Friday Offcuts – 17 August 2018

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Several major announcements were made this week by the New Zealand Government directly impacting on the forestry industry. A six-week consultation period has just been opened for comment on how the country’s Emissions Trading Scheme should be operating and can be improved. The discussion documents include one that’s been devoted entirely to forestry. The government is hinting it could lift the $25 a tonne upper limit on the price of a New Zealand Unit along with introducing a cap on the number of ETS units. One of the objectives is to lift barriers to forest owners who are participating in the scheme, encouraging investment in new forests and of course, discouraging deforestation.

Cabinet on Tuesday also approved a NZ$240 million boost to the Government’s One Billion Trees programme. They’re committing to planting some 60 million trees with about NZ$118 million set aside for grants and a further NZ$120 million for partnership projects. This is on top of the NZ$245 million already committed to the ambitious planting programme. As part of the announcement, the Forestry Minister did point out that as many as two-thirds of the new plantings could though be native species and around half of the planting is expected to be on land that is unattractive to commercial forestry. We've included further details, links to key documents and commentary on these major announcements with extended coverage below.

This week we’ve also included a story that’s been bubbling away over the last month or so. It was written by a local barrister specialising in local government and resource management law. Following the recent storm on the East Coast and resultant tsunami of slash and sediment that flowed into Tologa Bay, he’s suggesting that a “reset of our views” on commercial forestry practices is probably required. He touches on issues such as the public perception of the industry following the June event, the threat to the industry’s social license to operate and the future for the mono-cultural model on erosion prone land. In addition to questions though he puts forward a number of suggestions for future forest management and investment in the region. The story and the link to the full article have been supplied below.

Finally, from Australia this week comes news of a consortium of forestry companies that will be investing in a AU$20 million log optimisation facility at Eden, NSW, findings from two FWPA funded reports that show that the forest industry contributed more than AU$7 billion to the Victorian economy last financial year and in Victoria, concerns are also being raised on plans by the University of Melbourne to relocate much of its rural campus at Creswick (the forestry school has been there for some 100 years) across to its Parkville campus in Melbourne. That’s it for this week. Enjoy this week’s read.

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Consultation on New Zealand’s ETS opened

Forestry Minister Shane Jones and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have opened consultation on improvements to the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS); New Zealand’s main tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The ETS encourages businesses to reduce their emissions by putting a price on them. The fewer emissions they create, the fewer ETS units they have to pay for. “The ETS has a vital role to play in New Zealand meeting its climate change targets, but the way it currently operates means it’s not doing that,” Shane Jones said.

“Getting the ETS right could drive the planting of 340 million trees over the next 10 years – double the amount that would be planted if the ETS was left in its current state. This is one of the most important levers the Government has to incentivise the planting of trees to help reach our Billion Tree programme’s goals”.

“A net zero emissions target by 2050 is currently being considered in the Zero Carbon Bill process but, in the meantime, we need to make sure the ETS is improved so that it is a credible and well-functioning scheme to help us meet our emissions targets,” James Shaw said.

“Businesses have told us that they haven’t had clear and consistent information on which they can assess the value of an NZ ETS unit and, therefore, how it could affect their bottom line. So, one of the proposed improvements is a consistent, transparent way of making decisions about the supply of ETS units.

“A single dedicated website with all the Government’s information about the NZ ETS is proposed so that businesses have the information they need. Another proposed improvement is businesses being able to see how many ETS units will be supplied over the next five years.

“What we’re talking about is putting a cap on the number of ETS units, and managing that cap over time. As part of the consultation, the Government is interested in hearing stakeholders’ opinions about exploring the possibility of a change to the $25 fixed price option”.

Shane Jones said improvements to the ETS would remove barriers to forestry owners participating in the scheme and make things like complex accounting requirements simpler for calculating carbon stored in forests. Growth in the forestry sector is potentially one of New Zealand’s largest and most effective options for off-setting emissions. The ETS needs to encourage new forests and discourage deforestation”.

