Friday Offcuts – 18 January 2013

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Welcome back. We trust the break has been a good one, that you’re recharged, refreshed and reinvigorated. We’re delighted to be back. Of course we're looking forward to working with you again to bring you the very latest news, technology updates, information on jobs and equipment and of course, a bit of humour at the end of each weekly newsletter to round off your week.

Thanks for all of your comments and positive contributions on the newsletter at the end of last year. In the upcoming year we'd welcome your continued input, ideas and contributions. The weekly updates are written for you so keep on sending us through your material or suggested links for inclusion - or your ideas for improvement.

Many of our readers will have been involved over the break – and still are – in fighting or mopping up the numerous fires that have broken out across Tasmania and Eastern Australia since Christmas. We hope that the worst is now over and that you and your businesses have not been too severely impacted by the fires. Again, the conditions that have led to the fires have been extreme but the issue of better fire prevention measures and fuel management practices in Australian forests will be on the table again as soon as the summer period is over.

To start the year, we have an outline of technology related events planned in 2013 by the Forest Industry Engineering Association. Check these out in the story below and mark them into your electronic diaries or those new wall planners that have just gone up on your wall. The first event is the two-yearly Residues to Revenues and CleanTECH event that runs in mid-April. This comprehensive programme has just been completed (check out the website, and story below) and a Super Early-bird rate has been set up to start the New Year with. Note - it does expire in just one week though.

News from two major industry groupings recently announced (see stories below) are going to have a major impact on industry activities this year. In Australia, some of the programs previously funded through the FWPA are being put on hold until conditions improve and a new project to collect and analyse industry statistics is being rolled out. In New Zealand, the forest owner’s levy (now titled The Forest Voice referendum) that was being developed and discussed last year will now be voted on from 1 March. We'll keep you updated as news comes to hand.

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Australasian Wood Residues 2013 programmes released

The programmes for the Residues to Revenues 2013 and CleanTECH Expo series for Australasian companies has just been released. Details for both the Auckland and Melbourne events can now be viewed on the event website,

As a special incentive to local companies considering attending this two-yearly update on technologies, research, changing standards and key developments within the wood residues industry, a Special Early-Bird Rate for New Zealand and for Australia has been set up. NOTE – it is for ONE WEEK ONLY only though and it closes next Friday, 25 January.

Key presenters included in the April series include; Don Roberts, Managing Director with CIBC World Markets Inc, Canada who is widely perceived as a thought leader in both the global bio-energy and forest products industries, Dr. Brooks Mendell, USA who leads Forisk Consulting’s research program and Keith Richards , Manging Director, from Thames Valley Bio-Energy, United Kingdom.

Further details on this two-yearly update on wood residues will come in future issues of this newsletter.

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Call for interest in WoodEXPO 2013 workshops

This year, 3-5 September in Australia and again on 11-13 September in Rotorua, this region’s first dedicated WoodEXPO is running. The event, WoodEXPO 2013 will be bringing together sawmilling, wood panels and wood manufacturing companies from throughout both countries and leading technology providers around the globe - all over a two week period. Details on the event are contained on the updated website, .

Stands are filling already with considerable early interest being shown by overseas suppliers looking to capitalise on the event running in both countries. Australian, New Zealand, US, Canadian and European companies have booked to come down and be involved in this region's EXPO series. The added bonus of the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) managing this event with their background of running this region’s comprehensive technology events over the last 14 years or so is also an added incentive for equipment and technology companies committing to this expanded EXPO series in September 2013.

Full details on the event, programme of events and opportunities for sponsorship and exhibiting have been sent out and are contained on the event website, At this stage FIEA is pulling together the comprehensive workshop series that will be an integral part of WoodEXPO 2013. Eight two-hour workshops are being run in both countries. Workshop themes are;

• Wood Scanning – Log and Lumber – Greenmill and Drymill operations
• Sawmilling Technologies
• Mill Maintenance
• Finger-jointing/Timber Gluing/Laminating
• Kiln Drying Technologies
• Wood Panels and EWP
• Saw Design, Selection, Maintenance and Operation
• Wood Machining and Finishing

If interested in presenting and saving one of the spaces available for presenting at the WoodEXPO 2013 workshop series, please contact TODAY.

