WoodWeek – 20 July 2016

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Greetings from your WoodWeek news team.

To the market first. While Zealand's log exports to China were down in recent months, total shipments were trending higher, and log export prices have gone up by 36% from September of 2015 to May 2016, according to reports from Wood Resource Quarterly.

We are pleased to see more and more regional forestry groups celebrating achievements of our local industry leaders. Hancock Forest Management northern area manager Andrew Widdowson is the spokesman for the Northland Forestry Health and Safety Group. With his enthusiasm and the support of other volunteers, they've established a regional awards campaign. Andrew was clearly delighted with responses to their inaugural awards.

“It's great to see so many people across our wider industry getting on-board with our event,” said Widdowson. “It's all about lifting the profile of forestry in Northland and an opportunity to recognise the experience, commitment and skill of everyone involved.”

Speaking of big events - it's not long now to the Woodflow Optimisation Conference focused on Rotorua and Melbourne. Wood supply chain technologies and developments will be at the forefront of this important networking event and opportunity.

Meanwhile, in Australia, there has been a significant step change signalled for Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA). The content of their latest 5-year strategic plan is a significant evolution on prior strategic plans.

Also in the news across the ditch, the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has welcomed the re-appointment of Senator the Hon Anne Ruston as the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources with responsibility for forestry.

Finally, (time-waster alert) ... we have the best funnies ever in today’s joke section. Remember this name: Jordan Watson > the “How To Dad" guy! He’s really making his mark as a brilliant Kiwi Dad on the web. If you are parent … you’re going to love it!

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Northland forestry award winners celebrated

Multi-skilled hands-on winner for Northland forestry - A self-driven, go-to man scooped the pool at the inaugural Northland Forestry Awards tonight. Nigel Harrison walked off with the Northland Forestry Skilled Professional of the Year as well as the Harvesting Excellence Award.

The 39-year-old father of two from Wise on Wood was the toast of the sold-out formal dinner, which attracted 280 people to Toll Stadium in Whangarei where the very entertaining Eric Rush was MC.

The multi-skilled Harrison can do any task in a ground-based logging crew – from faller to digger operator, loading, fleeting, shovelling, operating a harvester processor and falling, a skidder, bulldozer, forwarder and more. He’s the one who leads by example, who prides himself on making sure the forest owner gets all they can from their stand.

Harrison is considered the go-to man for many in the Northland industry, who call him for advice, to bounce ideas, or just ask his opinion . . . and he’s always happy to help.

In 2013 he became a FITEC (now Competenz) assessor, following that a year later with contract training and assessing for North Tec. He is known for his attention to health and safety and environmental unit standards believing they go hand in hand with the hands-on tasks.

Harrison was introduced to the world of wood when his family started logging exotic trees, and milling them to build houses. He gained a national certificate in carpentry and discovered what was to become a life-long passion. He continued in the family business with his parents and older brother for more than 20 years, creating a very successful ground-based harvesting operation between them.

Tombleson Logging also did well this evening, with the family taking home the Forestry Family of the Year Trophy and employee Jeremy Gunner winning the Trainee of the Year certificate.

Hancock Forest Management northern area manager Andrew Widdowson, who is the spokesman for the Northland Forestry Health and Safety Group, the organisation behind the establishment of the Awards campaign, was delighted with the response to the inaugural awards. “It is great to see many from the wider industry getting in behind the event,” said Widdowson. “It is all about lifting the profile of forestry in Northland and an opportunity to recognise the experience, commitment and skill of all involved.”

He highlighted particularly those who are held up as real role models through a range of different operations that make up the industry – from engineering through to distribution. “It’s a real celebration for us all.”

Widdowson is confident a strong foundation has now been set for the awards going forwards for an industry that is a significant contributor to the regional economy.

“The whole process for our awards will improve over time,” he said.

