WoodWeek 22 November 2017
Following Forestry Minister Shane Jones’ comments on East Coast erosion control grants, the opposition spokesman on economic development has this morning claimed the minister is already backtracking from his promise to plant a billion trees in 10 years.
“From his statements earlier today, it appears he’s realised that the pledge of a billion new trees is entirely unachievable and now he’s attempting to back away from it,” National’s Simon Bridges says. “Now he wants to count around 50 million trees that are already planted every year, about half of the billion he’s committed to over a decade. These are happening regardless of his slush fund or the kind of Government in power. So his first action is to cut his target in half. Not exactly impressive.”
Closer to home, Red Stag Timber is taking legal action against its Japanese-owned rival Juken New Zealand, alleging Juken mislabelled its engineered laminated veneer lumber product J-Frame. A spokesman for Juken says it has confidence in its J-Frame product and that the action is a "stunt".
In Tasmania a newly released report on the State of the Forests Tasmania shows growth of 1000 full-time equivalent jobs in the forestry industry over three years. The report notes that private hardwood plantation pulpwood production had increased from about 200,000 tonnes in 2011 to 1.7 million tonnes in 2016.
Finally, with our ForestTECH conference in Melbourne winding up today, we have some fun stuff to keep you entertained in today’s issue. Fly cats is the real deal – flying Caterpillar heavy equipment cross country using a yarder and skyline – makes for interesting viewing!
This week we have for you:
Air New Zealand to encourage trees for carbonAir New Zealand and Government scope new afforestation fund - Yesterday, Air New Zealand announced it will work with the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to explore the establishment of a private afforestation scheme, providing funding to landowners to plant trees in return for the carbon benefits this will create.
Building on the success of MPI’s existing Afforestation Grant Scheme, Air New Zealand is working with Government to scope a complementary private afforestation fund, with the airline to engage landowners to plant up to 15,000 hectares of new native and exotic trees.
If the fund goes ahead, Air New Zealand intends to offset some of the emissions from its domestic operations with credits generated by the new forestry. It hopes planting will commence in winter 2018.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says the initiative demonstrates how business and government can work together to move New Zealand towards a low emissions future.
"As an airline, managing our carbon footprint is a key challenge and while we are working hard to improve efficiencies, offsetting is an important tool in our carbon reduction efforts.
“Air New Zealand has been a strong advocate for more quality offsetting options within New Zealand and we are pleased to work with Government to encourage thousands more hectares of trees into the emissions trading scheme, which will create broader social, environmental and economic benefits,” says Mr Luxon.
MPI Director-General Martyn Dunne says the Ministry is well-placed to be involved with this initiative.
“MPI has significant expertise and experience in forestry and forestry-related investment. We’re proud to be working with Air New Zealand and the Ministry for the Environment to scope this important initiative, which could have far-reaching environmental and economic benefits,” says Mr Dunne.
Secretary for the Environment Vicky Robertson says: “I’d like to congratulate Air New Zealand. Partnerships like this between Government and industry provide the opportunity to make a positive difference to New Zealanders and the environment.”
Forestry minister on erosion control fundingLate week Forestry Minister Shane Jones welcomed $7.4 million in erosion control funding for Gisborne district landowners.
The money comes from the latest funding round of the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Erosion Control Funding Programme and will benefit 32 properties.
“Gisborne has the worst eroding land in the country because of poor soil quality and the increasing frequency of adverse weather events,” Mr Jones says.
“Twenty-six per cent of the district’s land is susceptible to severe erosion, compared to 8 per cent of land around the rest of the country.
“The funding will allow landowners to plant trees or retire land to regenerate native bush in order to return the land to a productive and sustainable state.
“Under the erosion programme, 42,000 hectares of land in Gisborne has been remediated so far and, with this latest funding round, a further 4,893 hectares will be remediated.
“Soil erosion costs New Zealand about $100-$200 million every year through loss of productive capacity and damage to infrastructure and waterways.
