WoodWeek – 27 May 2020

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Greetings from the edge of winter here in Rotorua. Pour yourself a big cup of tea or a strong coffee, because today we have a bumper issue for you on the log trading bill debate. At the heart of the conflict is how a registration system for log traders relates in any way to more logs being processed here in New Zealand.

But, before you get into the detail of that debate, we recommend registering your people for the FIEA Forest Safety & Technology webinar series using this link. We have a great group of innovative and thought-provoking safety culture and technology speakers for you next month. Thanks to all of our loyal sponsors and forest companies who have registered their client and staff groups already. There are going to be plenty of good Q&A sessions during this webinar series.

In no particular order here are some viewpoints shaping the debate.

Kaingaroa Timberlands: “There is a risk that the legislation as drafted will have the opposite effect were it to apply to forest owners. A number of the broad powers which are designed for intermediaries/advisers would have a very different and much more significant and intrusive impact when applied to forest owners.”

Forest Owners Association: “The register proposal is a “blunt” instrument that wouldn’t deliver the increase in processing capacity the government is also seeking to accompany its 10-year, one billion tree planting programme. FOA acknowledged log supply issues in some regions, particularly Northland, but believes the industry is generally meeting local demand well.”

Federated Farmers: “The unwarranted rush over the Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Bill risks unintended consequences, including retaliatory action by nations we trade with. The bill has come from nowhere and should be sent back to the drawing board for proper consultation."

Timber Industry Federation: “Log price swings hit hard; access to logs at about half the cost of a milling operation – was a genuine problem that had really only developed during the past six or seven years. Variability in both supply and pricing had made it very difficult for mills to operate efficiently and, on average, mills have paid above the export price for supply in recent years. There were few long-term supply contracts in the industry and mills could be caught by big quarterly swings in log prices, when their own sales contracts typically required them to give their customers two to three months’ notice of cost increases.”

WPMA: “Government data shows log prices here were up to twice that of equivalent logs in other parts of the world. There was untapped potential to develop more processing and create more jobs in the regions. Sawmillers and other processors were keen to invest in new technology and the trained staff needed to run it, but they needed some certainty of log supply to do so … without that, you can do neither.”

Scion: “In 2019 it found the processing industry had failed to adapt to the changing harvest profile, with up to 40 percent of logs expected to come from small lot holders in coming years, up from 14 percent in 2007. Agents buying for export were actively sourcing logs from small lot holders – those typically with less than 1,000 hectares of trees – whereas mills were not, it found. Officials said that farm-foresters were not part of the industry and were vulnerable to poor outcomes in the absence of a transparent and informed market.”

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News JUST IN - Ernslaw One expansion plans on hold

Forest regulations put Ernslaw One expansion projects on hold - Forest owner Ernslaw One says the government’s planned regulation of the industry may stall four projects it is considering to expand the firm’s processing capacity.

The potential powers the government is seeking – to intervene in the log sales and contracts of forest owners – are “absurd” and go against any sensible business practices, chief executive Paul Nicholls told Parliament’s environment select committee yesterday.

The lack of detail in the bill and the open-ended scope of the proposed regulations, means any consideration of expansion at the firm’s pulp and timber operations near Tangiwai will be “on-hold” until the company has a good handle on the impacts of the scheme. By officials’ own admission, that detail may be two years away, he said.

Nicholls told BusinessDesk he would now struggle to recommend the projects, which could potentially lift the capacity of the combined Tangiwai operations over five years from about 660,000 cubic metres a year now to a million cubic metres a year.

“We will put all of those on hold until we fully understand how this bill could be implemented,” he told the committee.

“Honestly - if the government wants this level of control of how logs are grown and sold in New Zealand then they should buy the forests and manage it themselves.”

Submitter after submitter have told the committee the consultation on the Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Bill has been farcical and its rushed implementation under Budget urgency an abuse of process.

