Friday Offcuts – 15 March 2019

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Last week International Women’s Day was celebrated with a myriad of activities being run to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women - whilst also marking a call to action for accelerating gender balance within our own industry. Next Thursday, 21 March, marks another milestone. It’s the UN International Day of Forests. It’s been going now for eight years and designed to celebrate and raise the awareness of the importance of all types of forests. Considering the amount of effort going on right now by forestry and wood products companies, the 2019 theme is one that’s close to our hearts, “Forests and Education”.

In line with this theme, most New Zealand forestry companies, contractors and training assessors have already been canvassed, have attended meetings and are in the process of making submissions on a major overhaul of the country’s vocational education system. The proposed new centralised entity, the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, if introduced in its current form, is going to be responsible for delivering all on-job and off-job training. This includes the current apprenticeship training scheme. To date, the feedback from the forestry industry has been pretty scathing. Time for submissions is tight. Details on how to contribute your feedback are contained in this week’s story.

A couple of stories have also been simmering away this week which should be of concern to the industry. They have the potential to directly impact on the Governments push on both sides of the Tasman to encourage landowners and investors to plant trees as part of the “billion trees in the ground” initiatives. The perception right now is that smaller forestry investors aren’t being protected by the statutory supervisors in either country. They’ve been badly let down by the professionals whose job it was to look after their commercial interests.

News this week is that Australian retirees and investors in a failed forestry scheme are finally going to get their day in court with a AU$75 million court action against the IOOF subsidiary, Australian Executor Trustees. In New Zealand, concerns have also been raised by some Taranaki investors on a forestry scheme – linked to last week’s announcement on the closure of a local sawmill. The country’s Forestry Minister, announced this week that he’s asked for a briefing on the role that trustees are playing in forestry investment schemes and their role in protecting the future retirement savings of investors. Right now, perception is everything.

At a function in Wellington yesterday, a new NZ$29.3 million, 7-year wood harvesting and log sorting research programme was launched. Details are contained in the story below. And finally, as a pre-cursor or appetiser to this region’s major wood harvesting event in June ( HarvestTECH 2019), well over 200 forestry and wood harvesting contractors from seven countries met this week in Vancouver at HarvestTECHX 2019. The event was run by Innovatek Ltd in conjunction with the Logging & Sawmilling Journal and TimberWest. In addition to the technology conference, a one-day workshop and field sessions looking at the safe operation of winch assist logging equipment hosted by the BC Forest Safety Council is being run today. Details on this event will follow. That’s it for this week. Enjoy this week’s read.



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OneFortyOne extends halt on sawlog exports

OneFortyOne has announced that as a result of strong domestic demand it has advised customers that there will be no sawlog exported from its estate until at least June 2020. This is a continuation of the position taken 12 months ago by the company and is positive news for local processing. The Company has found its customers are seeking even more fibre than ever before.

OneFortyOne’s Executive General Manager - Cameron MacDonald said “This is the strongest domestic market we have seen in over 15 years. Whilst local demand remains strong, we will continue to support the local industry by retaining the sawlogs onshore, being mindful not to compromise the long-term sustainability of the forest”.

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PM awards inaugural Forestry Scholarships

New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern presented Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau (Te Uru Rākau Forestry Scholarships) to eight outstanding new students at a special forestry scholarship awards ceremony at the University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha (UC) on Thursday last week.

“Developing skills, capability and leadership for New Zealand’s forestry sector is a priority for the Government and Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand). These scholarships are the first step towards an exciting and rewarding career in forestry for eight exceptional individuals who will in turn strengthen the future labour pool in this vital industry,” says Ms Ardern.

Te Uru Rākau developed the scholarships to encourage young and talented individuals into Aotearoa New Zealand’s growing forestry industry. The scholarships are available to Māori and/or female students enrolling in the University of Canterbury’s Bachelor of Forestry Science or Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Forest Engineering. Each scholarship recipient gets: NZ$8,000 a year for 4 years (the length of the degree) to help with tuition fees and living costs and a paid internship of between 4 to 10 weeks with an appropriate employer in the forestry sector.