“We’re putting forward a number of improvements to help foresters make informed and confident decisions about how to maximise the carbon stored in their forests over the long term,” Shane Jones said. Consultation runs from now until 21 September, with stakeholder meetings at a number of locations around the country.

Submissions and more information can be made via the ETS consultation website:

The discussion document for improvements to the ETS framework can be viewed here.

The discussion document for the forestry improvements to the ETS is here.

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Government doubles funding for tree-planting

The NZ Government is doubling to nearly NZ$500 million the funding for forestry planting from its Provincial Growth Fund, meaning one-sixth of the NZ$3 billion, three-year fund will be spent on trees. Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced the boost this week after the weekly Cabinet meeting.

The NZ$240 million commitment to plant some 60 million trees will be funded through the PGF with about NZ$118 million set aside for grants and a further NZ$120 million for partnership projects over three years and will come on top of the NZ$245 million already committed to the so-called 'One Billion Trees' project to kick-start the programme, which includes funding for joint ventures and the expansion of the Hill Country Erosion programme.

The funding would "support tree planting in areas where wider social, environmental, and regional development goals can be achieved" rather than clear commercial returns.

“We’re strengthening our support for planting over the next three to four years in areas where there are currently limited commercial drivers for investment, and where wider social, environmental or regional development benefits can be achieved," said Jones in a statement.

“The new grants scheme will provide simple and accessible direct funding to landowners for the cost of planting and establishing trees and regenerating indigenous forest. Private landowners, government agencies, NGOs and iwi will all be able to apply."

Forestry planting has emerged as a key element of the government's efforts to tilt the New Zealand economy towards action on climate change, land erosion, water quality and regional unemployment, as well as producing a valuable commercial crop.

Source: BusinessDesk

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New AU$20 m optimisation hub planned

A consortium of forestry companies has begun the development of a high-tech optimisation facility aimed at maximising the value of resource handled on the Eden and East Gippsland regions. The new development at Edrom Road will be designed with the sustainable recurring 100-year resource profile in mind. The consortium partners, including Boral who will provide technical and operational support, see a transition to many new technology applications in the region.

Forestry Corporation of NSW recently announced that the hub was the preferred proponent for a 15-year long-term contract for 25,000 m3 per year of quota hardwood log. The new hub will include a separate log optimising facility that can extract short logs from existing pulpwood streams to augment the volume of the quota sawlog component.

Additionally, processes that will use the sawdust and residues from the sawmill and existing wood chipping operations are being investigated. It is expected that the combined roll out of the new investment will be in the order of AU$20 million dollars. This investment will result in increased job opportunities in a range of professions and trades.

The consortium in their media release this week said that they would like to thank Forestry Corporation of NSW, the local member Andrew Constance, their workforce, contractors and the Eden region as a whole for providing the conditions and support needed for such a long-term venture. The productive forests of Eden will have a long-term future thanks to the range of renewable products they produce coupled with the benefit of strong road and port access to domestic and export markets.

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CSST partners with Planet in NZ

New Zealand’s Centre for Space Science Technology (CSST) and Earth imaging company Planet Labs have just announced a partnership to help drive regional economic growth by distributing Planet’s daily, global Earth observation data and analytics.

CSST will act as the distribution hub and R&D partner for Planet in New Zealand, making sure industries and government agencies get access to Planet’s data and analytic products. CSST and Planet will also localize analytics and jointly develop new solutions to serve specific verticals.

In doing so, CCST hopes to improve decision-making in key sectors of the New Zealand economy, including disaster preparedness and emergency management, agricultural monitoring, forestry and land use monitoring, water management, infrastructure monitoring, and intelligence gathering.

“Earth observation data is becoming increasingly important in helping New Zealand address its biggest economic, environmental, and social challenges. The biggest advantage of Planet’s constellation is how frequently its satellites pass overhead, which is extremely important in the New Zealand context, particularly with disaster monitoring.