Source: BusinessDesk


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Rules may undermine investor confidence

Timberlands: Forestry reforms a risk to investor confidence - New rules being rushed through Parliament to regulate forestry advisers and log traders are too broad and risk reducing investment confidence in the sector, one of the country’s biggest forestry business says.

The licensing regime proposed by the government would capture not just firms advising and trading logs for small lot holders as intended, but even major groups processing their own logs or managing their own exports, said Kaingaroa Timberlands, a venture owned by the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, Canada's public sector pension scheme and iwi interests.

The regulatory powers of the proposed Forestry Authority also appeared to duplicate management requirements already set out in the national standards for plantation forestry, and crept into areas of pricing and form of contracts.

“One of the fundamental objectives of the bill is, as we understand it, to increase investor confidence in commercial forestry,” the company said in a submission to Parliament’s environment select committee, which is holding two days of hearings this week on the Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Bill before it is reported back to Parliament on June 5.

“There is a risk that the legislation as drafted will have the opposite effect were it to apply to forest owners. A number of the broad powers which are designed for intermediaries/advisers would have a very different and much more significant and intrusive impact when applied to forest owners.”

The bill was announced by Forestry Minister Shane Jones as part of the Budget package of legislation on May 14 and is part of a wider strategy he is pursuing to create domestic industries from locally grown timber and reduce exports of unprocessed logs.

It will create a register and set standards to improve the quality of advice available to smaller private forest owners and, potentially, the prices they receive. Officials estimated that, after allowing for set- up and operating costs, the new regime could deliver net benefits of up to $103 million over five years through higher log prices.

The register also aims to ensure more predictable log supply for saw mills and Jones has said the government will use the regime to ensure mills get affordable logs if the industry doesn’t come up with an accord to make it happen.

Scion said in 2019 that the processing industry had failed to adapt to the changing harvest profile, with up to 40 percent of logs expected to come from small lot holders in coming years, up from 14 percent in 2007.

Agents buying for export were actively sourcing logs from small lot holders – those typically with less than 1,000 hectares of trees – whereas mills were not, it found. Officials said that farm-foresters were not part of the industry and were vulnerable to poor outcomes in the absence of a transparent and informed market.

Forest Owners Association (FOA) President Phil Taylors said the register proposal was a “blunt” instrument that wouldn’t deliver the increase in processing capacity the government is also seeking to accompany its 10-year, one billion tree planting programme. FOA has acknowledged log supply issues in some regions, particularly Northland, but believes the industry is generally meeting local demand well.

Parties were given one week to make submissions on the bill ahead of this week's two days of public hearings.

Kaingaroa Timberlands is the country’s second-largest forestry manager. Its Kaingaroa forest covers about 180,000 ha in the central North Island and is described on the firm’s website as "one of the crown jewels of international forestry and one of the oldest and largest softwood plantations in the world."

Timberlands said it can see the rationale for registering advisers and log traders dealing with small forest owners. But it said companies like itself didn’t need the protection the regime is intended to provide.

Nor was it “necessary or appropriate” for professional foresters to be captured by potentially broad regulations that could include the creation of standard industry contracts agreed by participants. Timberlands noted that the bill wasn’t clear on whether such agreements were intended to be a model document of good industry practice or would be mandated for use by certain players.

“We are concerned how this agreement will be developed and when it will be required to be used and by whom. Even if the development of the agreement is subject to a consultation, it will be difficult to reach a consensus amongst the various industry participants.”

Timberlands said both domestic processing and export are important for a vibrant forestry industry.

While processors like Red Stag and Carter Holt buy high-quality logs for structural timber, every tree harvested also produces lower-grade logs which need to find a market. Paper and packaging makers like Oji Fibre Solutions need very low-cost fibre and generally only get logs not easily exported.

Timberlands said about 60 percent of the 4.5 million tonnes of wood it harvested in the June 2019 year was used locally. Structural grade saw logs went to local processors, pulp logs went to packaging makers and lower grade saw logs were exported.

