WoodWeek – 22 July 2020

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Greetings from your WoodWeek news team. It never rains – it 'pours' as the saying goes. The rain is making life incredibly tough for people in many North Island regions, but especially in Tolaga Bay. Following a local apology from the Eastland Wood Council’s Kim Holland earlier this week about the continued flow or forestry slash onto beaches in the bay, NZFOA President Phil Taylor issued an unreserved apology and commitment to the clean-up.

Prior to the deluge, the main theme for July has been alternating pot-shots from the pro-forestry lobby and pro-farm lobby groups. In the process, there is one positive – both groups are generously supporting the television media by getting at each other over pros and cons of planting forests on (some) farmland. Let’s just say it keeps the baby boomers entertained (as the only folks who watch free-to-air TV) and the media companies happy for the advertising revenue, small as their total contributions are.

Moving right along, with our wood news that doesn’t need words, we are pleased to provide you with another log market update via our fortnightly SnapSTAT graphic, kindly brought to you by the team at Chainsaw & Outdoor Power Limited & Oregon. Find out more about them here.

This week brings more excellent industry news with Competenz confirming that a range of forestry and wood processing training programmes are included in their new Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund, covering fees from 1 July 2020 through December 2022 that the ITO would usually on-charge to employers.

Let’s hope the farmers didn't splash out on TV advertising for the Southland region. Why? Because this week Shane Jones reported that approved grants down there for the Billion Trees programme are lagging behind other provinces, so no need for the 50 Shades group to target the southerners.

Finally this week, Aratu Forests celebrates its first year of operation this month. Australian based New Forests, on behalf of its investors, purchased Hikurangi Forest Farms on the East Coast of the North Island, New Zealand from Samling, a Malaysian family business, in July 2019.

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NZWood hits back on TV

NZ Wood ad 'implies farmers are dumb' if they don't embrace forestry - Sheep and beef farmers are up in arms over an advertisement which they say implies they’re stupid if they don't plant trees on their land.

The NZ Wood advertisement, screened on TVNZ One on Sunday night last week, opens with footage of a smoking chimney, gridlocked traffic and melting ice.

“The time to stop runaway global warming is running out,” a voiceover says.

“Fast-growing forest trees are the most effective way at this time for us to fight climate change. They suck carbon from the atmosphere – that’s a big environment plus.

“And there’s more jobs and income if you grow trees than farming sheep and beef. That’s why so many smart farmers are so bullish planting out trees and loving our forest.”

The 30-second advertisement drew swift criticism from farmers on social media, where it was described as “bloody appalling” and in “broadcasting standards complaint territory”.

Beef+Lamb chairman Andrew Morrison (pictured) said the advertisement was disappointing. However, the organisation didn’t want to see the issue become a fight between industries.

”We’ve said repeatedly that we’re not anti-forestry. A lot of farmers are looking to integrate trees on farms and that’s a good thing."

“What we’re worried about is carbon farming. Government policy is economically incentivising large-scale conversion of sheep and beef farming land to exotic trees for carbon farming – with no limits on the amount of offsetting fossil fuel polluters can do, nor on how much land can be converted to forestry to create carbon credits for sale.”

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Source: Stuff


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Tolaga Bay: FOA issues apology

Tolaga Bay - The Forest Owners Association (FOA) has apologised and said the industry is committed to cleaning the beach and owners will pay for it, not ratepayers. - The beach in Uawa is strewn with logs and debris from forestry operations up in the hills. The slash washed onto the beach over the weekend after a metre of rain fell in 24 hours.

FOA president Phil Taylor said: "On behalf of the forest industry ... I unreservedly apologise to the community for the debris on the beach. They acknowledge it is unacceptable. I can assure the community on the East Coast that the forest industry is committed to cleaning the beach up in conjunction with GDC (Gisborne District Council) ... that planning is underway."

He told Morning Report logs could continue washing up for years.

"The reality is this is likely to continue but in a reducing way for a number of months and years." Taylor said working with council would not mean the clean up would be funded by ratepayers. "The forest owners will be shouldering that burden."

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Or listen >>

Source: RNZ


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Jones: Southland forestry slow on uptake

In a recent Stuff interview with Minister Shane Jones, statistics from Te Uru Rākau/Forestry New Zealand were highlighted showing that to May 2020 there have been 42 direct landowner grants and five partnership funding applications from Southland since the scheme began in November 2018.

However, uptake has been slow in Southland compared to other provinces. The ministry had also received 24 inquiries from the province.

It has approved 25 direct landowner grants totalling $1,730,340 in funding, and one partnership project for $461,420, which was a total of $2,191,760 in funding for Southland.

