WoodWeek – 7 December 2016

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Greetings from your WoodWeek news team. News from FIEA’s Forest Industry Safety Summit – Book now and get two delegates for the price of one! It's as simple as that!

Following industry-wide consultation, ACC, along with the recommendation of a 10% reduction in the average Work levy, will be working with businesses to develop incentives to make workplaces safer and reward businesses with good safety performance.

During this year’s consultation phase they proposed some initial thoughts on enhancing the experience rating system (which is a good way to demonstrate reward through claims experience) and they will be continuing this conversation.

On behalf of all forest contractors the Forest Industry Contractors Association (FICA) is now engaging directly with ACC to investigate specific issues relating to levy rates, experience rating, return to work and WSMP savings – set to be terminated in 2018.

In what appears to be a break with tradition, the Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) has released early information relating to the helicopter crash in Glenbervie Forest that killed two men. The TAIC has said it was "very unlikely" the crash was caused by mast bump.

After gaining ground for most of the year, in the last three weeks we’ve seen a big carbon price correction. The New Zealand market moved from $18.90 to below $17. This week the folks from OM Financial explain the fundamentals influencing these changes.

Finally this week – it's a funny old world sometimes in’it? Despite the value of wood exports to China from New Zealand being vastly disproportionately higher than those from Canada – we always seem to see far more interest from government ministers in BC in leading trade missions to Asia than our own NZ forestry ministers. I guess rule #1 applies in this case - from that popular list once attributed to Bill Gates: “Life is not fair – get used to it!”

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ACC levy recommendations released

ACC levy recommendations for 2017 – 2019 period - Following a month-long public consultation ACC is making levy recommendations to the Minister for the 2017 to 2019 period.

ACC Chair Dame Paula Rebstock said it was great to see the numbers of people taking advantage of the opportunity to have their say on the levy proposals with nearly 1100 submissions being made through the ShapeyourACC website.

“The changes being recommended to the Minister for ACC are a mix of reductions and increases to ensure levies are as fair as possible for all New Zealanders,” says Dame Rebstock.

The following levy changes are being recommended:
  • For car owners, a 13% reduction in the average Motor Vehicle levy
  • For businesses, a 10% reduction in the average Work levy, and changes to workplace safety incentive products
  • For employees, due to an increase in claims volumes and costs, a 3% increase in the Earners’ levy.

“What was most encouraging was the quality of feedback we received. It’s really important that people understand levy-setting and the proposals as this helps makes the process more transparent.”

Many respondents showed a preference for collecting a higher proportion of the petrol levy at the pump. When we set levies for vehicle owners, our priority is to make sure the money we collect will be enough to cover the costs of all injuries that happen on public roads. Collecting the Motor Vehicle levy through both petrol and the registration allows us to cover the risk based on distance travelled, while the registration portion allows us to recognise different vehicles have differing levels of risk of injury.

The Minister has asked us to consult on Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) and we received a wide range of views and suggestions on how these vehicles should be classified and levied. We’ll be considering these views as part of the wider review of the Motor Vehicle Account.

While the feedback on the proposed increase in the Earners’ levy was mixed, the submitters recognised the need to cover increased medical costs and increase in investment in injury prevention.

ACC is not recommending cuts to motorcycle levies as they are already heavily subsidised by other vehicle owners.

ACC, along with the recommendation of a 10% reduction in the average Work levy, will be working with businesses to develop incentives to make workplaces safer and reward businesses with good safety performance. During consultation we also proposed some initial thoughts on enhancing the experience rating system (which is a good way to demonstrate reward through claims experience) and we want to continue this conversation. The web page is still open so you can continue to provide feedback at www.shapeyouracc.co.nz/saferworkplaces.

Recommended levies were calculated based the estimated lifetime costs of new claims and funding position of ACC's Accounts as at 31 March 2016.

ACC’s full levy recommendations can be found at www.shapeyouracc.co.nz

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Safety Summit - Book now and save!

Safety Summit programme out now + registrations savings online - We are pleased to announce that the Forest Industry Safety Summit 2017 programmes for Rotorua and Melbourne have now been released. For a limited time online registrations allow you to register two delegates for the price of one.

