Friday Offcuts – 9 April 2021

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Bubbling away still this week has been the issue of shortages of structural lumber. Reinforcing the message that the shortage is short-term and isn’t related to logs moving into China, several key NZ industry associations have pointed out that the current shortage has largely been caused by a covid emergence building boom. Two of the largest sawmills have both stated publicly that the current supply issues are unrelated to the volume of logs heading offshore and they took exception to using the current framing timber shortage to shore up Government support for some sort of control or intervention on log exports.

In New Zealand, Red Stag took the opportunity this week of announcing that they’re now planning to bring forward the commissioning of their new NZ$50m CLT operation in Rotorua. In Australia, the commissioning of the first of two new Continuous Drying Kilns at OneFortyOne’s Jubilee Sawmill in Mt Gambier was celebrated. Also, in Australia, the industry continues to call for a time extension to the Government’s HomeBuilder scheme to help ease the demand for both domestic and imported timber. Production has been ramped up but it’s anticipated, even with equipment upgrades that are coming on stream and extra shifts being worked, that mills are still going to be under the pump to meet the demand for at least another six months.

In skills and training this week, we cover several stories. A 20-week long forestry training programme on the East Coast of New Zealand is proving to be really successful in helping young Māori to turn their lives around and providing them with a pathway into secure employment. Based on this first pilot, a national roll- out over the next two to four years is planned with the idea to extend the programme into 48 locations across the country, targeting young people living in rural forest- based communities. From the lower South Island of New Zealand, we cover a story on how local industry have worked together to run a Forestry Open Day for students from local schools who had expressed an interest in forestry as a future career choice (along with teachers and careers advisors). We’ve also got further details for NZ employers on how they can take advantage of the extension that’s been offered for the Apprenticeship Boost scheme.

And finally, for harvesting contractors, forest managers, forest owners, equipment and tech providers to the logging industry and forestry H&S Managers who’ll be travelling into Rotorua, New Zealand next week for HarvestTECH 2021 and the Forest Safety & Technology 2021 events, it’s going to be a FULL house. The local industry is going to be joined by logging contractors and tech providers streaming in from across Australia, Canada, the USA, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Estonia, Finland and China. It’s again going to be one of the largest gatherings of its type seen in this country and certainly a welcome tonic to all who’ve been working their way through the lock-downs of 2020. We’re looking forward to catching up with many of you next week. And that’s it for this week. Enjoy this week’s read.

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AU$16m kilns upgrade for Jubilee Sawmill

OneFortyOne has further strengthened its commitment to the Green Triangle region with a $16 million dollar capital investment at the Jubilee Sawmill. The first of two new Continuous Drying Kilns (CDK) was launched last week, replacing old batch kilns with more efficient and environmentally conscious biomass fuelled system.

OneFortyOne Jubilee Sawmill General Manager Paul Hartung said the kilns will produce higher -grade timber, with less energy and less downtime. “As the name suggests, the Continuous Drying Kilns operate nonstop, moving product through continuously and maintaining and ideal temperature,” Paul said.

“The efficient design is powered by biomass, using sawdust and wood waste, and shares heat between two chambers with no need to turn the kiln off. There’s no cooling down and reheating like in the old batch kilns– meaning more product processed with less energy”.

The launch of the new CDK coincided with a massive milestone for Kilns Manager Roger Davis, who celebrated 50 years of service at the Jubilee site. Starting out as a timber stacker back in 1971, Roger has held several positions since, from machinist and forklift driver, through to shift leader and drymill supervisor, and wanted to see the first CDK completed and online before retiring.

Paul said the old batch kilns on site are regarded as some of the highest performing batch kilns that Windsor Engineering have installed around the world, which is a credit to Roger’s leadership. “I’m thrilled that Roger was able to do the honours of launching the new CDK,” Paul said.

“Roger’s commitment and dedication is unparalleled, and I wish to thank him for all he has contributed to this mill and to his colleagues.” The second continuous drying kiln is currently under construction and on track for completion by Christmas 2021.

