WoodWeek – 13 March 2019

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Greetings from your WoodWeek good wood news team. Not only did the sun shine for almost the entire summer, but our industry is once again finding the spotlight with our political leaders. Eight outstanding students received inaugural forestry scholarships by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Forestry Minister Shane Jones at the University of Canterbury. The Nga Karahipi Uru Rakau scholarships were developed to encourage young and talented individuals into New Zealand’s growing forestry industry.

Looking at log markets thanks to the excellent updates from our Rotorua neighbours at PF Olsen. Prices for logs delivered to ports around the country decreased on average 5 NZD per JASm3 in March from the highest February prices. It was mainly due to increased ocean freight costs for export log cargo. Meanwhile, the domestic market for logs has had a very stable start for the year.

On the training front, the government’s proposal to reform vocational education could undermine the success of training and apprenticeships says Fiona Kingsford of Competenz. She is encouraging industry leaders to provide feedback on the plan, proposing to replace ITOs and polytechs with a single organisation, responsible for delivering all on-job and off-job training.

Looking to our industry image and social license to operate, our log truckers are continuing to great work in this space. LTSC’s ‘Share the Road' programme was delivered to Whanganui students. They will have gained a big appreciation about what it's like to be in the driver's seat of a logging truck and what they can do to help with road safety. More good work from McCarthy Transport, FOMS and the Southern North Island Wood Council.

This week, some of our team are in British Columbia running the HarvestTECHX conference in Vancouver for over 200 delegates registered from 7 countries. But don't let that stop you from getting your team registered for the New Zealand leg of this conference series, because HarvestTECH is right on track to sell out before it runs in June in Rotorua. Register now to get the best rates and a seat before they all go.

The Vancouver conference focus was designed in cooperation with industry leaders and the BC Forest Safety Council. It is looking at the practical and the tactical - how technology is continuing to allow loggers to increase productivity and safety simultaneously. Many thanks to our principal conference partners – John Deere, Southstar, Tigercat and Waratah. Field trip partners, BC Forest Safety Council have been inundated with demand for their post-conference field day.

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CNI: Girls go logging together

CNI Forestry establishes all-female logging team in Rotorua - A group of women have found employment together in an unlikely industry as new figures show job advertisements in the Bay of Plenty are soaring.

CNI Logging has been working with 18 women as part of a process to choose an 11- strong, all-female team to work in silviculture. Health and safety recruitment officer Joe Taute said he believed the team would be the first all-female team in the forestry industry.

"There's a shortage of female employees in forestry everywhere so we're trying to be a bit different and try something new." Taute said crew members would start out "getting bush fit".

"We're trying to get them used to the idea of waking up at 5.30am and getting home at 5pm. We've set up an introduction to forestry to get them bush fit to start with then move into planting and pruning."

Taute said there was a big requirement for forestry workers and it was a hard job but before the team was formed he would get multiple calls a week about whether there were roles available for females.

Crew manager Truedi Taia said she had previously worked for CNI and had found other women who would join her when the new role came up.

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PF Olsen market summary

PF Olsen provide an excellent and detailed Market Summary in their current Wood Matters issue - Here's a snapshot.

At Wharf Gate (AWG) prices for logs delivered to ports around New Zealand decreased on average 5 NZD per JASm3 in March from the highest February prices. This decrease in AWG prices is due to increased ocean freight costs for export log cargo. Most CFR log prices in China were flat to a modest increase of 1 USD per JASm3. ‘A’ grade export now sells for up to 143 USD per JASm3 in China and 155 USD per JASm3 in India.

The domestic market for logs has continued the very stable start to 2019. There has been some capacity taken out of the pruned market with the closure of the Waverley sawmill, but other mills producing clear sawn timber are already at capacity.

Due to the drop in the AWG sale prices for export sawlogs the PF Olsen Log Price Index decreased $3 in March to $134. The index is currently $6 above the two-year average, $9 above the three-year average, and $17 higher than the five-year average.

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Source: PF Olsen Wood Matters

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Prime Minister presents forestry awards

Eight outstanding students have been presented with inaugural forestry scholarships by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Forestry Minister Shane Jones at a special awards ceremony at the University of Canterbury.

The Nga Karahipi Uru Rakau scholarships were developed to encourage young and talented individuals into New Zealand’s growing forestry industry. They are available to Maori and/or female students enrolling in a Bachelor of Forestry Science or Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Forest Engineering.

“Developing skills, capability and leadership for New Zealand’s forestry sector is a priority for the Government and Te Uru Rakau (Forestry New Zealand). These scholarships are the first step towards an exciting and rewarding career in forestry for eight exceptional individuals, who in turn will strengthen the future labour pool in this vital industry,” Jacinda Ardern said.