For example, Planet imagery revealed close to 80,000 landslides in the wake of the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake. Real-time disaster monitoring with Planet data will transform how governments and businesses target preparedness and relief efforts,” said Steve Cotter, CEO of CSST.

“CSST is an important partner for Planet as they understand the applications and use cases of daily global imagery, and can enable us to bring our products to New Zealand. They will be the frontline consultants for commercial businesses and government agencies at all levels who seek our imagery and analytics,” said Shankar Sivaprakasam, Vice President of APAC and Japan, at Planet.

Utilisation of daily satellite imagery for forest operations, including that being supplied through Planet, is one of the key themes being discussed this year at the November ForestTECH 2018 series being run for local companies. Since 2018 when Interpine highlighted the opportunities that exist with satellite observation data, forestry companies are now finding this a game changer for their operations and planning.

The CSST will also be presenting at the NZ leg of the series in November outlining advantages of using synthetic aperture radar sensors in forestry remote sensing. Full details on the two-day conference programme and shorter pre-conference workshops can be found on the event website;

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Forest industry adds 7.3 billion to Victorian economy

The forest industry contributed more than AU$7 billion to the Victorian economy last financial year. This includes AU$1.9 billion in direct sales, and a further AU$5.4 billion once flow-on effects in other industries are included, leading to a total contribution to gross regional product (the regional equivalent of GDP) of AU$779 million.

These figures are among the key findings of two reports funded by Forest and Wood Products Australia; the new Socio-economic impacts of the forest industry – Victoria report and an earlier report examining the Green Triangle region.*

The research was conducted by the University of Canberra in conjunction with consultancy EconSearch, a division of BDO Advisory. In terms of jobs, the Victorian forestry industry (excluding the Green Triangle Region) overall generated 14,475 direct jobs including almost 5,115 in primary processing, and over 9,360 in secondary processing.

The new report reveals:

- Softwood plantations generate the highest employment at 47.7% followed by native forests at 32% and hardwood plantations at 8.9%, with the remaining 11.4% dependent on native forests and plantations grown in other regions.

- The industry is an important contributor to the economy in several regional communities, and contributes to diversification of the economy in many regions. In Melbourne there were 7,717 jobs generated (mostly in secondary processing), 3,646 in the Central Highlands and Gippsland, 1,677 in the Western region, 1,435 in the North Central region.

- Of the jobs in primary processing, 55.3% are located in the Central Highlands and Gippsland, 19.6% were in the North Central region, 12.7% in the Western region and 12.4% in Melbourne.

- The Local Government Areas with the highest dependence on the forest industry for direct employment were Alpine (6.8%), Latrobe (4.7%), Benalla (4.7%), Colac-Otway (4.5%), Wellington (3.2%), East Gippsland (2.1%), and Murrundindi (2.0%).

- Between 2011 and 2016, there was growth of 22% in employment in the primary production part of the industry, driven in part by growth in harvest of hardwood plantations. However, during the same time, employment in wood and paper product manufacturing declined by almost 30% (29%).

Managing Director of Forest and Wood Products Australia, Ric Sinclair, said: “The employment trend in wood and paper product manufacturing is attributable to increases in labour productivity and reduced availability of hardwood sawlogs.”

Victorian forest industry workers are slightly less likely than those in other industries to earn lower incomes (less than $649 per week), largely due to the higher rates of full-time work, but also less likely to earn high incomes (above $1,250 per week). Recruitment was a challenge for industry, in particular difficulty recruiting managers and high-level professional staff (reported by 70% of businesses surveyed); transport workers (69%), heavy machine operators (67%) and field staff (63%). Sixteen per cent of forestry workers were women, compared to 48% of the broader labour force.

Lead researcher Associate Professor Jacki Schirmer said that businesses were relatively optimistic about future demand for forest products. “About half surveyed (51%) felt demand would remain the same, about one third (31%) felt that that demand would grow and a few (18%) that demand would reduce.