Forestry student and scholarship recipient Robyn Patient (Te Arawa and Ngāi Te Rangi), who attended Kaiapoi High School, was thrilled to be one of the first UC students to receive the Te Uru Rākau Forestry scholarship.

“I was so excited. It was something I absolutely wanted to do and getting the support from MPI [Ministry for Primary Industries] and the University of Canterbury was so relieving. My family and extended whānau were really excited. We told all of my marae and family up in Tauranga and Rotorua and they were so stoked.”

It was a visit to UC that opened her eyes to the possibilities of a career in forestry. “I actually did not know about Forestry [as a discipline] until I attended UC Open Day. I knew I loved Biology, I loved English, and I’m a good writer. I heard about the scholarship and what they do in Forestry from the lecture presentation at Open Day, and I knew it was something I was really going to enjoy,” she says.

“Even in my first three weeks here, I know it’s something I want to continue doing. I made the right choice.” There’s lots of different career avenues in forestry science and engineering, Robyn says. “I’m leaning towards biological research or commercial. I didn’t realise I’d enjoy the commercial aspects so much. It’s something new I learnt about myself in my first few weeks at UC.”

Te Uru Rākau Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau Awards Ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, the Minister of Forestry Hon Shane Jones, UC Vice-Chancellor Cheryl de la Rey, UC Chancellor Sue McCormack, Ministry for Primary Industries Director General Ray Smith, and Head of Te Uru Rākau Julie Collins.

For more information on Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships click here.

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AU$75 million court action against AET

Backed by Australia’s leading litigation funder, IMF Bentham Limited, thousands of Australian retirees, who lost everything after investing in a forestry scheme in the 1980s, will finally get their day in court against IOOF. The Supreme Court of NSW has scheduled the hearing over eight days from 1 July.

The investors’ lawyers, Piper Alderman, allege that IOOF subsidiary, Australian Executor Trustees, failed in its duty as security trustee to protect the investors’ interests in the Southern Australian Perpetual Forests (Sapfor) scheme. Investors in Sapfor were promised a safe long-term investment into land and trees in Mount Gambier’s green triangle area, but in 2012 saw their investments reduced to nil as a string of corporate blunders allowed the scheme assets to be consumed in the insolvency of Tasmanian forestry giant Gunns.

It is claimed AET acted negligently and in breach of trust by prematurely releasing the scheme’s security arrangements before receiving sale proceeds worth AU$55m. The money was due to the investors, but never reached them – instead Gunns used it to repay its debts to bankers.

The detailed background to this particular case can be read here

Source: litigationfinacejournal



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Concerns from Taranaki forest investors

In last week’s issue, we highlighted the unfortunate closure of the Waverley Sawmill, which had traded since at least 1932. Another story this week from the National Business Review (NBR) dated 7 March linked to the mill closure raises concerns by investors in several forestry syndicates managed by another Whanganui company, Arbor Management.

The investors found themselves owning a stake in the mill via related party transactions organised by Arbor. The NBR article says that the investments date back to the 1980s and 1990s when Arbor began selling units in eight forestry syndicates. In total, the schemes raised more than NZ$13 million from investors. More than 20 years later, investors are yet to receive a cent and a failure to file accounts, in some cases since 2016, is ringing alarm bells.



Some unitholders have complained to the Financial Markets Authority. The Companies Office lists the directors of Arbor as Richard Mandeno and Peter Martin. When asked if the lack of financial statements has left investors in the lurch, Arbor told NBR that “They haven’t had the information, yes.” Arbor blames not filing records on flawed mixed-age forest valuation methodology and a continuing sales process for the syndicated forestry assets.

Source: NBR

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Competenz calls for forestry industry feedback

The New Zealand government’s proposal to reform vocational education could undermine the success of training and apprenticeships at a time of critical skills shortages in forestry, says industry training organisation (ITO) Competenz.

Chief executive Fiona Kingsford is encouraging the forestry industry to this week provide feedback on the plan, which includes replacing all 16 polytechs with a new national organisation called the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, which would be responsible for delivering all on-job and off-job training.