The 2019 recipients are: Robyn Patient from Waikuku Beach; Jessica Stock from Tasman; Cole Grace from Gisborne; George Fanning-Ihaka from Dargaville; Nicholas Melvin from Winton, Thomas Brown from Matamata; Max Gomez from Dunedin and Hannah Humphreys from Wanaka.

“Over the last five years less than a third of graduates of forestry degrees were women. While the industry is a significant employer of Maori, Maori are underrepresented in the professional and scientific areas of the industry. We hope this group of talented scholarship recipients will pave the way for the future and encourage other women and Maori to enter higher education within the forestry sector,” Jacinda Ardern said.

Shane Jones said it was an exciting time in the forestry sector, particular as we move towards our goal of planting one billion trees by 2028.

“The focus of the One Billion Trees Programme is about planting the right tree, in the right place, for the right purpose, and for this we also need the right people,” Shane Jones said.

“As technology and science change the way we do things, we need people who can work with robotics, help develop new forestry products and processes, and take them to the market. Our scholarship recipients add to the pool of talent that can accomplish this,” Shane Jones said.

Further Nga Karahipi Uru Rakau scholarships will be awarded for the 2020 and 2021 academic years. Applications for the next round open in June and close on 15 August.

Click here for more information on Nga Karahipi Uru Rakau.

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Competenz calls on industry for feedback

The government’s proposal to reform vocational education could undermine the success of training and apprenticeships at a time of critical skills shortages in forestry, says industry training organisation (ITO) Competenz.

Chief executive Fiona Kingsford is encouraging the forestry industry to this week provide feedback on the plan, which includes replacing all 16 polytechs with a new national organisation called the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, which would be responsible for delivering all on-job and off-job training.

Industry-owned ITOs like Competenz would no longer exist – they would no longer arrange training or support the learning and assessment of apprentices and trainees in the workplace.

Mrs Kingsford says Competenz is concerned that employers’ ability to influence how their programmes are delivered will become less flexible and unable to be adapted to individual workplaces under a centralised model.

“The changes the government has proposed are more complex and far-reaching than we expected. There is no doubt the system needs modification and funding needs to be realigned to deliver what our industries need – but these changes are too radical.

“In a time of critical skills shortages, the last thing we want is a reform that risks undermining workplace training and apprenticeship programmes.

“Yes the system needs reform and yes we need to address the funding inequalities, but in our opinion, these changes are not the way to do it.”

Mrs Kingsford says Competenz currently looks after 20,000 trainees and apprentices across 3,500 New Zealand businesses. The direct relationship between ITOs and employers is a key factor in the success of training and apprenticeships.

“The role of ITOs is crucial and with our direct line to thousands of employers, we understand the demand for trades better than anyone else. When we surveyed employers last year, they told us that ITOs perform a critical function and need more funding. The reform goes against what industry is saying.

“We need evolution not revolution.”

Competenz has until 27 March to make a submission on the proposal and provide feedback that reflects the voice of the forestry industry and the other sectors it supports.

A survey was sent to all forest owners, contractors and assessors who work with Competenz, and Mrs Kingsford and her team met with FICA representatives on Monday 11 March to discuss the proposal and gather feedback.

There is still time to have your say.

More information
- Find out more at haveyoursay.competenz.org.nz
- Email Competenz at vet@competenz.org.nz
- Write to the government at vocationaleducation.reform@education.govt.nz
- See Reform of Vocational Education on education.govt.nz

Photo caption: DG Glenn Logging workers and Competenz trainees on the job in Hawke’s Bay.

Source: Competenz

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Log exports except China dropping

Looking back on export markets, NZ logs exports to Asia have gone down, apart from those to China of course, when comparing sales volumes for both year on year and month on month.

See the following table from Champion Freight for details.

Source: Champion Freight

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Australia: OneFortyOne supports Women's Day

OneFortyOne well represented at Canberra ‘Women in Forest Industries’ Workshop - This year’s International Women’s Day celebrations saw the Australian Forest Products Association bring people from across the forestry and timber industry to Canberra to participate in a Women in Forest Industries workshop.

Officially opened by the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Minister Richard Colbeck, and with over 110 people participating, it was the largest gathering of people to discuss gender and diversity issues in forestry and timber industries to date.

Five employees from across the OneFortyOne business were amongst those who participated in the event. Industry Career Champion, Green Triangle, Linda Cotterill was one of those participants, “It’s important that as an industry we focus on diversity of gender, and workshops such as these are a vital step in having those conversations and working together to find solutions”.