“There are still big challenges facing many businesses, including recruitment difficulties, increasing cost of labour, government regulations and rising input costs. In Victoria, as with other states, the majority of forestry jobs are generated by the processing sector, as is the majority of the industry’s flow-on economic impact. This highlights the importance of local processing of wood and fibre for the generation of jobs,” she said.

*Benefits from the Green Triangle that could not be attributed to either Victoria or South Australia in isolation have not been included.

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Concerns over the future of Creswick forestry

More than 100 years of history is effectively over according to a Creswick forestry graduate who fears the loss of the University of Melbourne’s rural campus. The university has released plans to relocate much of the forestry school to its Parkville campus due a decline in forestry enrolments in recent years.

It hopes the move will lead to an increase in student numbers in the course, however Creswick locals and graduates fear for the future of the much-loved campus. More than 50 locals turned up at a public meeting recently to voice their concerns over the move. Meeting organiser and Creswick graduate Leon Holt said the turnout showed just how important the school was to the community.

“These changes are effectively the end of over 100 years of history,” Mr Holt said. “Victoria’s foresters have been taught at Creswick since 1910, but if the University goes ahead with its plans, part of the town’s history will be lost”.

“We know we have to try and slow down the decline in rural education in Victoria, and many of us think the university’s plans for the forestry program are taking us in the wrong direction. Courses like forestry should be taught at rural campuses like Creswick, where the forests actually are, not in the middle of Melbourne.”

Head of the School of Ecosystems and Forest Science Professor Ian Woodrow spoke on behalf of the University of Melbourne at the meeting. He told the meeting the university had been working on plans for over a year. “The new course will build on what we already offer. With more subjects based in Parkville, we expect student numbers to increase, and that’s a good outcome for forest science education,” Professor Woodrow said.

Mr Holt said the community was preparing a submission to the University of Melbourne, calling on it to suspend its planned changes to the program. “There’s definitely more that can be done before committing to these big changes,” he said. “We want to find a way to keep the forestry Master’s program focused on teaching foresters, and to keep it based at the historic School of Forestry in Creswick.”


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Drone missions to fight California wildfires

The California Air National Guard‘s 195th Airlift Wing recently launched a drone reconnaissance mission to aid firefighting efforts in northern California. At least six people have been killed by the raging wildfires with more than 500 homes and buildings decimated. The unit deploys a MQ-9 Reaper drone to monitor and track the blaze. The drone flights collect data, imagery and telemetry which is transmitted to state firefighting officials.

“We’re able to provide real-time eyes on in any area where the fire’s at,” said Air Force Maj. Nicholas Edwards, intelligence analyst manager. “We can provide information to where CAL FIRE can direct resources. We give information to the decision makers in a timely manner.”

The Guard’s contributions are “seriously helping us,” said Capt. Robert DeCamp, CAL FIRE intelligence officer. “The knowledge they have and the information they provide are critical for us to fight the fire. They have equipment we don’t have, and that helps us tremendously.” Drone data helps track the fire’s movements, so authorities can position defences and notify the public if evacuations are necessary.

“This is one fire that’s very unpredictable, but we can track it with the capabilities the Guard provides us,” DeCamp said. Over the past few years, drones have been embraced by both firefighting agencies and by officials seeking to mitigate wildfire damage. In March, New Hampshire-based Birdseyeview Aerobotics won a federal contract to provide 50 vertical-take-off-and-landing, fixed-wing drones to the U.S. Interior Department, an agency that oversees millions of acres of public land and administers several monuments.

In 2016, Canadian drone company Aeromao partnered with the U.S. government to survey and map fire-damaged land. Using the $9,000 Talon – equipped with a Micasense Rededge multispectral imagery array – researchers are able to map acreage and survey damage to foliage. That data can then be used to re-introduce wildlife and domestic mammals to viable land after the fires.