Industry-owned ITOs like Competenz would no longer exist – they would no longer arrange training or support the learning and assessment of apprentices and trainees in the workplace. Mrs Kingsford says Competenz is concerned that employers’ ability to influence how their programmes are delivered will become less flexible and unable to be adapted to individual workplaces under a centralised model.

“The changes the government has proposed are more complex and far-reaching than we expected. There is no doubt the system needs modification and funding needs to be realigned to deliver what our industries need – but these changes are too radical. In a time of critical skills shortages, the last thing we want is a reform that risks undermining workplace training and apprenticeship programmes”.

“Yes, the system needs reform and yes we need to address the funding inequalities, but in our opinion, these changes are not the way to do it.” Mrs Kingsford says Competenz currently looks after 20,000 trainees and apprentices across 3,500 New Zealand businesses. The direct relationship between ITOs and employers is a key factor in the success of training and apprenticeships.

“The role of ITOs is crucial and with our direct line to thousands of employers, we understand the demand for trades better than anyone else. When we surveyed employers last year, they told us that ITOs perform a critical function and need more funding. The reform goes against what industry is saying. We need evolution not revolution.”

Competenz has until 27 March to make a submission on the proposal and provide feedback that reflects the voice of the forestry industry and the other sectors it supports. A survey was sent to all forest owners, contractors and assessors who work with Competenz, and Mrs Kingsford and her team met with FICA representatives on Monday 11 March to discuss the proposal and gather feedback.

There is still time to have your say.

More information:

- Find out more at haveyoursay.competenz.org.nz.
- Email Competenz at vet@competenz.org.nz
- Write to the government at vocationaleducation.reform@education.govt.nz
- See Reform of Vocational Education on education.govt.nz.

Photo: DG Glenn Logging workers and Competenz trainees on the job in Hawke’s Bay

Source: Competenz

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Hospital moving from coal to biomass fuel

New Zealand’s Health Minister Dr David Clark says two new woody biomass boilers for Christchurch Hospital will improve the Canterbury DHB’s resilience and environmental sustainability.

Polytechnik Biomass Energy, based in Austria, has been awarded the contract to design, manufacture and install replacements for the current coal-fired boilers. The total budget for the project is approximately NZ$45 million.

“The existing boiler house at Canterbury DHB’s main hospital campus was damaged in the 2011 earthquake and is at increased risk of failure in the event of another significant earthquake. This investment will tackle that vulnerability and ensure the critical energy supply for the hospital is modern and reliable”.

“The new boilers will use sustainably produced wood biomass, which is a renewable resource and affordable. The boilers are a great way to dispose of waste wood, and will emit far less carbon dioxide than conventional fossil fuels.

“The design and construction of the two 7.5Mw capacity biomass boilers is a key next step towards building the new Energy Centre, which is needed to service the new Christchurch Hospital, Hagley (formerly known as the Acute Services Building) and all of Canterbury DHB’s main hospital campus.

“Once the design of the boilers has been completed, then the design and procurement of the Energy Centre building can take place. It is expected that construction of the new Energy Centre will get underway in late 2019, and that the project will be completed by the end of 2020 or early 2021.




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NZ Companies creating forestry portfolio

Air New Zealand, Contact Energy, Genesis Energy and Z Energy have joined forces to create a partnership that will establish a forest portfolio to sequester carbon and help meet their annual requirements under the emissions trading scheme.

Dryland Carbon LLP, or Drylandcarbon, chief executive Anthony Beverley said that now the partnership has been created, the next task is to focus on the land and the portfolio establishment. The main aim is to produce a stable supply of forestry-generated NZU carbon credits for the four companies. The initiative, however, will also expand New Zealand’s national forest estate.

Beverley said Drylandcarbon will target the purchase and licensing of marginal land across the country but will focus on where New Zealand has traditionally seen the strongest forest growth rate. "We are targeting the highest growth areas as the purpose of the partnership is to sequester as much carbon as we can," he said.

The portfolio strategy is to both acquire land and license land. "We see this as a really good opportunity for us to partner with landowners. We think there is a really compelling opportunity with landowners with marginal land that are looking for partners with capital and carbon expertise," he said.