OneFortyOne’s CEO, Linda Sewell was the keynote speaker at the industry dinner following the workshop, sharing her experience and insights as a senior woman leader in a male dominated industry.

“We know the most successful companies in the world have a diverse and inclusive workforce. I would like to congratulate AFPA on taking the lead in this area as I don’t believe change will happen unless all of the workforce, men and women, are engaged on this issue”.

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Scion welcomes Maori forestry leader

Hemi Rolleston has joined Scion as General Manager Maori Forestry Futures, taking on a new executive role at the Crown research institute.

Hemi (Ng?ti Whakaue, Ngai Te Rangi and Ngati Ranginui) was welcomed at a p?whiri on 27 February. He comes to Scion after five years at Callaghan Innovation, and before then Hemi spent seven years as the Inaugural Chief Executive of Te Awanui Hukapak, a 100% Maori-owned kiwifruit company in Mount Maunganui.

Hemi says he is “very excited to be joining Scion to bring my skills, experience and connections to an organisation that has such a pivotal role to play in partnering with M?ori. I have been privileged to have been part of the Callaghan Innovation journey and now I look forward to the new challenge ahead. And of course, I am personally thrilled to be returning home.”

A former Director of the Rotorua Lakes Council entity Grow Rotorua and Priority One in Tauranga, Hemi is currently a Director on Ngati Whakaue Assets Trust and Ngamanawa Inc who have significant investments in Forestry.

Scion Chief Executive Dr Julian Elder says the General Manager Maori Forestry Futures is a new senior leadership role that will assist Scion to enhance and respond effectively to the significant involvement of Maori in the New Zealand forestry sector.

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Truckies go back to school

Share the Road programme teaches Whanganui's Carlton School students about logging trucks and road safety - Carlton School students now know what it's like to be in the driver's seat of a logging truck and what they can do to help with road safety.

McCarthy Transport, FOMS and the Southern North Island Wood Council, led by McCarthy's Wanganui Transport Hub manager Greg Wood, spent Friday, March 8 talking to Carlton School pupils about the 'Share The Road' programme.

Developed by the Log Transport Safety Council (LTSC), Share The Road is a programme to educate students in schools that are located on or near routes that logging trucks travel. Carlton School is on Carlton Ave, which is part of State Highway 3.

"It was a great opportunity to present to the 280 students," McCarthy Transport's HSQE manager Cheryl van der Heyden said.

"After an assembly presentation in the hall, log trucks from McCarthy Transport and Central Logistics' Services were taken to Springvale Park so that the students could understand the blind spots the vehicle has, what the driver can see or not see from his/her driving seat, along with vehicle stopping distances.

"Despite the weather, the rain didn't dampen the excitement of the students who had the opportunity to see first-hand what it is like being in the driver's seat of a log truck.

"As the Share The Road programme encourages students walking or riding bikes to school to wear bright clothing to make sure that the drivers of vehicles know they are there, each of the 280 Carlton School students were issued with their own Be Safe, Be Seen high-viz vest."

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Source: NZ Herald

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Wood for Canterbury heat applauded

Wood biomass for renewable energy for Christchurch hospital - Health Minister Dr David Clark says two new woody biomass boilers for Christchurch Hospital will improve the Canterbury DHB’s resilience and environmental sustainability.

Polytechnik Biomass Energy, based in Austria, has been awarded the contract to design, manufacture and install replacements for the current coal-fired boilers. The total budget for the project is approximately $45 million.

“The existing boiler house at Canterbury DHB’s main hospital campus was damaged in the 2011 earthquake and is at increased risk of failure in the event of another significant earthquake.

“This investment will tackle that vulnerability and ensure the critical energy supply for the hospital is modern and reliable.

“The new boilers will use sustainably produced wood biomass, which is a renewable resource and affordable. The boilers are a great way to dispose of waste wood, and will emit far less carbon dioxide than conventional fossil fuels.

“The design and construction of the two 7.5Mw capacity biomass boilers is a key next step towards building the new Energy Centre, which is needed to service the new Christchurch Hospital, Hagley (formerly known as the Acute Services Building) and all of Canterbury DHB’s main hospital campus.

“Once the design of the boilers has been completed, then the design and procurement of the Energy Centre building can take place.

“This is a key piece of the hospital’s infrastructure. Staff and patients need to know the energy supply can be relied on. This investment will give them that confidence,” David Clark said.

“It is great to see Government ‘putting its money where its mouth is’ with regard to reducing emissions. Such investment leadership will encourage business to also move to use biomass energy.” Said Brian Cox, Executive Officer of the Bioenergy Association.