“Without this mix of customers, KT is unable to profitably sell all of the products from each individual tree. It is KT’s approach to consider local mill demands first, then utilise the ‘export’ customer to ensure the full tree is utilised in the most profitable way.”

Source: BusinessDesk



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Forestry bill: Obscene urgency will cost jobs

'Obscene' urgency on forestry bill will cost jobs, MPs told - The government’s “rough and rushed” legislation to try to manage log flows from the country’s forests would cost jobs and slow the recovery of the economy post-covid, MPs were told on Monday.

Parties had just one week to submit on legislation – being managed under Budget urgency – which will set up a register for forestry advisers and log traders but which would also grant wide powers to the Minister of Forestry to set industry standards for everything from forest management to sales contracts.

Forestry consultant and investor Don Hammond said the rushed timeframe was a “major abuse of process." The legislation lacked a clear problem it was intended to solve and would add to costs, rather than increase value in the sector.

Haynes Forest Investments director David Haynes told Parliament’s environment select committee it was hard to believe proper legislative process was being “subverted” just so Forestry Minister Shane Jones could “gain a few votes in Northland.”

The bill was “absolute madness” and would cost jobs, Forest360 managing Dan Gaddum told the committee. “You cannot allow this to pass in its current form.”

Regulatory powers - The Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Bill was announced by Jones as part of the Budget package of legislation on May 14 and is part of a wider strategy he is pursuing to create domestic industries from locally grown timber and reduce exports of unprocessed logs.

It will create a register and set standards to improve the quality of advice available to smaller private forest owners and, potentially, the prices they receive.

But it would also give the Minister of Forestry the power to set regulations on almost any forest management issue and, specifically, the sale and purchase arrangements for both domestic and exports sales. Submitter after submitter told the committee the wide-open nature of that power would halt investment in forestry.

Juken NZ, which owns forests and processing plants, said the powers proposed to control part of the primary sector were “unprecedented.”

Even if there was an issue with log supply for processing in New Zealand, which executive Sean McBride doubted, he said the bill had the potential to undermine the viability of the forest investment, which the entire sector ultimately relied on.

Casualties expected - “The one billion trees programme will be one of the first casualties of this bill,” FOA chief executive David Rhodes said. The others would be small forest owners and iwi.

Association president Phil Taylor (pictured) said the “obscene urgency” to pass the bill made no sense for legislation ostensibly intended to lift professional standards in the sector.

Federated Farmers vice-president Andrew Hoggard noted Parliament allowed two weeks for submissions under urgency when passing new firearms controls after the Christchurch mosque killings last year. This bill is getting only one.

“This, quite frankly, is ridiculous.”

Forestry is the country’s third-largest export earner after dairy products and meat but there has been increasing concern in recent years that the log export trade has expanded at the cost of local processing, in part due to strong demand and pricing from China.

Many smaller, older mills have shut in recent years and a report last year estimated that up to 30 percent of Northland’s milling capacity could be at risk during the next decade if the share of the regional harvest now being exported continued.

Early harvesting - The committee heard log exports had increased in recent years because processing capacity had remained relatively static whereas the harvest had increased.

While log supply in Northland might become an issue, the “hole” in the region's supply was at least partly due to early harvesting of trees there to capture high log prices, MPs were told.

Forestry manager Roger Dickie said his group managed about 30,000ha of forest and supplied seven mills on the east coast of the North Island. It had also just started a 90-day trial for the Prime mill in Gisborne to help get it restarted.

But he said that over the space of about a decade, sawn timber production went up about 20 percent, even as about 30 smaller mills closed. Most of the country’s structural timber was now supplied by just four mills, he said.

Greenplan Forestry director Terry Hoskins said the country needed to improve the productivity of its wood processing, not just in timber but also of its panel plants and pulp and paper making.

However, he said the bill did nothing to address that issue and was simply a distraction that should be “stopped in its tracks.”

“All the bill will do is reduce the inventive to build our wood processing capacity in New Zealand.”