The portfolio will focus on permanent forests but will also look to include some rotation forests. "Because of our carbon focus we would prefer some of the more remote, more difficult land as it's more cost effective."

The initial plan is to plant exotics but the aim is to transition to natives over time, he said. All four partners said the investment amount is commercially sensitive. Both Genesis and Air New Zealand said the value of the partnership is "far greater than purely financial."

Drylandcarbon will be managed by Lewis Tucker & Co, which describes itself as a boutique agri-business advisory service. The four companies will not have day-to-day involvement in the running of the business. Drylandcarbon is currently engaging with farming and regional communities around establishing carbon forests on private land.

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NZ fire-fighters head to Victoria

A contingent of 43 New Zealand firefighting personnel is heading to Victoria help combat bushfires that have been ravaging the state for two weeks. The team, made up of two taskforces of 21 firefighters plus a liaison officer, will fly out of Auckland and Wellington today.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand National Manager Rural Operations John Rasmussen said the deployment was in response to a request from the Country Fire Authority, Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) and Emergency Management Victoria.

"Our firefighters are really stepping up to the plate to help our neighbours, following three deployments to Tasmania to help with fires there. It’s been an incredibly busy summer in the Southern Hemisphere."

The arduous firefighters will be from Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ), the Department of Conservation and forestry companies. Arduous firefighters have specialist skills working in steep, remote and rugged terrain.

"The team will be working in extremely tough conditions, with very hot and dry weather," Mr Rasmussen said. "The crews we’re sending are skilled at working amongst tall timber and using chainsaws."

Mr Rasmussen said the deployment illustrates the excellent relationship FENZ has with our Australian colleagues and the high regard our firefighters are held in internationally. "We’re proud to be able to help."

Dozens of fires started by lightning strikes have been burning since the end of February. They have destroyed more than 30 properties east of Melbourne - 29 in the Bunyip State Park blaze, two at Yinnar South and one at Walhalla. Nine fires are still active.

Up to date information on the fires can be found at http://emergency.vic.gov.au/respond/.

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NZ$29.3m wood harvesting programme launched

Boosting forest productivity, technology, safety and skills and reducing environmental impacts are at the heart of a new programme announced yesterday. Te Mahi Ngahere I te Ao Hurihuri – Forestry Work in the Modern Age is a new NZ$29.3 million, 7-year collaboration between Forest Growers Research Ltd (FGR), a consortium of forest owners and forestry machinery manufacturers and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

It has its sights on developing a new in-forest harvesting and log sorting system specific to New Zealand’s forests, using automation and robotics – a first for New Zealand. “Technology is increasingly important in improving safety, skills and productivity, and protecting the environment,” says FGR Chief Executive Russell Dale.

“Our industry relies on people, but labour shortages and rising costs in harvesting forests and transporting logs are holding the industry back and reducing our ability to grow. Our new programme with MPI aims to automate the tasks after felling that have traditionally required substantial labour. These include log branding, log sorting and scaling. We also want boost the efficiency of forestry operations, take people away from hazardous harvesting roles, and give them the skills they need for the future.”

MPI’s Director Investment Programmes Steve Penno says at the heart of the new programme is creating sustainable benefits for New Zealand, by delivering economic, environmental and social outcomes. “This new programme brings key industry players together to tackle common challenges facing our forestry industry, and will deliver solutions that keep people safe, and boost their skills and capability,” says Mr Penno. “It’ll also help to bridge the gap between demand for our logs and the shortfall in labour. All of these are essential for a thriving forestry industry.

FGR’s Harvesting Programme Manager Keith Raymond says as harvesting shifts to forests planted in the 90s and onto steeper land in smaller, more isolated holdings, the industry faces the challenge of reducing costs and improving efficiency to maintain our international competitiveness.

“Current technology and processes mean logs are handled between eight and twelve times before they’re loaded for export. This adds time and cost. Unless we make a fundamental shift in our forest harvesting operations, New Zealand may have difficulty meeting demand and remaining competitive. We believe our programme can deliver this shift. It will also help to maintain good momentum in forestry innovations and keep New Zealand at the forefront.”