Mr Cox added that “The decision by the Canterbury District Health Board and the Government to install two biomass fuelled boilers at Christchurch hospital to replace the existing coal fuelled boilers demonstrates the increasing growth in the use of biomass to replace coal and natural gas for heating. The decision provides a show of confidence in the availability of biomass fuel into the future, and the capability of the biomass fuel suppliers to reliably deliver specification fuel to meet demand.”

It is expected that construction of the new Energy Centre will get underway in late 2019, and that the project will be completed by the end of 2020 or early 2021.

NOTE: Funding for the project is drawn from the Earthquake Repairs Programme of Works, which was established with insurance settlement funds.

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City Forests delivers top results

Dunedin City Holdings Ltd Group has reported a pre-tax profit of $2.882 million for the six months to December 2018 - Dunedin City Holdings Chair Keith Cooper says the Group is pleased to show a positive financial result once again. “Our half year result is in line with our budget projections. Our strong operating cash flow will continue to provide a stable basis for the Group.”

The group’s financial result is driven by a continued strong performance by City Forests Ltd, and supported by a continued reduction in the cost of funds across the Group.

City Forests Ltd recorded a pleasing six monthly profit before tax of $7.3m for the period, $1.6m ahead of budget, primarily driven by above budget returns from log sales in strong domestic and international markets. City Forests paid a dividend of $2m to Dunedin City Holdings Ltd in December 2018.

Source: Scoop

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BC exporters feel chill in Canada-China freeze

Canada: For some of BC’s largest export sectors, a potential disruption of trade with China – the spectre of which has risen after the arrest of Huawei Technologies' CFO Meng Wanzhou last December – would be severe if not catastrophic.

That is the view from several BC officials in industries such as forestry, seafood, wine and international education, where efforts to diversify their markets beyond the United States, as promoted by Ottawa and the provincial government in the last decade, have helped build deep links with China’s economy as the latter grew to become Canada’s second-largest trade partner.

As for one of BC’s biggest exporters to China, the forest products sector, a top official said she remains optimistic despite the risk of Ottawa’s relationship with Beijing deteriorating as the Meng extradition case to the United States progresses.

“It’s not the only place where we have, from time to time, difficult trading issues,” said Susan Yurkovich, president and CEO of the Council of Forest Industries. “I mean, we’ve had trade issues with the US, too. It’s part of being in an export industry in an export country, and you are going to run into complications from time to time. We have to find a way to work through them.”

China is again the second--largest destination for B.C. wood-product exports, taking up about 25% of the total (export values reached $326 million in August 2018, compared with $693 million to the United States during that same period). But Yurkovich said the country’s demand for higher-density and institutional wood buildings, and a renewed focus on green housing, means that B.C.’s forest sector will continue to treat China as a priority market.

“We really started in China with low-grade exports,” she noted. “It was to find a home for a lot of the wood impacted by the mountain pine beetle. What we are doing now is moving up the value chain, putting wood into manufacturing and different applications, and we are seeing that market mature. It’s still a price-sensitive market, especially when you see the depreciation of the ruble, which made [Russia’s] products relatively cheaper, and of course that’s an issue. But we are really trying to move up the value chain and looking at other applications, which are different than what we had in the beginning.

“I know there’s lots of stuff happening between Canada and China, but what we see is that we’ve built strong customer relationships in China, and we are committed to that market. We are going to continue to focus on that market moving forward, no question.”

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Source:Business in Vancouver

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Buy and Sell

... and finally ... bear with us, this is a good one

While walking down the street one day, a Member of Parliament is tragically hit by a Lime scooter and dies. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

'Welcome to heaven,' says St. Peter. 'Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you.'

'No problem, just let me in,' says the man.

'Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity.'

'Really, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven,' says the MP.

'I'm sorry, but we have our rules.'

And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he went down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he found himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.

Everyone is very happy and dressed in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people.

They played a friendly game of golf and then dined on lobster, caviar and champagne.

Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly & nice guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it's time to go.

Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and wave whilst the elevator rises....

The elevator rises and the door opens in heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him.

'Now it's time to visit heaven.'

So, 24 hours pass with the MP joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.

'Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity.'

The MP reflects for a minute, then he answers: 'Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell.'

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.

When the doors open he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage.

He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above.

The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder. ' I don't understand,' stammers the MP. 'Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened? '

The devil looks at him, smiles and says, 'Yesterday we were campaigning… Today you voted!’

That's all for this week's wood news.

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John Stulen
Innovatek Limited
PO Box 1230
Rotorua, New Zealand
Mob: +64 27 275 8011
Web: www.woodweek.com

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