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Fed Farmers weigh in with concerns

Federated Farmers and the Forest Owners Association are joining forces to condemn the Log Brokers Bill as a Trojan horse to potentially force farmers and foresters to subsidise local processing industries from reduced export earnings.

The unwarranted rush over the Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Bill risks unintended consequences, including retaliatory action by nations we trade with, Federated Farmers forestry spokesperson Andrew Hoggard (pictured) says.

The period for consultation is tighter than even the emergency actions on high-powered automatic firearms spurred by the Christchurch mosque attacks.

"The bill has come from nowhere and should be sent back to the drawing board for proper consultation," says Hoggard, who appeared before Parliament’s Environment Select Committee today.

The Forest Owners Association President, Phil Taylor, says both organisations are united on this issue.

"It seems the Bill is designed to use local processing as an instrument to provide employment, and instead of the government paying for it, they want to instead introduce a forestry cross- subsidy. That’s never happened before in New Zealand," Taylor says.

"That amounts to another tax, which is introduced with no idea of whether it would produce more jobs or not. The government has dreamt this up under urgency and done no research."

Hoggard says it is understandable why Forestry Minister Shane Jones is keen to see steady supplies of competitively priced timber available to the domestic processing industry but a raft of new regulations, costs and extra red tape won’t help achieve this.

"Federated Farmers is against any government moves to instruct primary producers on how much of the food and fibre they grow will be processed here in New Zealand. These are commercial considerations. We need to have the right to buy, sell and take our own risks in the marketplace. It’s not a decision for government to make."

There are many farm foresters among Federated Farmers members, and growing trees is an option the government has encouraged for diversification and carbon sequestration reasons.

"Those farm foresters want the option to choose to sell to an exporter or to a local sawmill at a time they choose. Whoever offers the best terms. That’s the same for our meat or dairy production." Hoggard says the log traders bill has arrived with very little advance warning or analysis.

"This ridiculously short time frame has meant there has been no ability for affected parties to consult with the Ministry for Primary Industries and amongst the sector to consider implications, gather thoughts and ideas, and to ensure that where there are concerns, we can arrive at solutions."

Proposals include regulations that could be arbitrarily applied to various forestry sector participants in such a way as to favour domestic wood processors over log exporters and forest owners. That could well contravene New Zealand’s obligations in free trade agreements with key markets and our staunch support of free trade under the WTO.

"This Bill risks undermining New Zealand’s credibility going forward as well as opening the door to potential trade retaliatory measures on our other exports, such as meat and dairy. It opens the door for the sort of poor policy we rail against when followed by other countries."



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Trade with China distorts local costs

China trade distorts log costs for local processors, MPs told - Prices for New Zealand logs have been “highly distorted" by the country’s trade with China and do not represent a fair international price, MPs were told yesterday.

Government proposals to ensure a more reliable log supply for domestic mills were a reasonable first step but subsidised log buying by China had to be addressed, Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association chief executive Jon Tanner (pictured) said.

The government’s own data shows log prices here were up to twice that of equivalent logs in other parts of the world, Tanner told Parliament’s environment committee yesterday.

He said there was untapped potential to develop more processing and create more jobs in the regions. Sawmillers and other processors were keen to invest in new technology and the trained staff needed to run it but they needed some certainty of log supply to do so.

“Without that, you can do neither,” he said.

The committee is rushing through submissions on a bill Forestry Minister Shane Jones introduced under Budget urgency to require forestry advisers and log traders to be registered.

Ministerial rule - But the Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Bill would also give the minister power to set regulations on almost any forest management issue and, specifically, the sale and purchase arrangements for both domestic and export sales.

Submitter after submitter told the committee yesterday the wide-open nature of that power would halt investment in forestry. Several forest owners and managers also pointed out they already supply mills in their regions and tend to do so in preference to export sales.

National MP Scott Simpson accused Tanner of seeking price controls on domestic logs to “prop up” inefficient processors who couldn’t compete otherwise.