Photo: Roger Davis and his wife Carol officially opening the CDK

Source: OneFortyOne

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Log supply not the cause of timber shortage

New Zealand forest organisations have joined to reject statements that the current shortage of framing timber is caused by foresters selling logs to China and not leaving enough timber to be processed for sale in New Zealand.

The Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association’s Chief Executive, Jon Tanner says Chinese log buyers were going to what he called extraordinary lengths to buy up logs and he is blaming this for the short supply of sawn timber revealed this week when Carter Holt Harvey cut supply to some of its regular customers, ITM, Bunnings and Mitre 10.

But the President of the Forest Owners Association, Phil Taylor, pointed to the two biggest wood processors in New Zealand, publicly both stating that the shortage is mostly caused by a covid emergence building boom.

Carter Holt Harvey issued a statement stating the shortage was short term and industry wide caused by a huge timber appetite as well as CHH’s difficulties with upgrading capacity at its Kawerau mill. Red Stag Chief Executive, Marty Verry says there is a worldwide building boom and New Zealand was no exception. He has said that it was good to have the wisdom of hindsight but no one was going to pick covid happening and its construction aftermath.

Phil Taylor says the volume of the New Zealand timber market has been remarkably stable for at least the past two decades. “On top of that you can’t expect processors to have capacity on stand-by for extra sales at a level which hasn’t happened in the past 20 years.”

Phil Taylor says the WPMA claim that the problem is log exports to China goes back to the drive to get the government to cross subsidise local production with exports, which was the aim of the Shane Jones’ Log Mongers’ Bill last year. “The WPMA was wrong then and it’s unfortunately wrong again now. Their colourful stories of Chinese buyers flying over forests to spot log supply from the air has nothing to do with this short-term problem.”

“The WPMA is using a completely unrelated framing timber shortage to try to get government support for intervening against exports which is the type of move the entire primary sector completely rejected last year.”

The Farm Foresters Association President, Graham West says farm foresters are getting into the peak years of harvesting from their 1990s plantings and they don’t want the government to control or tax their long-awaited harvest as it appears the WPMA was wanting the government to do. “The WPMA says it wants the government to make a level domestic and export playing field, but it is in fact demanding the complete opposite.”

“As well, the logs supplied for export, are generally not suitable to meet the house construction grades here in New Zealand. There is not that much overlap. I also have a real worry that the government will be distracted away from the bigger strategic issues of supporting the use of timber, just at a point when it’s now encouraging New Zealanders to use it for good sound environmental reasons.”

Phil Taylor adds that the Forest Owners Association strongly supports a viable and sustainable timber processing industry. “These mills buy nearly half of forest growers’ product. We need them to continue to operate, as do all New Zealanders. And in particular it’s welcome news to see the development of the Red Stag’s cross laminated timber plant. These modern engineered timber systems take better advantage of the intrinsic qualities of wood and can be used for higher rise buildings to replace carbon emitting concrete and steel construction.”

For further commentary on the issue, click here

Source: FOA, FFA

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Powering data exchange & wireless weighbridge integration

Since its release in 2018, LOGR eDockets have seen a meteoric uptake in the forestry industry. Now Enabled the innovation firm behind this platform, is again creating industry buzz with the release of LOGR Air. LOGR Air is a Multi-Party System that allows the whole supply chain to exchange data in real-time through a sophisticated set of APIs. Starting in the forest, through the haulage journey, continuing through the weighing process at the Mill or Scaling Port.

The creation of LOGR Air came by way of the Green Triangle Regional Working Committee wanting to: streamline processes for truck drivers, enhance safety, improve accuracy of data capture and finally provide all parties almost instant access to this shared data. ‘The complexity of our region means truck drivers have to deal with the multiple different systems of each forest owner, and the multiple systems at each weighbridge / delivery location.’ explains Tammy Auld - Customer & regional Manager at Timberlands Pacific, ‘We viewed that by working together and connecting these systems there would be much to gain.’

Grant Hull - Chief Executive at Enabled notes: ‘Working with the Committee we saw vast upside potential of unlocking their digital ecosystem by making shared data a reality for the whole supply chain, whilst remaining interoperably with their separate “owned” data systems’ which include many different weighbridges systems.

