WoodWeek – 19 April 2017

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Greetings from your WoodWeek team. This week we have plenty of wood news for you. Starting on a positive note, a proposed particle board plant planned for Kawerau could bring 100 jobs to the district. Guangxi Fenglin Wood Industry Group plans to establish the plant within two years.

Revisiting the Vivid Economics report we recently reported on, the group sees scope for up to another 2.3 million hectares of forest to be planted, two-thirds of it to be plantation forests (doubling the present area) and the rest natives. Business journalist Brian Fallow now says it’s time to rethink land use. As he points out - only expansion of the forest estate provides an offset to emissions. Once the trees are harvested and replaced, it just cycles around a new equilibrium level. But, importantly, afforestation buys valuable time but the time has to be used to come up with permanent ways of eliminating emissions.

In Northland they are busy with announcements of improved forestry awards. Last year’s inaugural event was a huge success. Now the Northland Forestry Health and Safety Group are confident that industry people will again step up and take the awards to new heights in 2017. There are a number of exciting initiatives for this year’s awards, including two new awards – the Tree Faller Excellence Award and the Breaker Out Excellence Award. Also introduced for the 2017 awards is a mentor programme to support people through the nomination process.

Always seeking to be disruptive, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, last week sent shockwaves across the trucking world by tweeting the September launch of the company’s first all-electric truck.

“Tesla Semi truck unveil set for September. Team has done an amazing job. Seriously next level,” Musk tweeted on his personal account, causing a stir across the trucking industry.

Finally this week, Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) is restructuring its industry engagement, with greater opportunities to participate, both for members and for non-member stakeholders such as researchers and suppliers. Chairman announced two new types of groups: Industry Advisory Groups and Interest Groups.

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Potential jobs for Kawerau: Board plant proposed

A particle board plant planned for Kawerau is expected to bring 100 jobs to the district. A China-based company – Guangxi Fenglin Wood Industry Group – has announced plans to establish the plant, to be built on Putauaki Trust land adjoining SH34, within two years.

It will produce 600,000cu m of panel boards a year for exports mainly to China.

The announcement comes following a recent visit to China by representatives of Kawerau District Council, the Putauaki Trust, Toi-EDA, Eastern Bridge, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The delegation visited the Fenglin Group's Mingyang MDF (medium-density fibreboard) and Huizhou particle board plants, and met group founder Mr Liu, chairman Mr Cui and chief executive officer Mr Wang.

Council economic and community development manager Glenn Sutton said a number of factors led to the group's decision to invest in Kawerau.

"The district location and proximity to the Port of Tauranga, the rail connections and the available land all played a part. Putauaki Trust had the foresight to rezone 70ha of land as industrial, and it's great to be working with them on this exciting venture."

The plant will be built next to the intended site for the proposed container terminal, also on Putauaki Trust land, and will be as environmentally friendly as possible.

"The Fenglin Group has a strong sense of social and economic values, and makes every effort to ensure its plants have low environmental impact," Mr Sutton said.

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Time to rethink land use says Fallow

Brian Fallow: Time to rethink land use: Cutting a track through the forest of myopia and vested interests to the broad sunlit upland of a low-emissions future is a task that is neither scary nor infeasible.

It will, however, require more than wind farms, electric vehicles and heat pumps. It will require some significant changes in land use.

GLOBE-NZ is a group of 35 MPs drawn from all seven parties represented in Parliament, led by Green MP Kennedy Graham. It is the New Zealand chapter of Global Legislators for a Balanced Environment.

It commissioned an independent report from the London-based consultancy Vivid Economics on pathways to a low-emission economy, mindful of the Paris Agreement's global goal of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions to zero in the second half of the century.

Vivid's brief was to look at the options for reducing emissions from these islands. It ignores the Government's policy of relying on international carbon trading to outsource up to 80 per cent of New Zealand's emissions to other countries.