The last Safety Summit was held in 2015, attracted over 500 forestry representatives and we are very excited about bringing you another strong programme for 2017.

“Our Safety Summit series in March 2017 has a great line up of inspiring and practical speakers. Many of them have already delivered safety outcomes for their teams and clients. So, the case studies they will bring are proven to bring results,” says Forest Industry Engineering Association manager, Gordon Thomson.

For the first time FIEA has teamed up with the Forest Industry Safety Council (FISC) to organise a workshop as part of the Safety Summit. Details on these workshops will be available on the event website.

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Recent corrections in NZ carbon prices

The last three weeks has seen the biggest carbon correction of the year – the New Zealand market sold off from $18.90 to below $17. Volume overall was moderate and really driven by three major fundamentals.

1) We were due a correction – the market has doubled this year and like any market – corrections are healthy and necessary.

2) The Trump Effect. His election surprised the carbon market and helped the correction given his climate (denying) stance and threatening to walk away from the Paris Accord.

3) Speculators taking profit. Motivated by points 1 & 2 but also many have held long positions from below $5 and are happy to take profit.

At the end of last week, the market stopped falling and bounced back to $17.50 – many of the speculators selling started to back off and some became buyers. “We have held the long-term view that we would reach $20 by year end and whilst we got close – that may prove to be just out of reach. However – we believe carbon under $18 is good value” says Nigel Brunel, Director Financial Markets , OM Financial Limited.

Trump is also seen moderating many of his positions and was quoted at the end of last week saying he now believes human activity is having an influence on the climate and that he may not walk away from the Paris Accord. In any event – the USA would have to give 4 years notice to withdraw from Paris unless they left the UN altogether – that’s unlikely given he just appointed his ambassador to the UN.

“For NZUs long term – our view is we go higher from here – New Zealand has four years of Kyoto left before Paris begins including two of own elections. We still have to find and surrender 140 million NZUs between 2017 and the end of 2020. In summary - no bears here - just corrections” says Brunel.

Source: OM Financial Limited

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Hancock celebrates tree planting milestone

The Hancock Timber Resource Group is celebrating the planting of its one billionth tree since the organization's founding in 1985.

The Boston-based timberland investment management organization recently celebrated the milestone with a group of conservation stakeholders at an event in McCloud, California at the McCloud Forest, one of the company's longest held properties.

The one billionth tree planted in McCloud was dedicated to the company's employees, stakeholders, business partners and future generations. Brent Keefer, President of the Hancock Timber Resource Group noted that the one billion seedlings, a $1.1 billion investment, have been planted on the properties it manages in the United States, Canada, South America, New Zealand and Australia.

The Hancock Timber Resource Group, founded in 1985, is a division of Hancock Natural Resource Group Inc, a unit of Manulife Asset Management Private Markets. Based in Boston, it manages approximately 6.3 million acres of timberland in the United States, Brazil, Chile, Canada, New Zealand and Australia on behalf of investors worldwide.

Source: Hancock Timber Resource Group

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Report on fatal helicopter crash released

Report on fatal Glenbervie Forest helicopter crash released - The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has released early information relating to the helicopter crash in the Glenbervie Forest that killed two men.

It was "very unlikely" that a fatal helicopter crash in Northland was caused by mast bump, a report has found.

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has issued an interim factual report on the Glenbervie Forest crash, which killed two forestry workers. The accident happened while the pilot and contractor were undertaking a survey flight prior to spraying the Glenbervie blocks on October 31.

They were flying over forest land for Rayonier.

The commission had added the Robinson R44 to its "watch-list" of safety concerns just a few days prior. It cited the potential for "mast bump", which has claimed 18 lives since 1996.

Mast bump is contact between an inner part of the main rotor blade and the main rotor drive shaft atop the fuselage, otherwise known as the "mast". The outcome is usually catastrophic with the helicopter breaking up in-flight, which is fatal for those on board.

However, the report said that the "confined nature" of the wreckage field and the type of damage found on the main rotor blades and the tail boom suggested that it was very unlikely that the helicopter had broken up in-flight, or that the accident had been caused by mast bumping.