The weighbridge, a common point of shared pain and also one of the most dangerous processes requiring drivers to exit their trucks to manually process weighing. The Regional Working Committee’s case study was first installed at the Portland Scaling yard. At this location LOGR Air also achieves a wireless weighing process supporting Haulers for OneFortyOne, Green Triangle Forest Products, and Timberlands Pacific.

To process automatic and wireless weighing, LOGR Air interfaces with any existing weighbridge to capture the stable weight, then it identifies the weighing truck by number plate recognition cameras and matches the weight, the Driver and their corresponding delivery docket. This is presented as a digital recipe to the Driver who can confidently confirm successful weighing. This receipt is also cryptographically signed for authenticity and made available for each stakeholders’ records via the API.

The Air service is compatible with a number of electronic docket systems including Trimble WSX and LOGR eDockets. “By supporting the two leading electronic docketing solutions used at Portland in WSX and eDockets, we’ve created a common weighing process for all Drivers and in doing so open additional opportunities such as providing inbound delivery notifications and integration pathway for onsite scaling” Grant highlights.

Summarising the achievement at Portland, Tammy recognises that “We all exist in a joint data ecosystem, and within that ecosystem the more we can leverage shared data, the greater the total benefit is.” Beyond the successful trial site, LOGR Air now supports wireless weighbridge integrations at Portland Scaling yard, Portland Chip Terminal, Albany Chip Terminal, Longreach Chip Terminal, Surrey Hills Chipmill and Tumut Pulpmill.

HarvestTech April 2021

Note: Chief Executive Grant Hull will next week as part of the two-yearly wood harvesting event, HarvestTECH 2021 will be speaking about the Portland scaling yard case study.

For last minute virtual registrations (either watch live over the two days or access all of the presentations at a later date, click here to register

LOGR as a Weighbridge Solution LOGR is covered by the National Measurement Institute approved pattern NMI S767 as a weighbridge for commercial trade point of sales system. LOGR provides weighbridge owners and truck drivers an integrated wireless weighing process, without the driver needing to exit their truck cab. LOGR services includes: LOGR eDocketsTM, LOGR AirTM, LOGR EdgeTM, LOGR Deliveries, LOGR Claims App and LOGR Logyard App.

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Results from early forest fire detection technology

A new camera-based fire detection system has been trialed in Tasmania for the first time by forest management company SFM. The Firehawk system provides real time fire detection allowing for a rapid aerial-based response to potentially threatening bushfire ignitions and has been used successfully this fire season on Lenah Estate (formally Norske Skog), a 18,000 Hectare softwood plantation, located in Tasmania’s Derwent Valley.

The technology delivers infrared heat detection across 360-degree views for a 30 kilometre radius from each fire tower located on Lenah Estate. Every two minutes the camera system compares a new image with the previous image. If a change is detected, such as visible smoke, Firehawk will alert the person who is monitoring the system who will then initiate an immediate response.

“Early detection allows for an early response, meaning we have the best chance to keep fires small before they become big and possibly out of control. We can detect a minimal amount of smoke and respond early with both helicopter and ground-based firefighting resources”, said David Wise, Director, SFM.

The new technology provides a way to see through smoke and locate fires, taking away the risk of manned towers and minimising error. “One of the great things about this technology is it can see through smoke. This is a really effective way to look for new ignitions, especially if conditions are similar to 2019 where there was a lot of smoke in the atmosphere and limited visibility”, said Mr Wise.

SFM trial Firehawk detection system. from Andrew Morgan on Vimeo

David Bowman, Professor of Pyrogeography and Fire Science at the University of Tasmania, said that rapid attack is a critical approach to preventing bushfires from becoming uncontrollable and destructive. “Using ground-based sensor technology is a massive improvement from the older methods of having people based in fire lookout towers,” said Professor Bowman.

“As the fire season lengthens due to climate change, we need to improve and adapt. The Firehawk is a fantastic example of using new technologies to improve fire suppression capacity.” Fire detection information can then be shared with the Tasmanian Fire Service, Sustainable Timber Tasmania (STT) and Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Services. STT said that enhancing fire detection and management strategies is a shared priority for the industry.