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Fallow's concludes by writing: "Forestry is the back-stop. If the hoped-for advances in reducing biological emissions disappoint, that could be offset by more aggressive afforestation."

Vivid sees scope for up to another 2.3 million hectares of forest to be planted, two-thirds of it plantation forests (doubling the present area) and the rest natives.

But it is only the expansion of the forest estate that provides an offset to emissions. Once the trees are harvested and replaced, it just cycles around a new equilibrium level.

Afforestation buys valuable time but the time has to be used to come up with permanent ways of eliminating emissions.

Political parties, Vivid concludes, should look for common ground on climate policy, to create the stable regulatory and policy framework.

"An independent statutory climate commission could help anchor expectations regarding the stability of climate policy, just as the Reserve Bank of New Zealand helps anchor investor expectations regarding price stability."



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Tasmania: Sawmillers snub forestry bill

THE Tasmanian Sawmillers Association has added its name to a list of those opposed to the State Government’s plans to open 356,000 hectares of wilderness to logging.

Association director Robert Torenius briefed the Legislative Council last week before MLCs were due to begin considering the forestry Bill last Thursday.

However, the Government withdrew the bill from the Legislative Council agenda, frustrating some MPs.

The Upper House will now not consider the bill until after elections are held in three of its divisions next month.

Mr Torenius said the association did not believe reopening the 356,000 hectares was a “sensible thing to do. There’s just too many unanswered questions in the whole issue at the moment,” he said.

“We’re definitely not against any industry development, we just feel at this point in time this area ... should be kept in reserve. I think it was just bad timing and I think they’ve done the right thing by pulling the bill.”

Hardware giant Bunnings has ruled out sourcing timber from the reopened areas. The Forest Industries Association of Tasmania and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union Tasmania also opposed the bill.

The 356,000 hectares of forests in areas such as Wielangta, the Blue Tier, Tarkine and Bruny Island had been set aside for future reserves under the former Tasmanian Forest Agreement.

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Source: The Mercury



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Tesla teases electric truck launch

Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, last week sent shockwaves across the trucking world by tweeting the September launch of the company’s first all-electric truck.

“Tesla Semi truck unveil set for September. Team has done an amazing job. Seriously next level,” Musk tweeted on his personal account, causing a stir across the trucking industry.

Musk first disclosed his plans for a commercial vehicle in July 2016, in his blog entitled “Master Plan – Part Deux,” posted on the Tesla website. His Master Plan included the company’s path beyond the Model 3 passenger vehicle, with plans for an electric cargo truck equipped with autonomous driving technology called Tesla Semi; a new-style electric bus, smaller than current models, capable of operating without a human driver; a pickup truck; a small SUV.

In February, Musk heightened speculation by telling the audience at the 2017 International Transport Forum in Germany, “I can’t say too much about the new products and the things we are developing, but from a pure technology point of view, everything that we’ve done on vehicles translates directly into trucks…There’s no reason that today you can’t make a very compelling electric truck.”

Source: Prime Mover Magazine

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Choosing the right drone

Commercial drone operators are a big market for drone manufacturers – and the market is growing fast. While industrial applications for drones are also expanding rapidly, the FAA says that 90% of new drone businesses are small businesses, having one or two employees. What drones do these businesses choose?

We surveyed our huge global network of licensed drone operators at our sister site, drone job marketplace JobForDrones, to find out.

While the network of drone operators represents a large variety of skills, most offer services related to aerial imagery. Whether they are taking shots for marketing, art, events, real estate, film, or insurance claims; the majority of drone jobs are based around a camera. Forget the high priced industrial drones flying over large scale agriculture – those represent a small subset of drone operators with a specialty. For the vast majority of small business operators, prosumer drones are the tool of choice. And these drones are an investment – drone businesses are unlikely to upgrade their equipment with every new release, generally adding a new drone when they need one for specific functionality or when they take on more staff.