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New forest player aims to give all growers a say

New Zealand forest owners will vote in March on a plan that aims to give all commercial forest and woodlot owners a say in the future of their industry. The Forest Voice referendum is being conducted by a new organisation, the Forest Growers Levy Trust, an incorporated society. It has the backing of the two established players in the sector, the Forest Owners Association and the Farm Forestry Association.

Trust chair Geoff Thompson says the plan aims to create a fairer, more cohesive and more profitable sector. The referendum will be held from 1-22 March 2013. "Each owner of a qualified forest gets one vote that will be counted two ways, per head and by area of forest. A dual majority is needed for the referendum to succeed," he says. "If it is successful, all qualified growers can become members of the Trust. This will give them the right to have a say in industry forums and to vote for members of the Trust Board. They will also get plugged into industry information streams".

The referendum is being conducted under the Commodity Levies Act. If it is successful, most products sold from a plantation will be levied at a rate of up to 30c/tonne on the volume harvested. The funds raised will be administered by the Trust and used to fund activities for the benefit of all forest owners. The members of the Trust board are well-known in the sector: Geoff Thompson, Peter Berg, Hamish Levack, Paul Nicholls, Charles Schell and Steve Wilton.

Mr Thompson says that to vote in the referendum, forest growers must first register, even if they belong to an industry organisation. This is to ensure all growers, whether or not they have been involved in sector organisations in the past, have a fair say in shaping the industry’s future. A qualified grower is the owner, or the representative of the owner, of a plantation forest or woodlot four hectares or more in area and 10 or more years old.

"The Trust wants everyone who is likely to be commercially harvesting logs in the six-year life of the levy to have the right to vote. Those who won’t be harvesting won’t be voting. The age restriction is a practical cut-off – trees younger than 10 years old won’t be commercially harvested in the next six years."

Full details of the referendum proposal will be published on the Forest Voice website which will go live shortly. The Trust will also be continuing to consult with sector groups, including representatives of Maori forestry enterprises that are playing an increasingly important role in the sector. Registration for voting will open in early February. Voting will begin on 1 March.

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Norske Skog cuts 110 mill jobs

Norske Skog confirmed last week that around 110 staff at its New Zealand mill in Kawerau will be made redundant, following the closure of one of its paper machines at the plant on Wednesday. The redundancies will become effective over the next three to four months.

They were signalled in September when Norske Skog said it would halve production at the mill partly due to falling demand for newsprint. A Norske Skog spokesman said a significant number of staff affected by the machine closure had been redeployed at the mill. The mill will continue to operate one paper machine, and produce newsprint for the New Zealand, Australian and Pacific Island markets.

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Icon of NZ forestry industry passes away

One of the icons of the New Zealand forestry industry, a true gentlemen and mentor to many, has passed away suddenly while on holiday this week. Recently retired Tom Rogers passed away while relaxing at his favourite beach. Tom was a special person who always took a genuine interest in people. He is also well-known for being the man who created the log processing plant in the central North Island (now known as the 'KPP') which is on Tom Rogers Road near Kaingaroa Forest village in the heart of NZ's most famous forest. We extend our condolences to Tom's family. Any comments or messages can be left below.


ROGERS, Tom JP. (Ngati Kahu, Nga Puhi Ki Whangaroa) Sadly passed away Sunday morning (13 January 2013) at Papamoa Beach doing what he loved best, pushing his fishing boat out for the last time. Family, friends and colleagues attended the funeral service at "The Redwoods", Long Mile Road, Rotorua on Thursday. All communications can be sent to "The Rogers Family" C/- PO Box 926, Rotorua. (Source: New Zealand Herald)


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Technology events being planned for 2013

1. Residues to Revenues 2013 – incorporating CleanTECH EXPO

10-11 April, Auckland, New Zealand & 15-16 April, Melbourne Australia

This event is focused on new markets where innovative companies, new processes and emerging technologies have turned former waste products into profitable resources. Delegate numbers to this key industry conference have grown since its inception in 1999. Run by FIEA in association with a number of principal partners this key networking event takes place on a biennial basis.