“Tasmania’s forest managers are investing in smart technology for the future and SFM’s recent undertaking to trial innovative fire detection and suppression technology is a notable and valuable example. We are watching SFM’s trials and adoption of new methods with great interest and support,” said STT.

A secondary benefit of the technology is faster and more accurate weather reporting. SFM have erected their own weather stations to use alongside the Bureau of Meteorology to help calculate fire danger ratings for various areas within the estate.

“Automation of weather reporting that has traditionally been done by the manned towers will provide us with a faster and safer access to more complete data set, as towers are only manned on high fire danger days”. Firehawk technology could provide Tasmania with a more cost-effective and efficient fire detection and mitigation methodology.

Lenah Estate is owned by Australian-based international forestry investor New Forests, on behalf of its Australian New Zealand Forest Fund 3, who appointed SFM to manage Lenah Estates’ timber plantation assets in 2020. SFM have a strong track record of successfully implementing technology advancements in the forestry sector having implemented the first underwater harvesting operation in Australia – Hydrowood.

SFM have also been running a successful Firehawk trial in the Green Triangle (Mt Gambier region) are hoping to expand the trial over the next two years.

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Call for crackdown on native hardwood log exports

The Queensland timber industry is calling for a crackdown on regulatory compliance for native hardwood log exports and a suspension of federal export licenses from Queensland until such time as an adequate compliance regime is put in place.

Chair of the Timber Queensland Hardwood Division, Curly Tatnell said given the magnitude of our concerns over non-compliant native log exports, Timber Queensland are taking the unprecedented step to recommend to the Australian Government an immediate suspension of native hardwood log export licenses.

“Over the past three years we have consistently raised our concerns with both the Australian and Queensland Governments over rogue native log export operators and the rising tide of suspect exports. These operators have been able to avoid scrutiny through a simple tick and flick export licence exercise with no systematic auditing or checking of their regulatory requirements. There has been no tangible action on compliance or enforcement during this time,” said Mr Tatnell.

Some of the major concerns of industry include breaches of state and federal environmental regulation, poor biosecurity practices, misreported volumes or log categories to avoid detection and unsafe work practices.

“Not only is this a threat to the environment and good forest management, it is damaging the local hardwood industry and reputation of the industry as a whole. It really is a kick in the guts to the thousands of workers and local timber businesses that are fully compliant with the regulatory requirements. Fly by night operators, flagrantly abusing the rules cannot be tolerated by industry and should not be tolerated by Governments,” Mr Tatnell said.

Timber Queensland has recommended key actions to combat non-compliant exports, but this will take time given the complexity of regulation and overarching federal and state requirements. “We are calling for an export suspension for at least two years, which could be reassessed at that time for up to five years, in terms of progress against the necessary measures needed to confidently assess compliance,” he said.

Key measures include a review of the shortfalls and risks of the current compliance regime, development of appropriate protocols and processes for auditing and compliance, and related intergovernmental agreement and coordination across both levels of Government.

Timber Queensland has prepared a more detailed bulletin here together with a fact sheet here.

Source: Timber Queensland

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New CLT plant’s commissioning brought forward

The opening of a new wood processing plant in Rotorua in a few weeks will help alleviate New Zealand’s timber shortage, say Red Stag group CEO, Marty Verry. The plant, says Verry, will add five percent to the capacity of the New Zealand wood processing sector. That equates to around two thousand dwelling units, or most of the estimated shortfall in current timber supply.

The factory will produce cross laminated timber, or CLT as it is commonly referred to. CLT is a new ‘mass timber’ construction product being adopted rapidly worldwide. It is made by gluing successive layers of timber laid crossways over the layer below, to form large panels of three, five or seven layers of timber thick. The rigid engineered timber panels are then precision cut by CNC machines in factory and rapidly assembled on site.

In Red Stag’s case the CLT panels can exceed 16 meters by 4 metres in size, making for very fast construction and few connections. Kaianga Ora is a major user in New Zealand and use internationally is widespread. Google last week broke ground on its first mass timber building in Silicon Valley using CLT.