Boasting a huge percentage of the market (the exact number seems to depend upon who you ask) DJI is undisputedly the leading global drone manufacturer. It’s no surprise, therefore, that 3 out of our 5 listings are manufactured by DJI – and a close running number 6 is the Mavic Pro, despite the fact that it’s only been on the market a few months.
You can check out the top five drones listed for smaller commercial operators on the new ForestTECH website.

Source: dronelife.com

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FWPA restructuring industry engagement

Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) is restructuring its industry engagement, with greater opportunities to participate, both for members and for non-member stakeholders such as researchers and suppliers. The Chairman of FWPA, John Simon, said the two new types of group being introduced – Industry Advisory Groups and Interest Groups – were inclusive, and designed to provide opportunities to all interested people in the industry.

“We encourage you to contribute to the future of our industry by joining these groups which hopefully will help improve communication, identify valuable investment opportunities and identify issues or gaps we could help address with funding, contacts or other assistance,” he said.

“FWPA values the input of people ‘on the ground’, who have valuable experience and expertise when it comes to how we can best grow the market, innovate through research and promote the unique attractions of forest and wood products.”

Industry Advisory Groups will be open to directors and employees of any FWPA voting members, with a group to support each of FWPA’s outcome-driven programs, namely:

- Promoting the advantages of wood products
- Aligning products to market needs
- Assisting value chain optimisation
- Increasing resource availability and reducing risk
- Impacting decision making and industry capability

Each new Industry Advisory Group will be chaired by an FWPA board member and meet at least once a year to help rank and prioritise activities, offer direction regarding investments and provide member input. The first Industry Advisory Group meetings will be held in Melbourne on 16 June.

However, both members and non-member industry stakeholders who identify a common issue – whether region, species or product-specific – will be entitled to join new Interest Groups, with secretariat support provided by FWPA. The Interest Groups will be encouraged to develop investment proposals to help advance industry, whether by expanding markets, doing new research or other promotional activity.

To start an Interest Group, all you need to do is:

- Identify an issue of concern that is consistent with FWPA’s vision and mission
- Have at least five FWPA voting member companies participating and
- Be willing to open the group to all members and other stakeholders, including non- members.

As part of the transition to this new structure, FWPA’s current Industry Advisory Groups and Reference Groups will transition to the new Interest Groups effective from 31st March, 2017.

To find out more on how Industry Advisory Groups and/or Interest Groups can help your business and the working arrangements, please contact FWPA Managing Director Ric Sinclair on ric.sinclair@fwpa.com.au.

Source: FWPA

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Carbon Match - NZU update

NZU Update - Sentiment appeared to change direction again just before the Easter break, with spot NZUs trading back down from the $17.55 level early last week to land back at $17.15 by Easter Thursday. Current bid $17.10, offer $17.20 but with nothing doing yesterday.

What's been happening? - Following on from last month's announcement of a joint China-NZ Climate Action Plan, Minister Bennett also announced shortly before Easter that New Zealand and South Korea have begun joint discussions on developing carbon markets in the region, noting the "opportunities trade provides to progress environmental outcomes with our partners".

South Korea has a relatively new carbon market, in place since 2015. The price of its emission allowance, a KAU, rocketed up to more than US$23 early this year before officials sought to intervene by amending rules which affected supply. Carbon-Pulse reports that South Korea, like New Zealand, intends to rely heavily on international emissions trading in order to meet Paris targets.

Late last week the Globe-NZ report produced by Vivid, which we highlighted in an earlier newsletter, was tabled in parliament by Green MP Dr Kennedy Graham for proper debate. Earlier in question time Minister Bennett responded favourably to many of the report's key recommendations but stopped short of accepting the need for an independent climate change commission.

While Bennett noted that the "cap" (i.e. the fixed price of $25) was an issue "on the table" as part of the ETS review, she re-affirmed support for the position currently enjoyed by agriculture, biological emissions from which remain outside the ETS at this time.