He and fellow committee member Nathan Guy also questioned whether aspects of the bill would be in breach of World Trade Organisation rules.

Federated Farmers vice-president Andrew Hoggard said a log pricing restriction would damage the country’s credibility in trade forums and invite potential retaliation from China against the country’s beef and dairy exports.

“This bill risks opening the door-to-poor policy that we rail against in other countries,” he said.

Not a fair market - But in an at times testy exchange, Tanner said Simpson’s argument assumed there was a fair international market for logs, which the government and officials knew was not the case.

Having a secure log supply would not reduce the wharf gate price of logs, he said, but it would ensure that, when global prices were “running hot,” local processors could still get feedstock without having to pay a premium of more than 10 percent.

Forestry is the country’s third-largest export earner after dairy and meat and employs about 38,500 people. China is the biggest buyer of logs and wood pulp and the second- largest buyer of timber.

But in 2017, the Ministry of Business funded a study to understand why Chinese importers were paying above international rates for New Zealand logs.

It found Chinese buyers were effectively setting the domestic log price for New Zealand mills and only the most efficient, modern New Zealand mill could be competitive exporting finished products to China.

The Timber Industry Federation represents about 80 sawmills around the country.

Price swings hit hard - President John McVicar told the committee access to logs – typically half the cost of a milling operation – was a genuine problem that had really only developed during the past six or seven years.

The variability in both supply and pricing had made it very difficult for mills to operate efficiently and, on average, mills have paid above the export price for supply in recent years.

He said there were few long-term supply contracts in the industry and mills could be caught by big quarterly swings in log prices, when their own sales contracts typically required them to give their customers two to three months’ notice of cost increases.

Temuera Hall, a former director of forestry research institute Scion, chairs the Opepe Farm Trust and is a director of Kakano Investments, an iwi collective with a stake in the Kaingaroa forest. The six iwi also own most of the land the forest is planted on.

While he supported the intent of the bill, Hall doubted the government really understood the complexity of the industry and the issues different players in different regions faced.

Sawmills preferred to flex - Groups he has been involved with had investigated investing in processing but could not find sufficient margin to warrant it.

International players, producing product here for further processing by them in overseas markets, could get a reasonable return because they were able to capture value right along that supply chain.

Hall noted that more than half Kaingaroa’s harvest went to local processors, and he said it was not forest owners who were resistant to long-term supply contracts.

Many sawmills just could not commit to take fixed long-term volumes, and preferred to flex production quarterly to match the log pricing at the time, he said.

Source: BusinessDesk


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Logging halt hits exports

Logging halt undercuts strong export month - Log exports fell sharply in April 2020 after logging operations were suspended during alert level 4, but average prices per cubic metre picked up, Stats NZ said this week.

In contrast, dairy and fruit exports were strong despite fears of port congestion amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Total exports fell $220 million (4 percent) to $5.3 billion in April 2020 compared with the same month last year.

“Total exports would have been worth almost the same as April last year, if they had not been undercut by the big drop in logs,” international statistics manager Darren Allan said.

Exports of logs were worth just $96 million in April 2020, down $211 million from $307 million last April. While the quantity of logs exported fell 69 percent, the biggest-ever monthly percentage fall, the price has risen to $170 a cubic metre this month after falling to $137 in July 2019.

“Log harvesting was a non-essential service under alert level 4 and didn’t restart until alert level 3 at the end of April, so it is understandable that log exports have dropped sharply,” Mr Allan said.

Most New Zealand logs are exported to China.

“However, the increase in unit price may suggest there is still unmet demand as log inventories in China are run down and export values may bounce back quickly as harvesting picks up again.”

The value of sawn timber exports also fell $61 million or 79 percent, reflecting the log shortage.

Higher milk powder prices offset log drop - Dairy exports were strong in April 2020 – milk powder exports rose $202 million (29 percent) on April last year. The rise was entirely price driven with no increase in quantities.

Butter was the only major dairy product to fall this month – dropping $15 million to $126 million.