“This Government has committed to seeing 1 billion trees over the next 10 years, which – among other benefits – will help enormously with the issue of eroding land,” Mr Jones says.
Since 1992, when the fund was established, $49 million has been provided to the Gisborne district.
Red Stag Timber takes Juken NZ to courtRed Stag Timber, New Zealand's largest sawmill operator, is taking legal action against its Japanese-owned rival Juken New Zealand, alleging Juken mislabelled its engineered laminated veneer lumber product J-Frame.
Rotorua-based Red Stag said it has filed proceedings in the Auckland High Court alleging Juken breached the Fair Trading Act 1986 and said in a statement the issue was important because it relates to the treatment of framing timber following the 'leaky homes' crisis. Red Stag manufactures and produces solid wood products, including framing timber for construction in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands. Juken, owned by WoodOne in Japan, produces both engineered products and solid wood products.
"Red Stag Timber claims that by labelling J-Frame 'H1.2' and failing to make it clear that J-Frame is envelope treated, Juken New Zealand Limited failed to comply with the building code and misled purchasers," Red Stag said in a statement.
Red Stag has previously complained to the Commerce Commission about the way Juken labelled J-Frame. The regulator responded by issuing a compliance advice letter to Juken earlier this year regarding J-Frame labelling, saying it did not meet the requirements of NZ Standard 3640, was incorrectly labelled as H1.2, and may not have complied with AS/NZ Standard 1604.4 because it doesn't carry an 'E' label signifying envelope treatment.
At the heart of the stoush is the treatment of timber framing used in New Zealand homes, typically known as H1.2. The industry's Standard 3640 requires full sapwood penetration of timber framing using treatment chemicals. Companies such as Red Stag are concerned that a more basic envelope treatment process isn't sufficient to protect timber framing. The standard, on the chemical preservation of timber, is currently being reviewed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
"Following the leaky home crisis, New Zealanders want certainty and assurance around treated timber," said Red Stag group chief executive Marty Verry. "Despite the compliance letter issued by the Commerce Commission, we consider proceedings are necessary to ensure that companies such as Juken comply with the building code and relevant standards when labelling their timber products."
Red Stag said it wouldn't comment further as the matter is now before the court. However, the company said it is continuing to raise additional concerns relating to Juken New Zealand's treatment, codemark and labelling of its products with the appropriate regulatory bodies. A Juken spokesperson wasn't immediately available to comment.
Source: Scoop News
Juken NZ will defend court actionJuken will defend Red Stag court action over J-Frame; says rivalry at play - Juken New Zealand will defend court action being taken against it by Red Stag Timber over its J-Frame product, saying the rival wood processor is trying to remove the growing competitive threat of laminated lumber.
Rotorua-based Red Stag, which operates the country's largest sawmill, has filed proceedings against Japanese-owned Juken in the Auckland High Court, alleging it breached the Fair Trading Act by mislabelling its J-Frame laminated veneer lumber, failing to comply with the building code for structural timber and misleading purchasers. Juken said it will defend any action taken by its larger rival, and it has made amendments following a Commerce Commission compliance advice letter earlier this year after complaints to the regulator by Red Stag.
Red Stag says correct labelling of timber is important because New Zealanders want certainty and assurance around the treatment of timber following the leaky home crisis. At the heart of the stoush is the treatment of timber framing used in New Zealand homes, known as H1.2. The industry's standard 3640 requires full sapwood penetration of timber framing using treatment chemicals. Companies such as Red Stag are concerned that a more basic envelope treatment process used by J-Frame isn't sufficient to protect timber framing. The standard, on the chemical preservation of timber, is currently being reviewed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
Juken says it has confidence in its J-Frame product and Red Stag's action is a "stunt" to try to influence customers, specifiers and distributors against its product, which is becoming a growing competitive threat to the solid timber that the Rotorua 'supermill' produces.