“We now have the last of the European technicians out of MIQ and doing the final commissioning of the plant. We’re going to bring forward the opening to May to help the timber shortage.”

Costing NZ$50 million, the CLT factory is co-located with the Southern Hemisphere’s largest sawmill, Red Stag, in Rotorua. It will employ forty people initially, rising to double that over time, and is part-funded by a $15 million loan from the Provincial Growth Fund.

Verry doesn’t expect all of the CLT factory’s capacity to be used in residential units though as there is already a waiting list of other projects planning to use it, including retirement villages, student accommodation, office buildings, educational facilities and cultural buildings.

“CLT has a value sweet spot in large-format structures, buildings of three storeys or more, and for mid-floors in terraced housing built to the NZS 3604 standard. Apartment buildings and fast-to-install CLT mid-floors will be our residential focus areas.”

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Southland Forestry Open Day attracts local students

With the enthusiastic support of industry front-line staff, the 2021 Be the Future of Forestry Day went off without a hitch in Winton on 18 March. Even the weather played ball, the sun shining after several days of heavy rain.

The event, organised by Southland Youth Futures in partnership with Rayonier Matariki Forests and Future Foresters, was a chance for young people to explore forestry career and training options across the entire timber supply chain - from seedling production, forest planning, silviculture and harvesting to transport and logistics, timber processing and log exporting. Technology in forestry, the environmental benefits of forestry in sequestering carbon, and emerging career opportunities associated with Government emission reduction policies were also promoted.

More than 80 students from eight secondary schools and three other educational providers attended, along with 15 teachers, tutors and parents. First time-attendees included a small group from a Southland alternative education class, and seven students and two teachers from East Otago High School in Palmerston, north of Dunedin, who left at 6.30am to make it to Winton on time. Six of the EOHS students are involved with a secondary school forestry course run by Steve Johnson and Toko Training, Milton.

Southland Youth Futures is a career exploration and pre-employability skills programme offered through Great South, the Southland Regional Development Agency. The first Be the Future of Forestry Day was held in 2019. This year’s event was bigger and better than ever, including four career presentations (Amy Robinson and Matt Thwaites, Rayonier), Callum Kyle (Ernslaw One) and Matt Cotterrell (City Forests), a mini expo, and a chance to experience a forestry harvesting simulator and inspect trucks and machinery.

Students took part in activities such as flying a drone; using a vertex; measuring and grading logs; using a log traceability app, measuring how much carbon a tree stores; identifying tree seeds; taking a virtual tour of a timber processing factory; inspecting a truck engine; handling chainsaws and silviculture equipment; and watching a hiab truck and harvest processing head in action.

Ernslaw One is raising freshwater kōura (crayfish) in forestry ponds in Otago and Southland. Aquaculture manager Callum Kyle brought some kōura with him, including rare blue specimens. Students and adults were fascinated to touch and photograph the crustaceans, while there was great hilarity when Callum organised kōura races at his table.

A number of students indicated they were interested in knowing more about forestry, with follow up talks and tours planned in the next few months. Feedback from the day was extremely positive. Here are some comments:

“I go to a lot of careers days and this would be the best without a doubt. The kids are interested, and you have great industry input.” – Phil Williams, Dunedin, Competenz ITO.

“We bought 21 students from James Hargest College (Invercargill). It’s been an excellent day. To see the variety of jobs available in the forestry industry and career pathways is ideal for the Primary Industries course I am teaching. And to see the technology that is now being used is exciting for the kids. It draws them in. Having a mix of speakers from someone who has done a degree at university to someone who has come up from the shop floor, so to speak, was an excellent way to reach the kids.” – Andrew Shepherd, James Hargest College teacher.

“I’ve brought along a Nissan truck which carts wood pellets, sawdust, fertiliser – anything in bulk. I like coming to Southland Youth Futures events. I like showing the kids the latest and greatest gear. It’s good to see them getting inside the cab, having a look around and playing with a few buttons, especially on the big new expensive trucks. This one is worth half a million dollars. You can buy two houses in Bluff for that.’’ – Paul Williamson, DT King.