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Source: Statistics NZ


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Forestry student encourages others

Forestry student encourages others to join sector - Many of Nic Melvin's ancestors were in the forestry and sawmilling business in New Zealand from the 1860s and he knew from an early age he wanted a career in the sector.

From a dairy farm at Dipton, Melvin (19) is in his second year of a four-year forestry science degree at the University of Canterbury. He has been awarded this year's Southern Wood Council's Scholarship, worth $4500 over three years, which he'll put towards student fees.

His father used to be a tree feller for whom he started working when aged about 13. A key focus was learning about enhancing the environment, including studying climate change, soil properties, native plants and biology. One of the attractions of the sector was being able to spend time outdoors, and Melvin was considering working in forest harvesting once he graduates, although he was keeping options open.

He encouraged others to consider forestry as a career.

"There are heaps of opportunities and it is a great industry to get into."

The scholarship is part of an annual programme set up by the council in 2011.

Wood council chairman Grant Dodson said it was an opportunity for forestry and wood products companies in the lower South Island to put something back into the industry and to support outstanding students studying towards either the forestry science or forest engineering courses at the School of Forestry, University of Canterbury.

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Source: Campbell Group


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Beca: Decarbonising our economy

Leaders across Beca have prepared this think-piece to ignite your thinking – and to contribute to the ongoing discussions with all New Zealand about how we can get the best outcomes from the significant recovery and economic rebuild being proposed post COVID-19. The scale of investment we are making and the legacy of this for future generations, means it is critical that we take this opportunity to significantly accelerate the decarbonisation of our economy. By taking this approach our recovery will support a prosperous and more equitable and sustainable society.

The effects of global temperature rise (global heating) is arguably the single most threat facing humanity. If we don’t act now to bend the curve and rapidly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, we will face challenges far greater than those we’ve already faced in 2020.

By 2030 we need to reduce non-biological GHGs by 50% (≈21MtCO2e/year), and biological GHGs by 10% (4MtCO2e/year).

Our climate is changing rapidly. Even if we successfully halve emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 the climate will continue to approach 1.5°C of warming. The impacts of this will be felt across the world. With respect to New Zealand, this is expected to result in an increased number of extreme weather events such as sea- level rise, flooding and droughts, heat waves, changes to season durations, more hot days and fewer cold days, as well as climate refugees and increases in vector borne disease. This means that in parallel with reducing our GHG emissions, we must plan and provide for climate adaptation and built and natural environment resilience to these changes.

Our Beca think-piece proposes transition opportunities that will reduce our emissions and build resilience to climate change, in a way that will also contribute to a more sustainable and prosperous future; by responding to the challenges of unemployment, soil degradation, poor quality and unaffordable housing, biodiversity loss, economic insecurity, poor air quality in urban centres, polluted waterways, inequality, overexploitation of resources, reliance on uncertain supply chains, and poor waste management.

We propose that New Zealand must find solutions to deliver a prosperous economy that simultaneously increases equality and community wellbeing. It must also protect and enhance our natural ecological systems upon which we depend. We believe a strong focus on tackling emissions will provide co-benefits to a range of sustainability challenges.

We have identified eight key transitions that would best enable us to rapidly shift to a low-emission economy, while simultaneously creating jobs and addressing many of New Zealand’s critical challenges and moving to a prosperous, circular and equitable economy.

The transitions are summarised below. These have been prioritised based on the combined opportunities to address the urgent demands for decarbonisation and the critical job creation and economic recovery. They are accompanied by downloadable PDFs that provide further detail about the transitions and our recommendations. A full report with all the transitions is downloadable here.

Agriculture and Forestry - Prioritising water management to mitigate climate risks. Continuing to increase best practise farm management including support and implementation of on-farm planting. In this transition, promote ongoing research and development to minimise enteric fermentation emissions, and build our capacity to provide international leadership in low-emission agriculture. Expanding forest industries.