MPI and the industry partners are finalising the contract for the programme, which is expected to deliver operational cost savings across industry of NZ$27.5 million per annum by 2025, increasing to NZ$76.8 million per annum by 2031.

Further details and plans around the planned seven year programme will be outlined as part of the HarvestTECH 2019 event being run in Rotorua, New Zealand for harvesting contractors and forest managers on 26-27 June.

Source: MPI



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Transport company installing warehouse robots

The Australian transport business, GTS Freight Group, has selected software company, Dematic, to provide Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) in its new warehouse in Mildura, Victoria. GTS Freight Group is a privately-owned full-service logistics company based in Mildura, which operates a nation-wide fleet of over 150 prime movers and over 450 trailers.

Due to ongoing growth, the GTS Freight Group is constructing a new depot adjacent to its existing facility. This will incorporate a 10,000-square-metre warehouse, trailer parking for 60 trailers and a new corporate headquarters.

The AGVs will reportedly manage a block stacked full pallet warehouse. This system comprises two counterbalance AGVs utilising QR code navigation within block stack lanes and Dematic’s AGV Manage Warehouse Control Software (WCS) interfaced with paperless Warehouse Management System (WMS).

The AGVs have been designed to work in a specific area, receiving stock, and putting away and picking full pallets, whilst part picking is performed manually, as well as all warehouse housekeeping. The AGVs have been designed for GTS with a combination of laser guidance and QR code navigation. The QR codes can allow for more accurate navigation within high block stacked warehouses, allowing the AGVs to operate in high-density storage.

One of the key benefits of installing the AGVs in GTS’ new warehouse is to be able to perform other tasks that need attending to, including stock maintenance and data entry, at the same time that the AGVs are performing the picking tasks. The new AGVs are due to go live mid-2019.

Source: trailermag.com.au

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Fatal truck crashes fall dramatically in 2018

The latest crash statistics show a dramatic fall in fatal truck crashes in 2018, Australian Trucking Association Chair Geoff Crouch said. The ATA represents the 50,000 businesses and 211,500 people in the Australian trucking industry and has welcomed the release of the latest Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) heavy vehicle fatal crash statistics.

“The data from BITRE shows a dramatic decrease in the number of fatal truck crashes,” ATA Chair Geoff Crouch said. Compared to 2017, there has been a 20.5 per cent decrease in fatal crashes involving heavy trucks, a 15.2 per cent decrease in fatal crashes involving articulated trucks and a 26.1 per cent decrease in fatal crashes involving heavy rigid trucks.

A recent multi-agency operation led by WA Main Roads in partnership with the NHVR, South Australian Police and Department of Transport WA has shown a high level of legal compliance by operators. “The operation on the SA-WA border found 91 per cent of trucking operators travelling interstate to be compliant with the Heavy Vehicle National Law,” Mr Crouch said.

“The results of this operation, and the crash statistics, highlight the industry’s improving safety and compliance record. Mr Crouch said there is still a lot of work to be done. “Until we reach a point where there are zero fatalities and injuries on our roads, the ATA will continue to advocate for practical safety solutions,” he said.

The practical safety measures called for by the ATA include:

- enabling the Australian Transport Safety Bureau to provide independent, no-blame safety investigations for road crashes involving heavy vehicles
- increasing the quantity and quality of truck driver rest areas
- mandating autonomous emergency braking for all new trucks, and
- improving truck driver training and licensing systems.

“The ATA is continuing to work hard to reach our goal of zero fatal and serious injury crashes,” Mr Crouch said. “Last week we received AU$400,000 from the Australian Government for the refurbishment of the Volvo ATA Safety Truck, a road safety initiative that educates young drivers and vulnerable road users about how to share the road safely with trucks,” he said.

Source: Australian Trucking Association

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WPMA apprehensive over environmental taxes

The Wood Processors and Manufacturers’ Association (WPMA) has called for a cautious approach to the Tax Working Group’s recommendations for more environmental taxes in New Zealand. WPMA chair, Brian Stanley said “a lot of media attention and commentary has been given to Capital Gains Tax options, but the Working Group report makes some significant recommendations for environmental taxes which also need fervent debate”.