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ETS revisions welcomed by NZ forest owners

Forest owners are calling the proposed revisions to the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) both timely and necessary if New Zealand is to hope to meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets.

Forest Owners Association President Peter Weir says the Te Uru Rakau discussion paper is appropriately the first significant document to be produced by the new forestry unit established within the Ministry for Primary Industry.

“The Ministry for the Environment quite correctly states ‘The ETS is New Zealand’s main tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions so it’s important it is a credible and well-functioning scheme that helps us meet our climate change targets.”

“To date though, the ETS has been applied inconsistently and is relatively ineffective in bringing emissions down and promoting afforestation to sequest atmospheric carbon. Meanwhile higher land prices have stifled most afforestation efforts.”

Farm Forestry Association President Neil Cullen believes it is important the ETS is capable of delivering real results with encouragement for more trees to be planted, especially on farmland. “Farmers looking at planting trees are nervous about the prospects of the government distorting the carbon market, as they have in the past. Farmers would like to know what the likely range of the carbon price will be over five-year periods.”

“They’d like smaller woodlots to be included in the ETS. They need a system which is inclusive of all forestry, and is straightforward and easy to understand, before they will significantly commit to more trees on their farms.”

“The ‘soft’ floor and ceiling mechanisms suggested in the discussion documents need to be considered, but I suspect many potential woodlot owners would want more security than a government carbon auction,” Neil Cullen says.

Peter Weir says a significant inclusion in the discussion is that of the retention of carbon in what are termed harvested wood products. “The current scheme makes no allowance for the fact that carbon remains locked up in timber for potentially longer than the life of the tree it was produced from. This is recognised internationally, but here in New Zealand it doesn’t flow through for the benefit of forest growers or wood processors.”

“Likewise, we are uncertain so far of how a proposed ‘cost containment reserve’ price ceiling mechanism might work to replace the current ceiling of $25 per tonne. Mindful of the Productivity Commission’s recommendation of a meaningful carbon price a rigid cap at $25 per tonne, it’s not going to change behaviour.”

Peter Weir says one attractive element of the ETS revision is an option to include averaging. This is where a carbon price is set for forests which allow for the fact that they are in continuous production.

“Tailored adjustments to smooth the credits and liabilities and to lower risk are changes FOA has pursued for some time and would make the ETS a more attractive option, particularly for owners of small forests, than is currently the case.”

Peter Weir is encouraging forest owners to read the consultation documents. “It’s important to better understand the proposal for carbon averaging.”

Source: FOA, NZFFA

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Wood manufacturer breathes life into local community

Kaingaroa Village rests in the heart of the Kaingaroa Forest just South of Rotorua in New Zealand’s central North Island. Once a thriving forestry town of almost 4000, changes to ownership of cutting rights from NZ Forest service to Tasman Forestry and other corporate investors, along with the advent of heavily mechanised harvesting methods in the 1980’s saw local employment opportunities all but disappear from the town.

Villager numbers dwindled to a now 400 permanent residents and many forestry houses have become derelict, all but one shop remains at the local town centre.

However, in recent years there has been a resurgence in the local community’s fortunes with the establishment of timber remanufacturing operation, KLC back in 1997. Founded by Managing Director Kevin Lewis the plant was created on what had many years earlier been the NZ Forest Headquarters mobile plant workshop site.

Old rundown buildings on the vacant site (adjacent to the town) have since been built over, or integrated into a state of the art remanufacturing facility, now employing 100 people. Most employees are locals from Kaingaroa or nearby Murupara, another small forestry town equally affected by the changes to the forest industry back in the 80’s.

KLC have become specialists in the manufacture of value added radiata construction materials for domestic and export markets (in particular weatherboard claddings and fence systems) all treated to either H3.2 or H4 levels using MicroPro treatment technology.