Thank you for organising such a successful day! My students are still talking about it. The day was filled with a lot of interesting and interactive activities. We really liked how the employers talked with the students and were so friendly and informative. – Carol Tawhai, Aurora College, Invercargill.

The day would not have been possible without the wonderful contribution from forestry industry companies, trainers and others - Rayonier Matariki Forests, City Forests, Ernslaw One, Forest Management Ltd, NFA, OneForest, Competenz, Sparrow Logging, McCallum Logging, Arborgen Edendale, DT King, Niagara, McNeill, South Port, Mike Hurring Logging, Steve Johnson Forestry Services, D&D Heavy Haulage, and Great South Carbon Neutral Advantage project. Rayonier and the Southern Wood Council also generously supported the day with sponsorship.

Source: Southland Youth Futures

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Structural timber supply short for at least six months

The Australian timber industry is calling for a time extension to the government’s HomeBuilder scheme to ease demand for both domestic and imported timber. While new applications for the federal government’s HomeBuilder program closed this week, the industry predicts timber processing mills will be under pressure to meet the demand for at least the next six months.

One of Australia’s largest structural timber manufacturers, Timberlink Australia, which has mills in South Australia’s South East and in Tasmania, was among the Radiata pine processors that have ramped up production.

Timberlink chief executive Ian Tyson said timber supplies across the nation were tight. “We are doing all that we can to produce as much timber as possible, including extra shifts at the mill,” Mr Tyson said. He said demand for building materials had increased since COVID-19, with high levels of housing starts and renovation activity.

“We are expecting the tightness in supply to ease slightly over the coming months as inventory improves and import levels adjust,” Mr Tyson said. “Timberlink is producing more timber than at any other time, and our AU$100 million investment in our Australian mill upgrade program will shortly further increase our production capacity.”

OneFortyOne — the largest integrated forestry company in South Australia and a large producer of structural timber — said a reduction in imports had also impacted the supply. Executive general manager Cameron MacDonald said imports had previously made up 25 per cent of demand for timber in Australia.

“We’re seeing a worldwide phenomenon where government stimulus has seen a lot of new home building activity, as well as do-it-yourself projects, and the timber prices in the US have doubled,” Mr MacDonald said. “So, a lot of those imports are going to America rather than coming to Australia and it’s really been a significant drop in imports.”

He said he hoped common sense would prevail with the HomeBuilder scheme, which required construction to start within six months. “Everyone’s asking the federal government to relax that deadline so that we can push some of this demand out because it’s not just timber, it’s tradies, it’s bathroom fittings, everything’s in short supply at the moment,” he said.

“My concern is that two years out, we’re going to see significant drop in demand for new homes, whereas if we relax those timelines on HomeBuilder, I think we’ll see a more orderly reduction in demand.”

Australian Forest Products Association deputy chief executive Victor Violante said home builders potentially faced months of delay in accessing structural timber. “A number of processing mills are working at capacity and will continue to do so until things settle down,” Mr Violante said. “This is a good problem to have, but it highlights the need for Australia to be self- sufficient.”

Source: ABC

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Apprenticeship extension – everything you need to know

In August last year, the New Zealand Government announced the Apprenticeship Boost scheme. Due to end in April 2021, the subsidy has since been extended until August and is available for employers of new and existing apprentices.

“Given an apprenticeship can take four years to complete, there is a long pipeline for skills. This initiative needs to be in place permanently to make sure businesses have confidence to continue building the skills pipeline and help address the skill shortages New Zealand faced before Covid” BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope says.

Who can get it?

You can get Apprenticeship Boost if your apprentices are:

• actively training through a transitional Industry Training Organisation (ITO) or a provider
• training for a New Zealand Apprenticeship or Managed Apprenticeship recognised by the Tertiary Education Commission
• in their first 24 months of training (this includes any previous apprenticeship enrolment, including any other apprenticeships, with the same transitional ITO or provider).

Apprenticeship Boost can be paid for an apprentice who is self-employed if they’re employed or contracted by you. You need to apply for your apprentice, and you need to have a training agreement between yourself, your apprentice and your TEC approved transitional ITO or provider. If you’re self-employed, contact the company overseeing your apprenticeship. They’ll need to apply on your behalf.