Originally focused on turning sawdust and bark into valuable revenue streams from waste products this conference has now widened in scope over the years to include developments in clean technologies globally. In March 2011 over 300 delegates attended the conference series, which was held in both New Zealand and Australia.

2. MOBILETECH Summit 2013 – the future for primary industries

7-8 August, Wellington, New Zealand

MOBILETECH Summit 2013 – the future of primary industries is a new event being planned with a range of food and fibre sectors. The programme is designed to provide new tools, ideas, case studies and contacts for mobile communications for primary industries to grow their future productivity and profits.

The very best ideas and future applications of innovative tools – new and emerging technologies that can be adopted now, whether it’s on the farm, in the greenhouse or out in the forest, will be profiled at this year’s summit. The national event will bring together leaders of this country’s primary industries with experts and visionaries of the mobile technology world.

Industries will include; Horticulture, Forestry, Dairy, Meat and Wool and Fisheries.

3. WoodEXPO 2013

3-5 September, Albury, Australia & 11-13 September 2013, Rotorua, New Zealand

WoodEXPO 2013 will be one of the highlights of the forestry and wood products industries calendar this year. It’s this region’s first dedicated WoodEXPO. The event will be bringing together sawmilling, wood panels and wood manufacturing companies from throughout both countries and leading technology providers around the globe - all over a two week period.

WoodEXPO 2013, as a major international wood products trade show, will run every 3 years in this region. 2013 will be the first. The event will run in consecutive weeks in New Zealand and Australia and comprise an innovative series of trade exhibitions, focussed two-hour technology workshops, a one-day pan industry conference, and a number of exciting networking events around each three-day event.

WoodEXPO 2013 will include the very latest processing, manufacturing and wood products technologies in; Log Yard Handling, Lumber Quality Control, Sawing Technologies, Mill Maintenance, Wood Scanning, Kiln Drying, Wood Gluing & Laminating, Saw-Doctoring, Wood Machining, Finger-Jointing, Composite Wood Panels and Engineered Wood Products.

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FWPA realigns priorities to industry needs

FWPA has announced that it will be realigning its investment priorities in response to industry consultation and will launch a new national program to coordinate the collection and analysis of statistics and economics for the sector.

As the Australian forest industry’s service company, FWPA is committed to delivering programs that will help secure a better future for the forest and wood products sector. The clear message from industry is that in the current economic climate, industry executives would like to see FWPA focus on activities that have a shorter payback period such as market development or where cost savings can be realistically achieved.

While stakeholders have an interest in longer term programs, these will be deferred until the industry is in a stronger position to make the appropriate investments. To this end FWPA will establish a new program with the aim of providing improved coordination and building better systems for data collection and analysis. This new program will be internally funded and FWPA will recruit a senior manager to develop and deliver the program on industry’s behalf.

FWPA will continue to work cooperatively with ABARES and other statistical providers to ensure that forest and wood product statistics is a valuable tool for industry and government decision makers. A new industry reference group will provide a mechanism for coordination and validation of all existing data series and the development of improved systems.

A key initiative of the new program will be the development of a secure, online portal for the consolidation of all key statistical data series.

“Extensive consultation with industry about current and potential FWPA activities has reinforced the need to focus our limited resources on what can be delivered to benefit industry now,” said Ric Sinclair, FWPA’s managing director.

The company would focus its efforts on the following 11 priority programs (in no specific order):

• Statistics and Economics
• Consumer advertising and Planet Ark alliance
• WoodSolutions
• Primary and secondary education (ForestLearning)
• Standards and codes
• Wood as a sustainable material R&D
• Wood in commercial/industrial construction R&D
• Increasing value from existing resources R&D
• Biosecurity R&D
• Carbon R&D
• Forest management tools R&D

As a consequence, the following programs will be deferred or wound back until such time as the company’s funding situation improves: genetics R&D; water R&D; performance and yield R&D; wood in residential house construction R&D; postgraduate scholarships; GrowingCareers; and mid-career programs. Estimates are that it will likely take 18 to 24 months for industry conditions to return to a position where levy income will allow for the continuation of these investment programs.