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A new deal on the table for forestry

The New Zealand Government has finally unveiled its proposals for changing the way forestry is treated under the Emissions Trading Scheme – including a proposal for new permanent forestry provisions. Ideas like recognising the carbon stored in wood after it is harvested and changing the way carbon in forests is measured and reported were first proposed in the 2015 review of the scheme.

But last year, when the previous Government announced the changes it was planning to make, it said that substantial changes to forestry rules would be delayed. Last night, the new Government released discussions documents for a new review of the scheme – including one devoted entirely to forestry.

It says that the ETS has failed to promote the forestry New Zealand needs to offset its greenhouse gas emissions. "Since 2000 there has been very little establishment of new areas of commercial forests, and some areas that have been in commercial forests have been changed to other land uses," the discussion document says.

Central Plan

"Large areas of forests planted in the 1980s and 1990s are coming up to harvestable age in the early 2020s. Those forests will then become a significant source of emissions. The current carbon price of $21 has decreased rates of deforestation but has had only a small effect on afforestation so far." Fixing the ETS forestry provisions is central to the Government’s plans for both addressing climate change and for regional development.

"We want to encourage farmers, Maori and other landowners to see the benefit of ETS participation in helping them to plant and grow even more forest," forestry minister Shane Jones says in the foreword. "I believe that with these improvements we can work towards supporting and promoting a flourishing forestry sector, delivering sustainable jobs in our regions and encouraging economic growth while helping meet our country’s climate change targets."

New Category

Proposals include creating a new permanent forests category under the ETS. "Meeting our long-term international climate change commitments will require New Zealand to increase the amount of permanent forest planted and maintained in perpetuity as a means of sequestering carbon," it says.

"Establishing 100,000 hectares of permanent forests (in the 2020s) will sequester between one and three million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year by 2050 and beyond." Current options for long-term carbon sequestration – through the ETS or the Permanent Forests Sinks Initiative – have drawn very little support, and the Government wants to come up with a new scheme.

High Value

Options include beefing up the PFSI or creating a new category under the ETS permanent forest which would identify the fact that credits from these forests had high environmental value. The review also proposes allowing forest owners to use an averaging system when calculating the amount of carbon stored in their trees and introducing a harvested-wood provision that would recognise carbon stored in wood products.

Submissions close on 21 September.

Source: Carbon News 2018

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Let's rethink commercial forestry

According to an article in a local paper this week from Martin Williams, a barrister specialising in local government and resource management law, the June floods that swept a "tsunami" of slash into Tolaga Bay have forced a reset of our views on commercial forestry practices.

Once seen as the solution to management of steep erodible land cleared of native forests by previous generations for farming, this event appeared to raise more questions for forestry than there are known available solutions, or tree species we can sensibly plant, to address them.

With the frequency and intensity of storm events increasing through climate change, it would seem that leaving large areas of steep back country land bare between crop rotations, apart from the residual slash which is uneconomic to remove, is not going to work anymore.

While actually quite distinct management issues, slash and sediment understandably combine in the public's perception, just as they did within the affected rivers and catchments around Tolaga Bay.

The forestry industry will quickly lose its social licence, and the overall benefits of forestry in minimising erosion over the full production cycle will soon be forgotten.

Previous commentators to this paper have rightly pointed to what can be achieved through forestry in terms of improved climate change resilience and mitigation, as well as biodiversity. For its part, also in June of this year, the regional council resolved to borrow some $30 million over 10 years to invest in the so-called "cloak of trees", on a target 100,000 hectares of the estimated more than 200,000ha of vulnerable steep land in our region.

A report received by the council in November 2017 as a backgrounder to that proposal revealed that the finance needed to reforest all erosion prone lands in Hawke's Bay has eight zeros. The report advises that the majority of such afforestation needs to comprise permanent forest with no intent, or permission, to harvest.