More >>

A copy of the TAIC interim report can be found here.

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Northland mill plans parked

Proposed Ngawha wood mill mothballed by government - Plans to build a new wood processing facility at Ngawha in Northland have been put on ice by Northland Inc, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the Ministry for Primary Industries.

It follows the publication of a study into the potential project by independent consultants Indufor, which looked at the local impact, resource availability and market demand for an integrated sawmill and mechanical pulp mill at Ngawha.

Dr David Wilson, CEO of Northland Inc, argued the decision not to proceed is the right one.

“While the study does identify potential, we have decided not to continue with further investigations at this stage. This is in part due to uncertainties arising from the Electricity Authority’s Transmission Pricing Methodology review and because of concerns raised by industry that need to be addressed,” he said.

The Electricity Authority's review is considering the allocation of transmission costs and in May this year proposed raising the cost of bills in Auckland and Northland, to reflect the benefits of recent grid updates.

Indufor's report argued a mill would benefit the region through the provision of new jobs, and subsequent economic benefits, would not compete with existing wood processors and reduce heavy log traffic through the region. It also said there was sufficient resource in the area to develop the industry.

The report did note that some entities argued the project should be broadened to include other aspects such as the supply chain, integration of resources and collectivisation concepts.

The authors noted, "The sentiments indicate that any tangible development of a new wood processing facility (whatever the mill concept) should be considered in the context of the aspirations and desires of Northland's forest resource owners."

Source: BusinessDesk via Scoop News

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NZ Logger - The Torque of the Town

Skidder wars have ratcheted up another notch with the largest of the new John Deere L-series now working in New Zealand forests to take on the Cat 555D, along with the imminent arrival of the Tigercat 632E. NZ Logger has already looked at the Cat and now that one of the first 948L machines in the country is pulling wood for Wild Hog Logging near Gisborne, it’s time for this machine to get the full Iron Test treatment. To see whether it makes the grade get the December 2016-Jaunary 2017 issue of NZ Logger magazine.

In the same issue we also take a trip into the Mangatu Forest, the first large-scale commercial plantation forest to be opened up for harvesting on the East Coast a quarter of a century ago. It was the scene of a disastrous heli-logging experiment, but the crew that helped rescue the logging operation, Dewes Contractors, is back where it all began in 1990, with three original members of the team there for the start of the second rotation.

Our quarterly focus on the wood processing sector profiles an interesting business based in Ashburton, which makes wooden spinning wheels for craftspeople around the world and while its products may be traditional, the way they are made is anything but.

Plus, the annual ForestTECH conference that recently took place in Rotorua had a distinctly aerial flavour this year, with a number of presentations covering the use of drones, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), in the forest. The pace of change in just one year has been amazing, as illustrated in the December/January issue of the magazine, on sale from December 5.

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Timberlink donates to Earthquake Fund

Timberlink employees in both Australia and New Zealand were very concerned by the news of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck New Zealand’s South Island on November 14.

Timberlink employs over eighty people at its New Zealand mill in Blenheim, and while our New Zealand employees and mill escaped serious damage, Timberlink is aware that the earthquake and resultant aftershocks caused significant damage to parts of Blenheim and impacted the wider Marlborough community.

Timberlink’s CEO, Mr Ian Tyson said that “Timberlink would like to express its sympathy to all those affected by the earthquake, in particular to the family and friends of those who suffered loss or injury.”

With Christmas approaching, Timberlink decided that funds allocated for Christmas would be well spent helping those affected by the earthquake. The Australasian business has therefore donated NZ$5,000 to the Marlborough Council Earthquake fund, established by John Leggett, Marlborough Mayor, to directly help victims in the district.

The Council’s fund will be used to provide for the welfare needs of the affected families and to help get their homes operational again.

Timberlink would like to congratulate John Leggett on establishing this fund and wishes the Marlborough community all the best as they repair the damage and support those impacted by this earthquake.