"We fully intend to defend any action taken by Red Stag," said Juken New Zealand general affairs manager Russell Black. "We believe that Red Stag's intention is to remove J-Frame from the marketplace to reduce competition for their own products which directly compete with ours."
J-Frame has been on the market since 2007, and Carter Holt Harvey and Nelson Pine Industries also manufacture laminated lumber. It remains a small part of the building market relative to traditional sawn timber, although it's a growing competitive threat.
Source: Scoop News
New Climate Change Minister sets goalsNew Zealand intends to become a leader in the global fight against climate change, Climate Change Minister James Shaw has told a major United Nations climate change conference.
Mr Shaw delivered the New Zealand National Statement at 11.45pm (NZ time) on Thursday at the COP231 conference. Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio is also at COP23.
Overnight, New Zealand also joined an international “Powering Past Coal” alliance committed to phasing out the use of coal for electricity generation, led by Canada and the UK.
“I have set out to the international community our new government’s plans to reduce climate pollution at home and remain actively engaged with the international effort,” said Mr Shaw.
“Our goals and plans for forestry, energy, transport, and agriculture are getting a good reception. People seem really pleased to see the new New Zealand government planning to lead by example.
“We know that the future of our electricity system is in renewables, not coal, so I was delighted we could recognise that formally at this important international meeting.
“New Zealand is a small country and our emissions are less than one percent of global emissions, but size is not an excuse for inaction.
“If you add up all the countries who contribute less than one percent, we collectively contribute almost a quarter of global climate pollution.
“New Zealand officials have been working hard at this COP to get outcomes that are good for us, good for our Pacific neighbours, and good for the world,” said Mr Shaw.
Fiji’s leadership of the COP23 meeting has put the global spotlight on the vulnerability of low-lying Pacific Island nations to increased storms, droughts, and sea level rise caused by climate change.
Mr Shaw said New Zealand is a Pacific country that stands beside its neighbours and will support them.
“The most effective thing we can do for the Pacific is to reduce our climate pollution as much as we can and encourage other countries to do the same.
“We are also committed to supporting our Pacific neighbours to adapt their infrastructure to the changing climate.”
The 23rd Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), or COP23, took place from 6-17 November in Bonn, Germany.
View the Ministers National Statement
State of the Forests Tasmania report releasedA new report shows there has been a growth of 1000 full-time equivalent jobs in the forestry industry over three years even though the overall sector now represents just 1.6 per cent of total jobs in Tasmania.
This is compared to 5 per cent a decade ago.
Resources Minister Guy Barnett took the data presented in the 2017 State of the Forests report as evidence the sector was rebounding but the Greens believed the figures did not add up.
The report stated in May 2016, there were 3658 full-time equivalent people employed in the forestry sector.
Resources Minister Guy Barnett said the document confirmed that forest productions and jobs had grown under the last government term.
"With wood being increasingly recognised worldwide as one of the most environment and climate-friendly products to use in building and a range of uses, we should be proud of being one of the world’s most responsible and sustainable producers of timber products," Mr Barnett said.
Greens leader Cassy O’Connor said the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showed there were less than 2500 people in the sector.
She said though the industry had grown in the plantation sector, it had declined in the native forest area.
The report noted that the private hardwood plantation pulpwood production had increased from about 200,000 tonnes in 2011 to 1.7 million tonnes in 2016.
This increased its value tenfold to $149 million.
Source: The Advocate
Comment: Government's new forestry agendaThe recent announcements on afforestation by the new government are welcomed.
The traditional forest industry of international corporates and farm foresters have already planted their land. It is more likely young farmers and Iwi will have spare land for new planting.
Four things will help. First, a broader coalition of stakeholders is needed. The coalition could include urban investors, as happened in the 1990s. Second, the right government policy to underpin a forestry expansion goal is essential, as is a sensible emissions trading scheme. Third, if investors are to be attracted, then better liquidity through trading of immature stands will be an essential element. Investors need to be able to get their funds both in and out of each investment they make.
