use online dashboard.

A recent PwC’s ‘Commercialising Innovation Report’ shows that artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things are the most advanced of the emerging technologies in New Zealand and some Kiwi companies are already banking the returns. PwC predicts that AI will boost the global economy by US$15.7 trillion by 2030. The New Zealand IoT Alliance, in their ‘Accelerating a Connected New Zealand report’, estimates the economic benefit of IoT in NZ dairy farming is $448 million and another $72 million for horticulture.

While we are generating more data than ever before, we are also only just scraping the surface on just how we can use the data to make smarter business decisions at the right time.

“These new digital technologies and the use of them in a range of practical applications will be the big talking points at MobileTECH 2018,” said Ken Wilson, MobileTECH’s programme manager.

“We are currently developing the programme for MobileTECH 2018. We’ve already received a huge amount of interest from industry, researchers, tech developers and some of the early adopters of new technology for next year’s event,” said Mr Wilson. “It is always exciting to bring together the country’s industry and technology leaders to discuss technologies that are currently driving the future of the primary sector.”

MobileTECH 2018 will be running on 27-28 March 2018 in Rotorua, New Zealand. Further details can be found on the event website,
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Forestry to bring 234 jobs to Kangaroo Island

The forestry industry will create 234 jobs on Kangaroo Island and contribute more than AU$41 million to its economy annually, according to an economic impact report prepared by EconSearch.

A comparison with other agriculture on the island shows plantation forestry will generate a three-times greater return, more than double the number of jobs, and more than three times the household income per hectare.

Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers commissioned EconSearch to assess the economic impact of the proposed Smith Bay deep-water wharf on the KI, SA and national economies. The full report will be available as part of the company’s Environmental Impact Statement, which is being prepared now and will be released for public consultation.

The report says forestry will create 163 direct jobs and 71 indirect jobs on the island. “Some of these numbers are higher than we had previously anticipated. It has been an exhaustive process for EconSearch, using their experience as well as the complex modelling prepared by our Director of Operations Graham Holdaway,” KIPT Managing Director John Sergeant said.

The report finds that while Kangaroo Island has lower unemployment than the rest of SA, it also has a lower average income, a steeper decline in school enrolments, lower building approvals and its population is ageing more quickly. Read the full media release here.

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Hundegger expansion in Australasia

Hundegger Australasia Pty Ltd are the regional representatives for Hans Hundegger AG of Germany, leading manufacturers of up to 6-axis CNC machinery for the truss and frame, engineered timber and CLT panel processing industry.

From humble beginnings in 2007, Hundegger Australasia has grown under the direction of Managing Director Charlie Hutchings to deliver over 85 machines across Australia and New Zealand. To help accommodate this growth and prepare for increasing demand, in January 2017 Hundegger purchased and moved into a significantly larger facility of around 1500m2 in Rowville, Victoria.

With a very strong technical support base in place, Hundegger are also pleased to announce the appointment of Sam Rowe (photo) as General Manager of Hundegger Australasia. “Sam brings over 25 years’’ experience in the timber machinery business, across the sawmilling and further processing sectors, with established relationships in Australia, New Zealand and PNG, along with strong Sales, Project Management and General Management capabilities” said Hutchings.

“Hundegger are a very competent and capable company, thriving whilst also remaining quiet achievers” says Rowe, “the emerging opportunities in the region amongst the prefabricated and engineered wood products sector are a perfect fit for continued strong performance by Hundegger”

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NZ drone makers finding niche markets

New Zealand's commercial drone manufacturers are successfully finding niche markets as the potential for the unmanned flying machines takes off.

While unable to compete on price with large Chinese drone makers, several Kiwi companies are finding specialised uses for drones, which are already saving business time and money.

Currently, 70 per cent of commercial drones are used for aerial photography, 8 per cent for power line inspection and 2 per cent for agricultural work, according to information provided by UAVNZ.

The industry body's chairman, Andy Grant, said there was "huge" potential for drone use in core New Zealand industries like agriculture, construction and forestry.

For example, Grant's company ASG Technologies has developed a drone capable of carrying out forestry work that would ordinarily take six workers up to an entire day in some six minutes.

Instead of requiring workers to haul 1km of steel rope above felled trees in order for them to be collected, ASG's drone - one of the largest industrial drones in the country -- is able to carry 14kg of rope the entire distance in a single flight. The savings in time and money were, clearly, enormous, Grant said. The drone was currently being used by forestry company Hancock Forest Management.

New Zealand companies were also looking at the emerging technology of "tethered" drones; aircraft connected to an operating box by a thin wire allowing them to fly for hours, even days. without needing the battery to be charged.

The next major breakthrough in drone technology would be when drones were allowed to work beyond the line of sight of operators, something that is being trialled in a dedicated drone airspace in Canterbury.

"The speed of development in the drone-sector is breath-taking," Grant said. "The drones themselves are almost daily increasing in payload capacity, endurance and range. Their on-board sensors are increasing in sophistication and they are becoming progressively more autonomous."

Within 20 to 30 years drones the size of 787 aircraft would come into existence, he said. To date, the CAA has issued certificates to 92 New Zealand companies to operate drones. Airways New Zealand, the country's air traffic controllers, has also been involved in creating the foundations of a drone traffic management system.


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Why we need a carbon price of $100 ... or more

Carbon prices of $100 a tonne - and possibly as high as $225 – are being foreshadowed in a new report. Wellington company Concept Consulting was commissioned by NZ’s Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright to analyse potential to cut greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector.

Emissions from the energy sector are responsible for about 40 per cent of New Zealand's total greenhouse gas emissions, and rose 36.7 per cent between 1990 and 2015, according to New Zealand's latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory.

A sixth of those emissions come from electricity generation, but the two areas in which emissions are growing are transport and industrial heat. In the report, Concept says that current carbon prices do not reflect the cost of global warming.

“It is our view that current carbon prices in New Zealand (approximately NZ$18/tCO2, but reduced to NZ$9/tCO2 with the one-for-two arrangement under the ETS) are significantly lower than that which would reflect the cost to New Zealand society from global warming. Concept has used a carbon price of up to $100 a tonne in its report, but says others are looking much higher.

“We note a growing number of international studies which indicate that global carbon prices will need to be significantly higher in order to prevent global temperatures rising above 2deg – the level at which some of the significant adverse impacts mentioned above have been identified as starting to become particularly significant,” it says. “For example, the International Energy Agency’s scenario for limiting global temperature rise to 2deg has carbon prices rising to NZ$225/tCO2 by 2050.”

Source: Carbon News 2017

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Buy and Sell

...and one to end the week on ... The hardest karaoke song in the World

"Morgunmatu","þjóðgarð", "bílaleigubíll". No, I haven't fallen asleep on the keyboard - these words all feature in a quirky new video released this week to promote tourism to Iceland while embracing the rather tongue-twisting local language. A-Ö of Iceland is sung by Icelandic comedian and presenter Steindi Jr as he teaches some everyday words (there are 32 letters in the alphabet), while travelling the length and breadth of the country.


And on that note, enjoy your weekend. Cheers.

Brent Apthorp
Editor, Friday Offcuts
Distinction Dunedin Hotel
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Tel: +64 (03) 470 1902, Mob: +64 21 227 5177, Fax: +64 (03) 470 1906
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