Environmental taxes have the potential to materially change New Zealand’s economy, for example by influencing the shape of investment in land. WPMA has long backed policies to encourage investment in forestry and wood processing. WPMA claims the sector could contribute materially to a future low-carbon and clean-water economy if it grows to meet international demand for sustainable housing, packaging and other products. “The Working Group appears to have correctly identified some sectors are not paying their share of the costs for environmental issues” said Mr Stanley, “So, further environmental taxes can assist, for example including agriculture in the ETS is one appropriate way of improving the system”.

However, the WPMA believes not all the Working Group proposals on environmental taxes will support the economic transformation desired. The greatest concern is the lack of acknowledgement of what other countries do. Brian Stanley said, “It’s just too simplistic to suggest you can tax your way to a green economy”. He cited a report commissioned by the Wood Council of New Zealand in 2016, which outlined the myriad of subsidies, support schemes and trade barriers faced by the New Zealand wood industry.

“Our policies need to factor the very aggressive policies in some countries, which aim to directly promote the investment they want”. He highlighted the example of free ETS units issued to wood processors, suggesting the Working Group recommendation to phase-out so-called ‘EITE assistance’ could have a perverse impact by discouraging investment in renewable energy and low carbon building products because it would increase costs for the sector while the same sector in other countries enjoy direct subsidies and tax relief. “The approach may work if New Zealand was isolated from other parts of the world, but we will lose out if we increase costs at the time our competitors are reducing costs for bio-energy, wood processing and similar low-carbon activities”.

These concerns are underlined by the Working Group noting one of New Zealand’s long-running economic challenges is its low rate of capital investment. While WPMA supports the recommendation for a carefully designed regime to encourage large, nationally significant infrastructure projects as one remedy, the Association suggests the report is disappointing in its limited consideration of how the tax system could be used to encourage investment in green manufacturing, particularly in comparison to other countries’ strong industrial-support policies.

“If we want to build a green economy, it is important to get the balance right between ‘carrot and stick’, to understand the investment we want and to be mindful of competitor countries’ policies” said Mr Stanley.

Source: WPMA

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Drones taking on an entirely new role

More than 1 billion people have watched an indoor drone show created by Swiss-based Verity Studios during China Central Television’s Chinese New Year’s Gala that was broadcast on 5 February. Billed as the “world’s most-watched TV program,” the broadcast featured 88 microdrones flying over major Chinese music stars Sun Nan and Jason Zhang.

During a song, the drones flew from the back of the stage festooned in red “drone costumes” shaped like lanterns and hovered like butterflies over 50 performers dressed as blossoming cherry trees. “This stunning performance proves how compelling drones can be. More than just flying lights, we’ve shown that costumes can transform this technology into moving sculptures. This is the first large-scale performance ever done with drone costumes,” said Raffaello D’Andrea, founder of Verity and co-founder of Amazon Robotics.”

Asia production company Keey Media collaborated with Verity. “When the drones floated up from the back of the stage, it was a very special moment. We specialize in live entertainment, but we’ve never seen anything like this before. We see a lot of potential in this technology for entertainment and we’re excited to see what comes next,” Keey Media spokesperson Wan Li said.

Founded in 2014, Verity has produced several drone programs for major artists, including Cirque du Soleil, rapper Drake and Metallica. With more than 100,000 flights across 20 companies, the firm has raised $18 million in a Series A funding round, “making Verity the world’s most well-funded company in the rapidly emerging commercial indoor drone market.”



Source: dronelife.com

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First of its kind tree walk proposed

The operators of a popular tourist attraction in Canada are proposing to build an elevated “tree walk” that spirals more than 100 feet into the sky above a pristine Northwest forest. The project would create a 4,100-foot wooden walkway through the treetops and over wetlands near Squamish, British Columbia, which is about 40 miles north of Vancouver.

At the end of the walkway, a huge spiral staircase would lead hikers to an overlook with 360-degree views of the area. Operators of the Sea to Sky Gondola said in a press release the elevated walkway would be the first of its kind in North America. Developers hope to break ground on the project this fall and open in spring of 2020.