The most economically viable method proposed in the report to overcome the obvious challenges inherent in that advice is said to involve aggregation of carbon credits from participating farmers, to enable single point large volume sales to large scale carbon buyers, with indigenous species planted under a nursery crop of suitable widely spaced exotic hardwoods.

This approach would seem to dovetail with calls by some for the practice of fast-growing pinus radiata commercial forestry involving clear felling and leaving the erosion prone land vulnerable, to cease.

More realistic in my view as the so-called "wall of wood" reaches maturity, would be integration of native species with more rapidly growing exotics for the next forestry cycle, matching tree species to the land resource as Ewan McGregor proposed in his opinion piece last November. More >>.


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Texas Rangers coming to town

The partnership of forestry company, Rayonier Matariki Forests, and Omataroa Kiwi Project will provide an inspirational new learning opportunity for children at Te Kura o Te Teko School.

Omataroa Kiwi Project, a kiwi conservation initiative developed by the trustees of Omataroa Rangitaiki 2 Trust, has been working for the last 10 years to protect the Eastern brown kiwi in the Puhikoko Reserve (approximately 500 hectares of native bush) and the wider 7,700 hectares within Eastern Bay of Plenty’s Omataroa Forest, which includes plantation forestry. The land is owned by the Trust.

In collaboration with Rayonier Matariki Forests, who manage the production forest within Omataroa, the Te Teko Texas Rangers initiative was developed to provide a unique opportunity for senior students (aged 11/12) at Te Teko School to learn about kiwi conservation and the wider biodiversity of Omataroa Forest through an outdoor educational programme.

Omataroa-Rangitaiki No 2 Trustee, Waaka Vercoe said the initiative would not only provide invaluable conservation education but it also aims to enable the children to connect with their whenua through a Matauranga Maori approach.

“Our tamariki are the Kaitiaki who will lead this conservation work in the future and we hope to nurture their love for the whenua and understand the responsibilities that they hold as Kaitiaki. The programme will cover many aspects of Maori culture and traditions as well as a hands-on role in protecting the environment and wider bio-diversity,” said Mr Vercoe.

Rayonier Matariki Forests has been working with Omataroa Kiwi Project for some years to assist with predator control. A closer relationship and increased support of the project has seen the company take an active role in funding and facilitating the forest visits.

Rayonier Matariki Forests managing director, Brendan Slui said “We are very excited to be a part of this special initiative which will deliver huge benefits to the children at Te Teko School and the wider community. The forestry industry has a significant role to play in environmental stewardship and this is one way we can contribute.”

The educational framework will be implemented by a series of forest visits where the children will learn about their land, the different flora and fauna species and the importance of protecting them along with practical lessons in predator control and kiwi health checks and egg lifts. They will also visit Kiwi Encounters in Rotorua to see the kiwi chick hatchery and gain an understanding of the life cycle of kiwi.

The pilot programme, which consists of eight sessions across Terms 3 and 4 of this year, will then be assessed with a view to continuing it for future senior students at Te Kura o Te Teko School.

Photo: Rayonier executives join local Rayonier Matariki Forests staff at Ruaihona Marae, Te Teko to launch the Te Teko Texas Rangers inititative and are pictured with the first group of children to undertake the programme.

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Australia’s Illegal logging laws - community outreach

Over the coming months, the Department of Agriculture & Water Resources will be undertaking a range of outreach and education activities to promote improved awareness and understanding of Australia's illegal logging laws.