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NZ lifts log exports to India and Korea

New Zealand continues to be the world’s leading exporter of softwood logs followed by Russia and the US. These three countries accounted for almost 50% of globally traded logs in 2015, with a majority being destined for the Chinese market, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ).

New Zealand is exporting over 50% of the country’s total harvest in log form. In 2015, New Zealand exported 14.7 million m3 of radiata pine logs, of which almost ten million m3 was shipped to China. This was down from a record high of almost 12 million m3 in 2013. In late 2015 and early 2016, Chinese log buyers became more active in the New Zealand log market with shipments increasing from 1.8 million m3 in the 3Q/15 to 2.5 million m3 in the 1Q/16.

However, during the first five months of 2016, total NZ shipments to Asia have increased slightly with 2016 year-to-date volumes being two percent higher than the same period in 2015. The biggest rises so far this year have been in shipments to India and South Korea, while exports to China were down 10%.

The good news for log exporters in New Zealand over the past 12 month has been the steady increase in log export prices. The average log export price in May of this year was 36% higher than its six year low in September last year. The FOB prices for the major destinations in May 2016 had converged to a range of US$100-106/m3, reports the WRQ (www.woodprices.com).

Over the past four years, prices for logs exported to Asia have been on a roller-cost ride, averaging just over US$90/m3 in 2012, reaching an all-time high of US$130/m3 in the 1Q/14, falling to US$82/m3 in the 3Q/15 (the lowest level since 2010), then rising significantly in early 2016. These export log price fluctuations have strongly impacted the price trends for both sawlogs and pulplogs consumed by the domestic forest industry in New Zealand over the past ten years.

Global lumber, sawlog and pulpwood market reporting is included in the 52-page quarterly publication Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). To subscribe to the WRQ, go to www.woodprices.com

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NZ firefighter organisations work together

Urban and rural volunteer firefighters make up 80 percent of New Zealand’s fire services. Their representative organisations, the United Fire Brigades’ Association (UFBA) and the Forest and Rural Fire Association (FRFANZ), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to make sure fire brigades and rural fire forces have a single united voice as fire and emergency services transition to a new unified organisation.

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne has introduced legislation to establish Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ). This will provide the legal framework needed to bring together more than 40 separate organisations, over 600 fire brigades and rural fire forces, more than 12,000 volunteers, and approximately 3000 paid staff into the single new organisation.

Mr Dunne said the bill enables the provision of independent advocacy services and support for volunteers, at no charge to them – “the exact role FRFANZ has provided for almost thirty years, and the UFBA for more than a century”.

“FENZ will develop a framework for supporting volunteers, based on modern volunteer principles. Increased support for volunteers recognises their contribution, while not detracting from the support given to the paid workforce,” he said.

UFBA Chairman Rick Braddock said, “Although there have been other reviews of our fire services in the last 40 years, this is the first to result in completely new legislation that will lead to better, more sustainable emergency services for New Zealand communities.

FRFANZ Chairman Kevin Ihaka said, “Volunteers in both organisations share many of the same issues so our aim is to work together to ensure the best outcomes while still recognising differences within our sectors. “This is an opportunity to manage positive change by unifying the voices of all volunteers no matter where they are from.”

The intention behind combining UFBA and FRFANZ advocacy into a single powerful voice representing collective fire and rescue services personnel closely follows the Government’s rationale in setting up the new unified fire and emergency services organisation.

The agreement will enable UFBA and FRFANZ to facilitate the extensive consultation needed with fire brigades and rural fire forces during the various stages of the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bill as it translates into policy and regulation.

Source: Scoop

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Is NZ ready for the next manufacturing revolution?

Networked manufacturing, otherwise known as Industry 4.0, is the next revolution in manufacturing, offering higher productivity and more adaptable and intelligent systems.

The New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association (NZMEA), in association with Callaghan Innovation, welcomed a leading expert in the field, Dr Frank Wagner, to share his insights and observations on Industry 4.0 in Christchurch and Auckland last week.