Finally, for land owners, the key ingredient missing is good information and facilitation through extension services. Using the agricultural networks, a sustained campaign is needed, particularly around forestry economics, business structures, and incentives. Use of existing forestry experts is an obvious way to kick start such a programme and respond rapidly within the three-year election cycle.
Source: Scoop News
Logset T-Winch tested in South AmericaThe winch assist developed by Ecoforst has been used with a Logset in South America
Slopes are challenging within the forest industry, as forest machines are heavy and may damage the ground surface. However, there have been constant advances in forest machine technology, and solutions currently exist for extracting timber on steep slopes. Logset indicates that if the machine works daily on sleep slopes, an independent whinch is sometimes preferred. The TWinch solution was used with Logset’s largest forwarder, the Logset 12F GT in South America, with impressive results.
Logset indicates that the T-Winch makes the machine more versatile, because the cable can be either attached to the front or rear of the chassis. The T-Winch can also easily be transferred to another pulling spot by remote control. Logset delivered the 12F GT forwarders with clambunk configuration to Biofor in Chile in mid-2016. On steep slopes, the weight distribution between the eight wheels is uneven and therefore the T-Winch can assist. The synchronized T-Winch is automatically connected to the operating machine through radio control. For example, if the driver of the machine stops, the T-Winch also stops. Therefore, the cable always remains tight and secure.
The Logset 12F GT forwarder has a tractive effort of 250 kN. Combined with the T- Winch’s pulling power, the machine operator has 350 kN of tractive power available. The 12F GT combo can operate safely on a regular 45 % slope. On a few occasions, the 12F GTs were performing on 80 % slopes. This winch option is really recommended if you constantly need to forward or skid on slopes and are looking for maximum efficiency. Because the T-Winch assistant has its own engine, it doesn’t take power from the operating machine.
Chance encounter behind farm forestry exemplarThe 2017 Husqvarna South Island Farm Foresters of the Year, Mark and Marjorie Hay, recently hosted a field day on their Tuapeka West farm tomorrow afternoon. To coincide with this, the Otago Daily Timber reports on their impressive operation.
As Marjorie Hay surveys the extensive plantings on Glenayr Farm, she says the vision is for the future more than the present.
After years of hard work on the South Otago property she farms with husband Mark, her enthusiasm is undiminished.
'It's so exciting to think you've left that mark on the landscape,' she says with her infectious energy.
The hills of Glenayr, at Tuapeka West, could not be much further removed from the bustle of Boston, where she used to live. But she has embraced the rural lifestyle and put her design skills to spectacular use, both in her garden and on the farm.
Just how a South Otago sheep and beef farmer met an American-born designer sounds a bit like something out of a romance novel.
Mrs Hay had come to New Zealand to be a guest lecturer in the design department at the University of Canterbury.
The pair sat beside each other at Wellington Airport, where Mr Hay was nursing a broken leg. His future bride - 'being a chatty American' - asked him about being a sheep farmer.
She visited the farm after she finished her teaching stint and never thought she would see him again. But the pair started corresponding and he came to visit her in Boston, where she was teaching part-time and had her own design business.
She returned to New Zealand the following year to do a longer stint at university, stayed with Mr Hay and the pair got engaged.
Describing herself as 'definitely a city girl', she said moving to Otago was a massive change but one she adapted to.
This year, the couple were named the Husqvarna South Island Farm Foresters of the Year, appropriately receiving a chainsaw for their efforts.
Last week they hosted a South Otago Farm Forestry field day on their property.
South Otago Farm Forestry Association chairman David Vollweiler said their property was an 'outstanding example' of the benefits of forestry and amenity planting.
Source: Otago Daily Times
Flying cats - the logging kindNot the furry kind you'd expect to see on Youtube!
Check it out - you'll love this feat!
... and finally ... more one-liners
A new study reveals that parents DO actually have a favourite child. The survey also
found - if you have to ask ... it ain't you.
That's all for this week's wood news.
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