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Log ship loading fatality report released

Fatality report on bulk log carrier - On 27 February 2016, the bulk carrier Mount Hikurangi had just completed loading a cargo of logs at the port of Tauranga. The ship's crew were involved in applying chain lashings to the logs that had been loaded above deck when a deck cadet fell from the stack of logs 10 metres onto the wharf below, then into the sea. The deck cadet did not survive this fall. His body was recovered by divers a number of hours later.

The deck cadet was not wearing a safety harness attached to a fall arrestor while working close to the edge of the log stack, despite a company requirement to do so.

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission (Commission) found that the crew on Mount Hikurangi routinely did not follow company procedures by working on top of log cargoes without the required safety harnesses.

The Commission also found that there was little evidence of a strong safety culture on board Mount Hikurangi at the time.

The safety actions taken by the ship operator and Maritime New Zealand negated the need for the Commission to make any recommendations.

Key lessons arising from the inquiry include:

  • all crew members must wear safety harnesses, preferably connected to fall arrestors, when working at height

  • a strong safety culture must be established and promoted from the highest levels of management on board a ship. It must be encouraged, monitored and enforced throughout all levels of the organisation so that best safety practices are followed.

Click here for full report details.

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MPI and Customs establish border risk team

New intelligence tools will help Customs catch more methamphetamine smugglers and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) keep biosecurity pests offshore.

A team of data analysts from Customs, MPI, and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (Immigration NZ) have formed a joint analytics team in the Auckland Customhouse to better inform risk targeting at the border.

The agencies will work together to gain new insights into border risk through the use of analytics software and data sharing.

Customs Group Manager Intelligence Investigations & Enforcement, Jamie Bamford, says establishing a joint team allows agencies to share the cost of specialist resources and leverage the risk and intelligence capability and tools of the three agencies.

“The risk and intelligence tools, developed by the Joint Border Management System programme (JBMS), are the backbone of the team, boosting existing risk assessment processes, and providing analytics capability on a par with our international border partners.”

Mr Bamford says millions of border transactions are interrogated to identify patterns in data that represent border risk.

“This information makes risk assessment of goods and travellers more accurate.”

MPI, Director Intelligence, Planning and Coordination, Geoff Gywn, says by developing our people, platform and processes together we will be successful in harnessing the power of data at the border.

“MPI and Customs have built predictive models that address risk particular to each organisation. MPI’s focus is the biosecurity risk of pest infestation in cut flowers and fresh produce, while Customs’ focus is air cargo data to identify methamphetamine smuggling.

Immigration New Zealand Assistant General Manager, Stephen Vaughan, says each agency will gain insights through data sharing and identifying opportunities to build data models that address common border risk.”

“Immigration NZ, Customs and MPI are currently developing an analytics pilot focused on passenger data which will enable both facilitation and targeted intervention.”

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Asian trade tour for forests minister

Meanwhile, in Canada, BC’s Forestry Asia Trade Mission has shifted to China after spending a few days in Japan. The mission, led by Forests Minister Steve Thomson, is a continuation of strengthening and formalizing ties with multiple Asian markets, while pitching the exportation of softwood lumber.

“China is a $1.2 billion dollar market for us,” said Thomson via a teleconference from Shanghai.

“So it has been a very successful start to the mission and we’re looking forward to the next few days as we continue to build those relationships.”

The use of softwood lumber is a growing interest in BC’s second largest market for exports as a way to construct energy efficient housing.

Thomson says this would be a good opportunity for the province.

“China’s growth continues to move forward at 5.6% GDP growth per year with a growing culture of the utilization of wood. That’s why we focus our continued efforts on the market, just to be able to create that different diversification.”

Thomson is joined on the Trade Mission by Susan Yurkovich, the President and CEO of the Council of Forest Industries, who says while BC has a big interest in the Chinese market, we shouldn’t count out our American counterparts.

She says discussions to export softwood lumber can continue, especially since President- Elect Donald Trump has promised to grow the US economy.

“Growing their economy is going to require our wood product. Building and construction is a huge part of that continued recovery of the US economy; there is incentive to work towards an agreement.”

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Gympie asked to consider wood first policy

Timber industry could get policy boost - Timber could be set to become the future boom industry for the Gympie region, with the council considering a wood encouragement policy to emphasise timber construction in the region.