Source: bellinghamherald.com



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Windsor Engineering acquires RCR Energy

The business and assets of RCR Energy Ltd have just been sold to Windsor Engineering Group Limited. The sale secures the future of this vital New Zealand business in the energy boiler sector, ensuring continuous employment for over 60 staff and numerous contractors and uninterrupted service for customers.

Maurice Davies, Director for Windsor, noted, “RCR Energy, as Australasia’s largest thermal energy plant designer, is a great addition to our existing businesses. Windsor has been a long-time customer and supplier to RCR Energy, so this is a great opportunity to expand our service and offering.”

Johnny Watson, General Manager of RCR Energy, was also pleased that a sale had been achieved. “It is fantastic that the business can now continue largely uninterrupted and that we can retain so many of our talented staff and provide them with security after this difficult period. RCR Energy is vital to the Australasian market and securing the Company’s intellectual property through this sale is a significant benefit to our national independence and loyal customer base.

“We look forward to being able to expand our services and product sales to customers in line with the original expansion plans we made before our Australian parent company’s administration, and by now accessing Windsor’s impressive global networks. We have had a long association with Windsor, which has an in-depth understanding of our business and the energy sector.”

The Administrators note that the sale of RCR Energy is the final sale in relation to the voluntary administration of the RCR New Zealand businesses.

About RCR Energy

RCR Energy delivers full design, manufacture and construction services for major thermal energy plants, typically these take the form of major power and steam (boiler) installations. Energy Service completes the lifecycle requirements of our customers with ongoing servicing, reactive maintenance and upgrade requirements whilst the Agency Products team supplies industry leading products to the New Zealand market

About Windsor Engineering

Well known throughout Australasia for their products and services involving drying, heat transfer, air movement, filtration and air pollution control. Windsor are an experienced marketing / design / manufacturing and service business with offices throughout NZ, Australia and the USA.

Source: Windsor Engineering Group

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... and one to end the week on ... Highway 119

A cop pulls over a carload of nuns.

Cop: "Sister, this is a 65 MPH highway -- why are you going so slow?"

Sister: "Sir, I saw a lot of signs that said 22, not 65."

Cop: "Oh sister, that's not the speed limit, that's the name of the highway you're on!

Sister: Oh! Silly me! Thanks for letting me know. I'll be more careful.

At this point the cop looks in the backseat where the other nuns are shaking and trembling.

Cop: Excuse me, Sister, what's wrong with your friends back there? They're shaking something terrible.

Sister: Oh, we just got off of highway 119.



And a couple more for you. A little old lady is walking down the street dragging two plastic garbage bags with her, one in each hand. There's a hole in one of the bags and every once in a while a $20 bill is flying out of it onto the pavement.

Noticing this, a policeman stops her. "Ma'am, there are $20 bills falling out of that bag."

" Darn!" says the little old lady....."I'd better go back and see if I can still find some. Thanks for the warning!"

"Well, now, not so fast," says the cop. "How did you get all that money? Did you steal it?"

"Oh, no", says the little old lady. You see, my backyard backs up to the parking lot of the MCG. Each time there's a game, a lot of fans come and do their business in the bushes - right into my flower beds! So, I go and stand behind the bushes with a little chainsaw that my dear departed, forestry worker, husband left behind. Each time someone pees into the bushes, I say $20 or off it comes!"

"Hey, not a bad idea!" laughs the cop."OK, good luck! By the way, what's in the other bag?"

"Well," says the little old lady, "some guys think I'm bluffing."

"A study found that many types of head lice have mutated and now have become resistant to over-the-counter treatments. The problem has scientists scratching their heads."






And on that note, enjoy your weekend. Cheers.

Brent Apthorp
Editor, Friday Offcuts
Distinction Dunedin Hotel
6 Liverpool Street, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
PO Box 904, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Tel: +64 (03) 470 1902, Mob: +64 21 227 5177, Fax: +64 (03) 470 1906
Web page: www.fridayoffcuts.com


This week's extended issue, along with back issues, can be viewed at www.fridayoffcuts.com

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