You can’t get Apprenticeship Boost for your apprentice if you’re:

• a State Sector employer
• already getting another wage subsidy from Work and Income for this apprentice (eg, Flexi-wage, the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy or Mana in Mahi)
• already getting a payment from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment for this apprentice (eg, a wage subsidy from the Māori Trades and Training Fund or a Regional Apprenticeships Initiative).

Payment rates You can get Apprenticeship Boost for a maximum of 20 months per apprentice, and it’s paid in advance. How much you can get depends on whether your apprentice is in their first or second year of training:

• First year apprentices can get $1,000 a month
• Second year apprentices can get $500 a month.

These amounts don’t include GST. If you’re GST registered, you’ll be paid the amount plus GST. You must pay your apprentice at least the minimum or training wage.

For more information and useful links, click here.

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Government funding boosts forestry career pathways

ManaiaSAFE Forestry School in Te Tairāwhiti-East Coast is helping young Māori to turn their lives around and providing a pathway into secure employment. “We run our own forestry training crew, " ManaiaSAFE managing director Henry Koia says.

"We log so we can provide our students with actual work experience so, when they go through our 20- week programme, they know what to expect when they walk into a fulltime high-production commercial environment.”

The 20-week programme is growing. It started from an initial pilot in 2018 and there are now 29 graduates. “This is their first day this morning, so they've gone through their induction, and now they're getting a feel for the action environment," Koia says. "The past four or so weeks they've been in the classroom. We're partners with EIT in Gisborne, so we use their classrooms to give them a feel about the theory.”

Improving life chances

New student Fabian Miller says, “I just like being in the outdoors, a bit of hard work. Being out here is pretty inspirational to be honest, seeing the dudes from the last cohort, watching them do their thing is pretty massive for me.”

The programme is one of four initiatives backed by a NZ$5.5 million government investment to support 150 Māori into work and training in the Bay of Plenty, Northland and Te Tairāwhiti.

“It's not just about logging, we actually help people grow to improve their life chances,” says Koia. “We use things like giving up drugs, achieving a qualification and gaining fulltime employment in the logging industry as meaningful goals to support their personal life journey. It's a good gateway to a career, upskilling, trying to better myself and fill that kete up, and ManaiaSAFE has given me the tools to do that,” Miller says.

Another graduate, Matt Beach, says he was deported from Australia in 2016, "so I had a pretty rough time there and I felt this was a second chance to go on a course and make a career for myself and my family, pretty much turn my life around. That's where I found the course and just following the steps, trying to get as far as I can in the forestry industry so, yeah, big life change for me.”

Open and honest

ManaiaSAFE Training School secured NZ$180,000 of that funding to train six students, and follow up with pastoral care for six months to support their transition into fulltime employment. “I'm currently doing four New Zealand certificates. I'm training for log-making, getting my fleet on the loader, fleet stack, and also looking into some more health and safety and incident response training and learning, so that's where I'm at,” Beach says.

He has words of encouragement to those who are unemployed or looking for a new path. “It's a whanau to be honest once you're in. Leave everything at the door, be open and honest with each other, that's a key factor, to let people know that you have a past but, if you want to turn your life around, you can do it. Look at us now - we're both going for New Zealand certificates, so don't be whakama. Just approach any course and we'll take it from there, we'll look after you."

ManaiaSAFE plans a national roll-out over the next two to four years with a plan to create 117 teaching jobs across 48 locations across the country, targeting young people who live in rural forest-based communities.

Further information and coverage can be found by clicking here

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New board members and name refresh for IFA/AFG

The Institute of Foresters of Australia and Australian Forest Growers (IFA/AFG) is delighted to welcome new Director, Jim Wilson and new Board Observer, Leon Holt, with the organisation also announcing it will seek public opinion on a new name as it looks to increase its reach and profile.

IFA/AFG President Bob Gordon said the decisions made at the last board meeting would further grow the organisation’s profile and skillset, helping deliver greater outcomes for its members. “The appointments of Jim and Leon will assist us as we continue to adapt and deliver for our members, forest science and the broader forest sector,” Mr Gordon said.