Gympie Regional Council was approached by Timber Queensland and Planet Ark about developing the policy.

Under the policy, greater consideration would be given to using timber as the primary construction material in new developments.

However, the policy would not make the use of timber an ironclad requirement.

While counsellors acknowledged there would be an increase to construction costs from such a policy, they believe the long-term environmental benefits would be great, with timber constructions leaving a lower carbon footprint than other materials.

The potential impact of such a policy on the region's economy could also be huge, with almost 600 jobs in the area which would be directly supported by the growth of the timber industry.

Overall, Queensland's timber and forestry industry is worth $3 billion to the state.

Source: Gympie Times

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... almost finally ... Cheers to 127 years!

CHEERS! to 127 more years - The redeveloped Tui Brewery opens its doors

The Tui Brewery has been through a lot in its 127 years including the Pahiatua Earthquake (1934), the infamous Arnold Nordmeyer Black Budget, a couple of World Wars and some vicious rumours of closure. But the Tui Brewery certainly hasn’t closed - in fact that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Over the past 12 months the team at Tui have been busy redeveloping the Tui Brewery making it fit for purpose so the team are able to brew Tui on site for at least another 127 years.

The home of Tui on State Highway 2, Mangatainoka is proud to unveil its new bespoke brewery as part of the $4.5 million investment in the Tui Brewery site. This includes a brand new German engineered Brewhouse, which arrived in seven containers and has taken a dedicated team a few months to install. And now that the setup is complete, work begins to lay down the first brew.

The new Tui Brewhouse allows greater brewing flexibility and creativity, which will see the team release a number of innovative small batch beers, as well as regional specific brews. Some of these will only available on site at the Tui Visitor Experience, Bar and Café.

Tui Brewery Head Brewer Tupu Gregory says, “The Tui Brewery is a Kiwi icon, and has stood the test of time – as well as plenty of earthquakes - over the 127 years we’ve been brewing on site. The redevelopment signals that the home of Tui is here to stay. Production requirements have changed and we now have a bespoke, fit for purpose brewery which gives us greater flexibility. This is the best outcome for the brand, and the region, as we’re able to produce a number of unique beers especially for the Central region.”

Since 2006 the pilgrimage to the famous Tui Brewery has become more and more popular with visitor numbers increasing steadily. The new brewery tours will enhance the current visitor experience and generate further tourism for the area.

To celebrate the new Brewhouse, Tui is giving their faithful consumers, and the valued community the opportunity to be part of a ‘Roof Shout’ - free brewery tour - for the entire region.

Tui Passports (vouchers) for free brewery tours are available in Central Region on premise outlets, regional newspapers and on Tui’s Facebook page. So make sure you get a Passport and come along and see Tui’s new home.

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Buy and Sell

... and finally ... time for some funnies

En route to Hawaii, I noticed one of my passengers in the coach section of the airplane dialing her cell phone.

"Excuse me. That can't be on during the flight," I reminded her. "Besides, we're over the ocean, you won't get a signal out here."

"That's okay," she said. "I'm just calling my daughter. She's sitting up in first class."


I figured that at age seven it was inevitable for my son to begin having doubts about Santa Claus.

Sure enough, one day he said, "Dad, I know something about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy."

Taking a deep breath, I asked him, "What is that?"

He replied, "They're all nocturnal."


and finally ... an oldie - but not BAD ...

An airplane was about to crash. There were 4 passengers on board, but only 3 parachutes.

The 1st passenger said, "I am Steph Curry, the best NBA basketball player. The Warriors and my millions of fans need me, and I can't afford to die." So he strapped on the first pack and exited the plane.

The 2nd passenger, Donald Trump, said, "I am the newly-elected U.S. President, and I am the smartest President in American history, so my people don't want me to die." He took the 2nd pack and jumped out of the plane.

The 3rd passenger, the Pope, said to the 4th passenger, a 10 year old schoolboy, "My son, I am old and don't have many years left, you have more years ahead so I will sacrifice my life and let you have the last parachute."

The little boy said, "That's okay, Your Holiness, there's a parachute left for you. America's smartest President took my schoolbag."

Have a safe and productive week.

John Stulen

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