“We are not abandoning any programs, just putting them on hold until the industry is in a stronger position to be able to support the investment required,” Mr Sinclair said.

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New Zealand Log Prices - December 2012

Log exports in October 2012 were up solidly on last September’s exports, thanks largely to more uptake from China. By all reports once November data is released the same or greater volume of exports should be expected. Exports to China for the 3 month period to October are 11% higher than last year, and exports to India are also 10% higher for the same period. Exports to India however have been variable this year, and for the year to date are 10% lower than the same time period last year. This is due to issues with over supply, mostly from Canada, earlier this year and a slowdown in construction within India.

Domestic log prices have been mostly flat in the last month however some key grades have gone backwards in value slightly. Pruned grades are back by $1-2/tonne in the North Island, as are structural S1 grades, while pulp is down $1/tonne in the northern North Island and down $2/tonne in the Otago/Southland area.

The Agrifax Log Price Indicator moved up 1 point this month from 86* to 87 in its first movement since August*. The increase comes about after prices for unpruned logs in China were raised in November. Though the Unpruned Log Price Indices in the North and South were up 2 points the potential increase was pulled back by domestic pruned log prices down slightly in the North Island.

New Zealand log exports are likely to hold up in pricing in the next month as prospects in China are good, while competing Canadian logs are drawn into the US housing market. Russian exports to China have been slowing and New Zealand currently has the largest market share. Export figures for November are expected to be high again, as exports to China are tracking around 10% higher than 2011.

Domestic log prices are under upward pressure from export prices, as well as tight supplies. However, prices are being capped by low international timber prices and are likely to be fixed mostly flat for the first quarter of 2013.
*Revised figures

North Island
  • Domestic: Pruned Grades are down
  • Export: Unpruned grades are up
South Island
  • Domestic: Flat
  • Export: Unpruned grades are up
For more detailed reports contact NZX Agrifax at

The Agrifax log price data is a weighted average of prices collected each month from a range of New Zealand log buyers and sellers. Log prices shown in the table will vary regionally and by supplier and should only be used to provide a broad trend of log price movements.
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Boral cutting 700 jobs in restructure

Building products maker Boral is cutting 700 jobs as part of a company-wide restructure aimed at reducing costs and increasing its competitiveness. The company says it will make 700 redundancies from all levels of its business - from executive level down to its manufacturing businesses. The Australian job losses equate to just over 8 per cent of Boral’s local workforce. Of the 700 redundancies, 200 have already occurred, and the remainder are expected to be completed by March. Other recently announced moves to outsource production take Boral’s total job cuts in the 2012-13 financial year to 1000, from a global workforce of 14,740, as of June 30, 2012. Source: The Age

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The takeover of Paperless 2013

A group of companies including Google recently created the Paperless 2013 campaign to promote the use of online solutions, but unsubstantiated environmental claims caused the program to backfire.

The campaign went viral in the past few days, with hundreds of Twitter messages a day using the hashtag “#paperless2013.” But the tweets are running roughly 10 to 1 against the campaign, with most criticizing it for implying that digital media are always greener than paper-based media without providing any facts.

Searching Twitter for #paperless2013 has turned into a wonderful way to connect with others who object to the demonization of print and to discover articles and resources about how to make green media choices, including this great infographic: It's also become a forum for exploring what else can be done to fight paperless-is-good greenwash: A hashtag takeover is an effective opening salvo but it won't win the war. More >>

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Tasmanian Forests Agreement Bill hearings begin

Legislative councillors will be able to vote on each of the 295 lots to be reserved under Tasmania's forest peace deal. From Tuesday, the Upper House begins three days of public hearings into the Tasmanian Forests Agreement Bill, which was passed by the House of Assembly last year. State Government representatives tabled 158 pages of amendments to the original 60-page Bill including maps of the areas to be reserved.