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Source: Scoop


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New log ship for Swire

Swire Bulk, the bulk division of The China Navigation Company, has taken delivery of its new, log-fitted bulk carrier into service. MV Singan is traded worldwide with a strong focus on the logs trade in the Pacific and South Atlantic.

The vessel was named in February 2020 by lady sponsor, Mrs Kaori Imoto, the wife of John Swire & Sons Board Director, Jonathan Swire. The ceremony was held at The Hakodate Dock Co., Ltd.’s shipyard in Hakodate, Japan. MV Singan embarked on her maiden voyage at the end of April for Busan.

The vessel is designed for optimal speed and consumption at 12.5 knots in the laden condition. The eco-efficiency additions of the Rudder Bulb, Wake fin and Pre-swirl will improve vessel hull efficiency, said Rob Aarvold, General Manager, Swire Bulk.

Log carriage requires a high level of structural stability, which MV Singan offers. The vessel is also installed with the latest solid state radar equipment which is integrated with ECDIS. This ensures compliance with the latest and future requirements and for system updates to be managed easily.

MV Singan is the first ship delivered in a wider order book of ten bulk vessels to be built in Japan. The remaining vessels are scheduled for delivery by the end of 2021. “Swire Bulk’s newbuilding programme will enable us to strategically deliver the largest and most eco-friendly fleet trading in the market. We remain committed to delivering market-leading, innovative and sustainable shipping solutions to our customers with our modern eco-designed vessels,” said Mr Aarvold.

MV Sungkiang, MV Singan’s sister vessel, is being built at the same shipyard scheduled for delivery in June 2020. “Having these log-fitted newbuilds on water,” said Mr Aarvold, “would strengthen Swire Bulk’s position in the log market. We are one of the world’s largest handysize logger fleets, and we have the flexibility, supply and consistent technical standards to perform and deliver freight contracts safely, reliably and professionally.”


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Global forest report reassuring

FAO And UNEP To Launch The First Joint Edition Of The State Of The World’s Forests - Did you know that forests cover nearly 1/3 of land globally? That’s 4.06 billion hectares. In other words, there is around 0.52 ha of forest for every person on the planet.

The State of the World’s Forests 2020 has been produced by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for the first time.

As FAO and UNEP prepare to lead the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration from 2021, the report looks at the need to protect the vast numbers of plants and animals found in the world’s forests, which are home to the majority of terrestrial biodiversity.

While global deforestation slowed in the last decade, some 10 million hectares are still being lost each year. With agricultural expansion the main driver, the report highlights the need for transformational change in the way we produce and consume food.

Forests also have a direct impact on human survival, providing more than 86 million green jobs and supporting the livelihoods of many others.

The report emphasizes the need for large-scale forest restoration efforts and notes that solutions that balance conservation and sustainable use of forest biodiversity are both critical and possible.

FAO Director-General, QU Dongyu, and UNEP Executive Director, Inger Andersen, will launch the report at a virtual event in Rome. A media briefing will follow in Geneva.

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New forest products industry maps proving popular

Orders for the new 2020 Australia & NZ Forest Products Industry Map have been flowing in. Thanks for your support. As covered in previous issues, every two years Australasia’s wood processing and manufacturing industry is detailed in an eagerly awaited Forest Products Industry Map that’s produced for this region. The new 2020 map has just recently been printed.

This is the fourth edition of a full colour 980mm wide x 680mm tall map produced by the Forest Industry Engineering Association combining major wood processing and manufacturing plants in both Australia and New Zealand.

It features 171 wood processing operations including over 65 sawmills cutting in excess of 25,000m3 sawn lumber per annum (with sawn timber production levels), all fibreboard, particleboard, plywood, pulp & paper, veneer/LVL/CLT, paperboard and chip export operations along with major wood manufacturing operations.

Since the last edition produced in early 2018 there have been over 50 major updates to mill locations, ownership and production. Changes in the last two years have indeed been significant. The new map is now the most up-to-date industry reference providing an essential mapping resource for New Zealand and Australian forest products companies.