“Industry 4.0, or networked manufacturing, involves the digitisation of industrial supply chains, using automation and advanced computing and big data to connect all parts of production and supply, allowing real-time analysis and management of systems, with intelligent integration of people, machines and products.” says Dr Frank Wagner, Professor, Queensland University of Technology.

NZMEA Chief Executive Dieter Adam says, “Global interest in Industry 4.0 is gaining traction fast, and it is changing how many manufacturers worldwide operate. It is allowing manufacturers to better understand and optimise their systems and supply chains, adapt to customer needs through increased customisation within production lines and efficiently combine automation with skilled workers”.

“Networked manufacturing is opening up new business models as well as continuing the trend of combining advanced manufactured products with new service solutions. It also carries the potential for dramatic productivity increases in short-run manufacturing, which is more and more becoming the home base of New Zealand manufacturing.”

“Given that perspective, being leading adopters of this technology and the thinking behind it is really the only way to go for our manufacturers if they want to remain globally competitive. It is also vital that government is aware and stays ahead of these changes with any policy response to help Kiwi manufacturers adapt, innovate and invest in the R&D needed to compete”.

“Finally – the question that comes with every new technology is “will it destroy jobs?” One of the aims of networked manufacturing is to remove unnecessary steps in manufacturing processes. That can result in higher output with the same number of people. It can also empower businesses to employ more people, due to increased productivity over the competition and ability to offer new products and services to customers. That is certainly what we see in the leading adopters of this technology in Germany” says Mr Adam.

“History shows that being leading adopters is the best approach to preserving and growing jobs and the output of the manufacturing sector.” says Mr Adam.

The impact and opportunities that will arise from a number of these new technologies within the wood supply chain will be one of the key themes for the upcoming Woodflow Optimisation 2016 technology series running in Rotorua on 14-15 September and again in Melbourne on 20-21 September.

Full details for the programmes for both venues can be found on the event website, www.woodflow.events
Source: Scoop

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Situation & Outlook for Primary Industries 2016

Here's some interesting information:

China Import Log Market Shares, 2014-2016

Source: Statistics NZ and MPI

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AFPA welcomes ministerial re-appointment

The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has welcomed the re-appointment of Senator the Hon Anne Ruston as the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources with responsibility for forestry.

Chief Executive Officer of AFPA Mr Ross Hampton said, “AFPA has a longstanding position that the Government should reinstate forestry to a full, rather than Assistant, Ministry and reinstate the name of the Federal Department as Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. It is disappointing that Prime Minister Turnbull has not taken the chance to do this. However, forest industries will be very pleased that the Prime Minister has decided that the energetic South Australian Senator Anne Ruston, will continue in the role.

Senator Ruston worked hard and delivered strong policy commitments during the election campaign and is the ideal person to drive them to completion. AFPA will also work closely with Senator Fiona Nash (Regional Development), Josh Frydenberg MP (Environment & Energy) and Greg Hunt MP (Industry & Innovation).

The Coalition has promised to deliver a National Forest and Fibre Plan, in response to the Forest Industry Advisory Council’s work (which has bipartisan support), as well as $4 million in new funding for two hubs of the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation in Mt Gambier and Launceston.

The forest industries of this nation already provide some 120,000 jobs across the full value chain and underpin dozens of regional communities. As the world’s ‘greenest’ industry – being renewable and recyclable and carbon storing – with the right policy settings our industries have enormous potential to grow,” said Mr Hampton.

During the election, AFPA sought answers from the major Parties on nine key policy issues that would set our forest industries up for the future and published the commitments in this scorecard:

To view the scoreboard click here

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Ocean Freight Index

The Baltic Supramax Index (BSI) closed on Tuesday at 700 points, an increase of 143 points (or 25.7%) since June.

The BSI (Baltic Supramax Index), published by the Baltic Exchange, is the weighted average on 5 major time-charter routes. It is based on a 52,454 mt bulk carrier carrying commodities such as timber.