The Legislative Council will hear from and question signatories to the agreement as well as a number of industry bodies outside the negotiations. They include the Tasmanian Tourism Industry Council, Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association, Tasmanian Minerals Council, Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Forestry Tasmania, Forest Practices Authority, Tasmanian Conservation Trust, Tasmanian Sawmillers Association and Australian Forest Growers.

Source: The Mercury

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The case for the use of wood in buildings

As the average wood products usage per unit of floor area in Australia has decreased significantly over time, there is potential for increased greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation benefits through an increased use of wood products in buildings. A new independent study determined the GHG outcomes of the extraction, manufacture, transport, use in construction, maintenance and disposal of wood products and other building materials for two popular house designs in Sydney. It shows that significant GHG emission savings can be achieved by optimising the use of wood products. The report by Fabiano Ximenes and Tim Grant can be downloaded here. Source: AFPA Canopy

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Uncertain times for Gunns growers

The wait for answers for Tasmanian farmers who have leases to grow trees for collapsed timber company Gunns is set to drag on for months. The administration period was due to end this month reports the Examiner, but administrator PPB Advisory has asked for more time to find a buyer to take over the plantation schemes.

Gunns had about 560 leases with more than 33 landowners, covering 220,000 hectares. The company, which went into receivership in September, intended to use the trees grown on private property to feed its planned Tamar Valley pulp mill.

Under the deal, Gunns paid a quarterly fee to farmers in exchange for the use of their land to grow plantation timber. The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association has organised a meeting next Wednesday for the landholders who have not received any income for the trees since September. Source: The Examiner

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NZ forestry sector aimed for safe start

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is working with NZ forest owners and workers to introduce the recently released Approved Code of Practice for Safety and Health in Forest Operations.

This year the Ministry has contributed to industry Safe Start breakfasts, which highlight the importance of health and safety to forest crews. Local inspectors will be present at the breakfasts to invite crews to local road shows, where changes in the new Code will be fully explained.

Each year forest owners run Safe Start breakfasts for their crews to ensure they are involved in health and safety planning and understand the importance of safety in what are often hazardous conditions. Following the industry-run breakfasts, the Ministry is hosting local road shows to roll-out the new Code. These will provide crews the opportunity to engage with local forest inspectors and members of the Code’s review committee, to ensure they understand changes to the new Code and how those changes will be introduced.

More information on forestry sector health and safety initiatives is available at Unfortunately the year hasn’t started well with two serious accidents and a death of a forestry worker last week. The CTU, after a number of media releases at the end of last year on the industry’s safety record, have renewed their call for an inquiry into the industry’s safety record.

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Buy and Sell

...and one to end the week hand on the wheel

Strewth!!! This is the local village idiot doing what any village Idiot would do!!! Yep...there is one born every minute and this one happens to be in South Australia!!!

This supposedly is an actual photo taken by Transport SA recently at the corner of Trimmer Parade and Frederick Road, Seaton. The wood was about 2 meters out of the (left) hand side and about three meters out of the (right) hand side. The timber in the front window went across his chest and he could manage only one hand on the wheel.

Some more for you as it is the start of the year. Companies, who didn't spend quite enough time considering how their online name might appear!

These are not made up. Check them out yourself!

1. 'Who Represents' is where you can find the name of the agent that represents any celebrity. Their Web site is:

2. 'Experts Exchange' is a knowledge base where programmers can exchange advice and views at:

3. Looking for a great pen? Look no further than 'Pen Island ....' It can be found at:

4. Need a therapist? Try 'Therapist Finder' at:

5. Then there's the 'Italian Power Generator'company. Check it out at:

6.'IP computer' software, there's always:

7. And the designers at 'Speed of Art' await you at their wacky Web site:

And on that note, have a great weekend. For those starting work this week - admit it, it's been a long five days. Cheers.

Brent Apthorp
Editor, Friday Offcuts
PO Box 904
Level Two, 2 Dowling Street
Dunedin, New Zealand
Ph: +64 3 470 1902
Fax: +64 3 470 1904
Web page:

This week's extended issue, along with back issues, can be viewed at

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