"We make no bones about it, that we support farmers and how they do it, and actually there is no point in cutting them off at the knees here in New Zealand. The world still needs what they produce, and there are more inefficient farmers in other parts of the world who would then pick up that slack and actually the world would be worse off, from an emissions profile, so we should be backing our New Zealand farmers and looking more, I think, at how we get more consistency of sustainable and efficient farming across the agricultural sector, because there are still pockets that could pick up and take some better practice."

Click here for highlights of the debate

Photo: Dr Kennedy Graham speaking at the Globe-NZ Debate

Source: Carbon Match
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Entries open for the 2017 Northland Forestry Awards

Last year’s inaugural event in Northland was a huge success and the Northland Forestry Health and Safety Group are confident that the industry will again step up and take the awards to new heights in 2017.

There are a number of exciting initiatives for this year’s awards, including two new awards – the tree faller excellence award and the breaker out excellence award. Also, introduced for the 2017 awards is a mentor programme to support people through the nomination process.

Health and Safety Forestry Group spokesperson Andrew Widdowson said the key objective of the annual awards is to celebrate and recognise the high level of skill and professionalism within Northland’s forestry industry.

“Many don’t appreciate the huge value forestry is to the region,” said Mr Widdowson. Northland has nearly 170,000 hectares planted in plantation radiata pine, with forestry directly employing around 850 people – that accounts for 10.2% of the region’s primary industry workforce.

With a current harvest level of 4.2 million tonnes annually, accounting for 13% of New Zealand’s total annual log harvest. Forestry accounts for 4.3% of Northland’s GDP, contributing $218 million to the local economy each year.

“We want to attract skilled employees to Northland, up-skill and lift the standard of the skill base in the workforce, unit industry players, create healthy and challenging competition within the industry and provide an opportunity for everyone to celebrate our skilled professionals,” said Mr Widdowson.

There are awards up for grabs across the industry, including forestry, road, harvesting, distribution and wood processing excellence, with someone walking away with the ultimate crown – the Northland Forestry Awards Skilled Professional of the Year. Industry excellence is also recognised, with awards for the forestry family of the year, contractor of the year, and health and safety and environment management awards.

Nominations open on 3 April and close on 1 June.

For further information on the awards, 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.

STRATEGIC PARTNERS
















MEMBERS' BENEFITS – BUSINESS PARTNERS
Blackburne Group (Accountancy & Management Services)
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Sweeney Townsend Insurance Brokers (Insurance Services)
TLC Insurance (Insurance Services)

GOLD SPONSORS
Cableprice NZ Ltd
Mini-Tankers (Z Energy)
Komatsu Forest NZ
Shaw's Wire Ropes
Pirtek
Crediflex
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Woodsman Pro
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Beker Findlay Allan
Minter Ellison Rudd Watts
Ensign
Bridon Cookes
EMS
DC Equipment
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SILVER SPONSORS
Blackwoods Protector
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Timbersaws (Levin Sawmakers)
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... and finally ... new jokes just for you.

Say what you want about deaf people ... no, really go ahead ...

I hate Russian dolls, they're so full of themselves.

The first time I got a universal remote control I thought to myself, "This changes everything!"

I refused to believe my road worker father was stealing from his job, but when I got home all the signs were there.

You can never lose a homing pigeon - if your homing pigeon doesn't come back what you've lost is a pigeon.

Don't you hate it when someone answers their own questions? I do.

As I watched the dog chasing his tail I thought "Dogs are easily amused", then I realized I was watching the dog chasing his tail.

Gambling addiction hotlines would do so much better if every fifth caller was a winner.

Hedgehogs eh? Why can't they just share the hedge?

When my wife found out I replaced our bed with a trampoline; she hit the roof.

Finally ... To the man on crutches, dressed in camouflage, who stole my wallet - you can hide, but you can't run.



Have a safe and productive week.

John Stulen
Editor

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