Illegal logging webinars

During the second half of 2018, the department will be hosting a series of interactive webinars on Australia's illegal logging laws. These hour-long events will provide importers with targeted information about the laws, the due diligence requirements, and how the department is promoting compliance with the laws. The events will be of value to anyone who regularly imports wood, pulp or paper products into Australia, or who has an interest in Australia's illegal logging laws. The first webinar in the series will be held on Monday, 20 August 2018. To learn more about the webinar series and to register your participation in the events, visit:

Updated illegal logging webpages

The department has updated its illegal logging webpages to provide improved information about the illegal logging laws and the due diligence requirements. The updated pages include clearer and more streamlined guidance on the laws, along with new supporting case studies; answers to commonly asked questions; useful online resources; and helpful due diligence risk assessment materials. You can view the updated pages at:

Animated video - Australia's illegal logging laws

The department has also published a new animated video highlighting the significant costs of the illegal timber trade and explaining what Australia is doing to combat this issue. The animated video will be circulated through a range of social media channels in the coming weeks to raise general awareness of this issue. The video can be viewed on the department's youtube channel

Source: The News Mill, VAFI

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ETS Annual Report released

The annual reports on New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (SGG) levy have been released by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). The reports detail reported emissions, transfers of units to and from the Crown, details of SGG levies paid, and the level of compliance within the scheme.

Michelle Ward, EPA’s Manager of ETS Operations, says the annual reports show the most up-to-date picture of activity within the NZ ETS. “In combination with the ETS factsheet also published today, these two reports provide a summary of recent and historical activity within the scheme.”

The EPA also provides regular updates on transactional elements and unit holdings of the carbon market both via reports available from the New Zealand Emissions Trading Register (the Register), and the EPA website. The EPA is working with the Ministry for the Environment to improve the availability and accessibility of NZ ETS information.

View the annual ETS reports on the EPA website.

Key highlights from the reports include:

- The number of units surrendered has increased from previous years. Non-forestry participants have been required to pay one emissions unit for every two tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions for activity prior to 1 January 2017. A phase-out of this one-for-two transitional measure of the NZ ETS means non-forestry participants are now required to surrender more units for the same emissions.
- Changes to the levy rate mean that there has been an increase in synthetic greenhouse gas levies collected from importers of hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) and perfluorocarbons (PFC) contained in goods. From 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017, the synthetic greenhouse gas levy resulted in $3,417,269 NZD collected. From 1 July 2017 – 30 June 2018, $8,897,000 NZD was collected.


- The EPA manages the administration of the NZ ETS. We ensure compliance with the scheme and provide reports and market information. We also operate the Register where participants report their emissions, open accounts, receive or transfer units, and meet their surrender obligations. Find out more about our role in the NZ ETS on our website (link)

- Five sectors have obligations to report and surrender units in the NZ ETS for their emissions: Forestry, Stationary Energy, Industrial Processes, Liquid Fossil Fuels and Waste. Agriculture is required to report emissions but do not face an obligation to surrender units.

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Evan Rolley new chairman of Private Forests Tasmania

Former Forestry Tasmania boss Evan Rolley has been appointed chairman of the Private Forest Tasmania. Mr Rolley is also a former head of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, a former Tasports board member, the former executive director of Ta Ann Tasmania, and most recently served as VDL Farms’ chief executive. Resources Minister Guy Barnett said Mr Rolley had 40 years’ experience within the forestry sector.

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... and one to end the week on ... the regiment has taken a vote

Another Scottish joke. Keep sending them in - we're on a roll here.

A Scottish Soldier, in full dress uniform, marches into a pharmacy. Very carefully he opens his sporran and pulls out a neatly folded cotton bandana, unfolds it to reveal a smaller silk square handkerchief, which he also unfolds - to reveal a condom. The condom has a number of patches on it.

The chemist holds it up and eyes it critically.

"How much to repair it?" the Scot asks the chemist. "Six pence" says the chemist.

"How much for a new one?”. "Ten pence" says the chemist.

The Scot painstakingly folds the condom into the silk square handkerchief and the cotton bandana, replaces it carefully in his sporran, and marches out of the door, shoulders back and kilt swinging. A moment or two later the chemist hears a great shout go up outside, followed by an even greater shout.

The Scottish soldier marches back into the chemist’s and addresses the proprietor, this time with a grin on his face."The regiment has taken a vote," he says."We'll have a new one."

Brent Apthorp
Editor, Friday Offcuts
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