“We’re also excited to announce we have engaged Pollinate, a market research company lead by Howard Parry-Husbands, to consult with the general public about a list of possible new names for the organisation. “As increasing our profile is very important to IFA/AFG members, the Board want to ensure any new name being considered will support this objective. The Board expect to hear the perceptions from over 1,000 members of the general public, the results from the survey will be available to the Board in May/June for discussion.”

IFA/AFG CEO Jacquie Martin said that she was delighted to be working with Mr Wilson and Mr Holt. “Jim Wilson and Leon Holt are long-time supporters of the IFA/AFG and are passionate about the future of the profession, the sector and our association,” Ms Martin said.

“Jim’s career has been focused in the private sector and he has invested his recent years working with Forico in Tasmania, as well as providing significant service to the forest sector in advocacy and leadership. Jim is a Registered Forestry Professional. Jim is also an active farm forester with both plantation and native forest in Tasmania. His experience and knowledge in these areas will bring a new dimension to the board and his recruitment is part of the Institute’s succession plans”.

“Leon's background is in native forestry and the public sector in Victoria, he was awarded the Prince of Wales Award for Sustainable Forest Management in 2019. He lives in northern Victoria with his young family and has recently begun establishing a farm forestry enterprise. As a long-time contributor to the IFA/AFG, and the sector more broadly, Leon’s continued insight will be highly valued in this new role.”

Photo: New Director, Jim Wilson (top) and new Board Observer, Leon Holt (bottom)

Source: IFA/AFG

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New President for Farm Forestry Association

Graham West has been elected as the new president of the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association at its Annual Conference, taking over from Hamish Levack. Graham is from a sheep and beef farm near Raetihi. He has a Master of Forestry Science from Canterbury and has had 48 years’ experience in forestry science at Scion, particularly in forest management systems, economics, wood supply chain, and land use.

He runs a forestry consultancy business. At home he has a wife and two children, a small farm and forestry blocks. Throughout his career in forestry, Graham has been passionate about the role small scale forestry can play. For the past three years he has been instrumental in the BOP Forest and Wood Action Group and has helped to establish the CNI Wood Council and is currently on the Committee.

Since May 2019 he has been a member of the Farm Forestry National Executive and is a strong advocate for technology transfer.

Source: FOA E-news, FFA
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ITI Timspec expanding in NZ

After 20 years Timspec will be moving in early 2022 to a new much larger site. ITI Timspec is pleased to announce the exchange of contracts to purchase a property in Keeling Road, Henderson, Auckland, New Zealand . The property is 29,410m2 with just over 15,000 m2 useable warehouse. This purchase is significant in that it is the last of the property purchases required in New Zealand to facilitate the expansion of ITI Timspec. Previous purchases included a 6,000m2 warehouse on a 13,000m2 site in Christchurch and 3,000m2 warehouse on 18,500 m2 site in Carterton.

ITI is an Australian based building supplies wholesale/distribution company that is 100% owned by a New Zealander. ITI has 9 distribution sites in Australia, manufacturing in Chile, procurement office in Indonesia and Sales in the USA. Total revenue for YE June 2021 will reach approximately $AU500 million. ITI purchased Timspec in March of 2019 as part of the owners wish to establish a business in his homeland, which led to the formation of ITI Timspec.

The vision for ITI Timspec is to replicate the Australian business growth strategy through, significantly increased stock holdings, acquisitions, and rapid expansion of the product range, including working with suppliers to the Australian business and opening New Zealand to these suppliers. This growth has been restricted by the sites that Timspec leased which, while suitable for the Timspec model, are too small to carry increased stock volumes in both the traditional Timspec products as well as an expanded product range.
Source: ITI Timspec

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Buy and Sell

... and one to end the week on ... a few Easter images

And on that note, enjoy your weekend and we look forward to seeing many of you next week in Rotorua, New Zealand and on-line for the major two-yearly catch-up of wood harvesting contractors and forest managers from across the region. See you there. 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:

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

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