Source: Capital Link Shipping

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FWPA moves forward with new strategic focus

An innovative new 5-year strategic plan demonstrates Forest and Wood Products Australia’s responsiveness and flexibility – while offering greater transparency to stakeholders. Essentially, the new plan moves from an operationally structured approach to one that focusses on outcomes – across the entire supply chain.

“As a requirement of our Statutory Funding Agreement with the Australian Government, Forest and Wood Products Australia Ltd (FWPA) reviews our strategic plan every year, to create a rolling 5-year planning process,” said John Simon, Chairman of FWPA, “this new plan is a significant step forward, one that represents not only a change on paper, but one that will also affect the operations of our company.”

Mr Simon continued to explain that the new strategy was driven by significant changes in the company’s operating environment. These included the introduction of Government matching payments for voluntary contributions, recent changes to the National Construction Code, industry funding for a WoodSolutions technical field force pilot program and a commitment from forest growers to fund a 2-year program to review research and extension structures and priorities.

“We reviewed these developments and a desire to improve stakeholder engagement and ‘ownership’ of the plan with our directors, senior staff and key stakeholders,” Mr Simon said, “during discussions it became evident that our previous, traditionally-structured plan, based around functional areas, such as research and development (R&D) and marketing, was inward looking and didn’t communicate as effectively as it could to our stakeholders, who understandably are more interested in results than how we are organised to achieve them.”

FWPA’s previous structure reflected the evolution of the company, from a statutory R&D organisation to an industry services company, in which new services were added in response to industry feedback, with each new service becoming a new program.

The new plan is a substantive repositioning of the company, based on creating stronger links between operational goals and the following five thematic-based strategic priorities – which become the new program names:

1. Promoting the advantages of wood products
2. Aligning products to market needs
3. Assisting value chain optimisation
4. Increasing resource availability and reducing risk
5. Impacting decision making and industry capability

Each of these programs will engage the relevant functional expertise and competencies within the company (e.g. R&D investments, marketing, statistics and codes development) as required.

“This is not a trivial ‘repackaging’ of the organisation,” said Ric Sinclair, FWPA’s Managing Director. “It is a major advance that will require changes to our advisory groups, accounting systems and staff accountabilities to align operations and responsibilities with the new plan.”

When asked what would be the first thing industry players and FWPA members would notice about the new strategy, Mr Sinclair replied that he hoped it would be a realisation of the breadth and depth of FWPA’s activities and how they contribute to every sector of the industry.

“From our website to our newsletters, our communications will also reflect the new structure and hopefully be more accessible and informative, providing all our stakeholders with a broader, yet more focussed picture of the benefits we bring to increasing the growth and productivity of forest and wood products in Australia.”

Copies of the new Strategic Plan and associated Annual Operating Plan can be found on the FWPA website: www.fwpa.com.au
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Northland - Full List of Award winners

The awards are -

Training Excellence

Trainee of the Year sponsored by Competenz : Jeremy Gunner, Tombleson Logging Limited

Training Company / Contractor of the Year sponsored by Competenz : Northpine

Skilled Professionals

Forestry Excellence Award sponsored by Greenheart Group : Barry Waitai, Silviculture Contractors

Roading Excellence Award sponsored by AZTEC Forestry Transport Developments : Dave Johns, Trees Out Ltd

Harvesting Excellence Award sponsored by AB Equipment : Nigel Harrison, Wise on Wood

Distribution Excellence Award sponsored by Northpine : Ian Newey, Aztec Forestry Transport Developments Ltd

Wood Processing Excellence Award sponsored by Carter Holt Harvey Woodproducts New Zealand : Bruce Larsen, Northpine

Industry Developments

Forestry Family of the Year Trophy sponsored by Northern Forest Products Ltd : Tombleson Family, Tombleson Logging Ltd

Contractor of the Year Trophy sponsored by Blackburne Group : Lars & Fiona Rosewarne, Rosewarne Cable Loggers