If you haven’t yet received a copy of the new map, orders can now be made from the FIEA website (www.fiea.org.nz) or by clicking here.


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East Coast: Redeployment ramps up

The Tairāwhiti Economic Support Package Redeployment Programme was in response to the impacts of COVID-19 virus but the $23 million package will provide so much more for the region - While it initially aimed to assist displaced forestry workers, the scope has now been broadened to include all who have been affected by COVID-19, with people already having completed training and started their new jobs under the initiative.

The programme encompasses five key projects and aims to provide work and training for up to 200 people.

“At the very heart of each are the displaced workers who will have meaningful employment with the opportunity for training, new qualifications, additional skills and the possibility of long term jobs,” says Mayor Rehette Stoltz. “The difference this will make to whanau in our region is phenomenal. There is a real sense of excitement and anticipation about this already coming through.”

While the nation was in lockdown, plenty has gone on behind the scenes and when New Zealand moved to Alert Level 2 everything was ready to go, with phone interviews done to ensure projects could start as soon as possible. Thirty-eight people are already working on projects.

These include environmental work across the rohe including on Titirangi (Kaiti Hill), parks and coastal beaches, the re-metalling of unsealed roads throughout the region and the clearance of hazardous trees from local routes. Eastland Group has been subcontracted to remove trees from powerlines in partnership with local arborists, while Trust Tairawhiti are doing workforce development plans for key sectors to assist with the economic recovery of the region.

Workers who have lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19 are referred into the programme from the Ministry of Social Development.

The $23.755m Programme is part of $28.205m allocated to Tairawhiti in March, with the remainder going to local Government agencies, the Ministry of Social Development, Department of Conservation, New Zealand Transport Agency and Ministry of Primary Industries.

It is part of a wider $100m national Government redeployment package. Ministers Phil Twyford, Shane Jones and Willie Jackson came to Gisborne to make the announcement and congratulated Council along with Eastland Wood Council, Eastland Port, local iwi, Trust Tairawhiti, Eastland Group and central Government agencies for their pro-activeness. The unity had been key to Government’s swift response which saw Tairawhiti as the first region to receive the financial support.

As the impacts of COVID were felt, other industries began to feel the full effect as New Zealand shut down. Now, as alert levels are lessened, businesses can tentatively start back up while the forestry industry appears to be bouncing back, with log exports underway and crews heading back out into the forests.

“Creating employment pathways like these means long-term solutions for Tairawhiti,” says Mayor Stoltz. “As a Council we are committed to doing our part in paving the way for the economic recovery of our region. This is a big help for many while also benefiting the wider community.”

Source: Scoop


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... and finally ... Ahh, the high school reunion

60th High School Reunion - He was a widower and she a widow.

They had known each other for a number of years being high school classmates and having attended class reunions in the past without fail.

This 60th anniversary of their class, the widower and the widow made a foursome with two other singles.

They had a wonderful evening, their spirits high.
The widower throwing admiring glances across the table.
The widow smiling coyly back at him.

Finally, he picked up courage to ask her, "Will you marry me?"

After about six seconds of careful consideration, she answered, "Yes ... yes, indeed, I will!"

The evening ended on a happy note for the widower.
But the next morning he was troubled.

Did she say Yes? or did she say No?

He couldn't remember.
Try as he would, he just could not recall.
He went over the conversation of the previous evening, but his mind was blank.

He remembered asking the question but for the life of him he could not recall her response.
With fear and trepidation, he picked up the phone and called her.
First, he explained that he couldn't remember as well as he used to. Then he reviewed the past evening. As he gained a little more courage he then inquired of her.
"When I asked if you would marry me, did you say Yes? or did you say No?

"Why you silly man, I said Yes. Yes I will ! And I meant it with all my heart."

The widower was delighted. He felt his heart skip a beat.

Then she continued. "And I am so glad you called because I couldn't remember who asked me!”



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John Stulen, Editor

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