Outstanding H & S Management Award Trophy sponsored by Summit Forests : Northern Forest Products

Outstanding Environmental Management Award Trophy sponsored by Fortuna : Shane Maxwell, Kohurau Contracting

Overall Winner

Northland Forestry Skilled Professional of the Year Trophy sponsored by Northland Forestry H & S Group : Nigel Harrison, Wise on Wood

For more information and nomination form, head to www.northlandwoodcouncil.co.nz

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Thanks to FICA Sponsors

We would like to thank all of the organisations who support FICA, which in turn works to promote business growth and improved safety and efficiency amongst forestry contractors for the benefit of New Zealand's Forestry Industry.


Blackburne Group (Accountancy & Management Services)
UDC Finance (Banking & Asset Finance)
Sweeney Townsend Insurance Brokers (Insurance Services)
TLC Insurance (Insurance Services)

Gough CAT
Cableprice NZ Ltd
Mini-Tankers (Z Energy)
Komatsu Forest NZ
Shaw's Wire Ropes
Woodsman Pro
Beker Findlay Allan
Minter Ellison Rudd Watts

Blackwoods Protector
Timbersaws (Levin Sawmakers)
Total Lubricants
Active Equipment
Manage Company
Aegis Oil

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World's tallest timber building goes up

While WoodWeek is primarily directed at what's important to our people working out in the forest - we can't help but get excited about one of our industry's best value propositions ever - that is really starting to catch on with commercial developers and builders in prominent places around the world. Tall timber buildings represent an excellent value market for our best and strongest wood products. Local company XLAM, started by Robin Jack from Nelson, has now expanded to begin building a plant in Australia. So things are happening and the returns to the stump are better than log exports and represent a key to log price stability - having diverse markets!

This week's leader it the TALL TIMBER building stakes is university building in British Columbia, Canada. Construction of UBC Brock Commons, a record-breaking 18-storey mass timber development at the University of British Columbia, is well underway.

Acton Ostry Architects released renderings of the $51.5-million student residence last October. While it was predicted that the mass timber structure would be erected at a rate of one floor per week, construction forecasts have been far outdone. The current rate of construction is one floor every three days, and is only expected to increase.

Structurlam Products LP, the provider of the mass timber package for the project, has manufactured the key building components — cross-laminated timber panels (Crosslam CLT) and glue-laminated columns (Glulam). Record-breaking construction is thanks to the fact that Structurlam products are manufactured to 1 mm of accuracy, allowing for expedited construction and quick installation. The lumber for UBC Brock Commons has been sourced exclusively from British Columbia’s second-growth forests through locally-based lumber partners Interfor, Canfor and West Fraser.

To comply with university planning requirements, Acton Ostry‘s design reflects the character of international style Modernist buildings on the campus. The base is wrapped with curtain wall glazing, coloured glass spandrel panels and transparent coloured glass. An extensive CLT canopy runs the length of the building. The façade is a prefabricated panel system comprised of white and charcoal panels punctuated by floor-to-ceiling clear-glazed openings with accents of coloured blue glass. Glazing wraps the corners to dematerialize the edges of the building. Further accentuating the vertical expression, a series of vertical splines rise up to a metal cornice that crowns the building.

More >>

To view a simulation of the construction process click here >>

Source: Canadian Architect

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... and finally ... if you haven't heard of Jordan Watson yet

... well you're about to ... :

We're not entirely sure if he is a stay-at-home dad or just an inspired young father with a knack for filming with his iPhone and a particular talent for delivering a clear and concise message. What is abundantly apparent is - this guy is brilliant!

Auckland dad Jordan Watson's parenting tips are hugely popular online, thanks in part to his kiwiness and his daughter - the adorable Alba.

Here's his latest offerings, "How to be a Kiwi dad" and "How to teach a baby to ride a bike"...

But wait there's more - be sure to watch "How to put a baby to sleep" and "How to get a baby to clean the house".

Have a safe and productive week.

John Stulen

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