Approved grants are for a total area of 808.86 hectares in the province.Nationally, the fund has approved 395 grants for a total of $43m in funding. Jones said the fund was not exhausted.

“I would say that the area in North Canterbury has gone tremendously well – that’s the folk in and around the Kaikōura area. They’ve attracted a tremendous amount of grant funding to replant a lot of that land that’s slumped in the earthquake.

“But the take-up rate in the deep south – there’s room for improvement,’’ Jones said.

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Source: Stuff



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Farmers back moves to limit planting

Federated Farmers says Labour's plant to restore resource consent requirements for plantation forestry is a step in the right direction. - Labour's pledge to curtail the conversion of highly productive land to forestry has helped take some heat out of the pastoral versus forestry argument, with farmers saying it's a step in the right direction.

The party's forestry spokesperson Stuart Nash said any conversion of highly productive farmland into forestry would require a resource consent to ensure rural communities were well-supported during the economic recovery.

Nash pledged that within the first six months of the next term of government, Labour would revise the National Environment Standards for Plantation Forestry to enable councils to once again determine what classes of land can be used for plantation and carbon forests.

Federated Farmers vice-president Andrew Hoggard said Labour's move was a step in the right direction, but said that farmers still had an issue with the carbon emissions trading scheme, which incentivises investment in forestry.

"The overriding concern that we have is that we have still got market signals from the ETS mechanism that are driving this."

"You have got a situation where for a big emitter, the simplest solution is to buy a farm and plant trees, which means their accounting problem is then solved for the next 30 years. That's not really solving the problem. It's solving their accounting issue," Hoggard says.

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Source: NZHerald



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Happy Birthday Aratu

Aratu Forests Ltd celebrates its first year of operation this month. Australian based New Forests, on behalf of its investors, purchased Hikurangi Forest Farms on the East Coast of the North Island, New Zealand from Samling (a Malaysian family business) in July 2019. New Forests saw significant potential in the company through improving processes and focus on operational, environmental, social and sustainability outcomes.

At the same time the company name was changed to Aratu, a clear statement of intent. The name Aratu comprises two Māori words “ara” meaning pathway and “tū” meaning stand, which signifies the journey the organisation is embarking on to improve the business, its connection with the community and the strength of its values.

Aratu Forests has a dedicated Board of Directors, guiding strategic direction and providing strong governance to the company. The Board comprises three Australian based directors and three NZ based directors. Over the past year Aratu has restructured its organisation to better fit with its new business model and align with its new mission and values. The new structure puts emphasis on operational excellence, improving safety, environmental and cost efficiency, as well as developing and strengthening connections between its business and the communities in which it works and lives.

Aratu Forests has faced tough challenges in its first year. The impact of Covid-19 which has been felt by the industry since the end of Jan 2020, extending into lockdown and cessation of all forest operations during April, has been particularly difficult. However, the combination of a great team of dedicated staff and an excellent complement of contractors minimised the impact on the business through this challenging time.

Aratu is now well placed to continue along the path (ara) of developing its business and engagement strategy and is looking forward to addressing the challenges of plantation forestry on the East Coast of NZ in the years to come.

Photo: Aratu Forests Senior Management Team; from Left to right: Front: Jody Walters (Community Liaison Manager), Liu Xu (Resource Planning Manager), Ian Brown (CEO). Back: Brendon Lennane (Finance Manager), Warren Rance (General Manager Operations), George Swanepoel (Health, Safety and Environment Manager)

Source: Aratu Forests


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Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund

Update on the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund and Apprenticeship Boost Wage Subsidy - Competenz have confirmed that the following qualifications/training programmes are included in the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund, covering fees from 1 July 2020 until 31 December 2022 that the ITO would usually on-charge to employers.

This funding comes through the Tertiary Education Commission. Funding covers:
> Enrolment fees
> Assessment fees
> Block course fees

Programmes include:

All Apprenticeships:
> Forest harvesting
> Sawmilling
> Fingerjointing
> Saw doctoring
> Timber machining
> Solid Wood Processing
> Pulp and Paper manufacturing

All Level 3 and Level 4 New Zealand Certificates in:
> Forest silviculture and harvesting
> Solid wood processing
> Wood panel manufacturing
> Pulp and Paper manufacturing

Employers can also apply for the Apprentice Boost Wage Subsidy. This funding comes through the Ministry of Social Development: www.workandincome.govt.nz.

More details can be found here: www.tec.govt.nz.


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AI technology for large European forester

Tornator adopts AI forest technology from CollectiveCrunch to manage its forestlands - Tornator, one of the Europe’s largest private forest owners and sustainability leaders, has commenced commercial adaptation of Linda Forest service from CollectiveCrunch in Finland and Estonia.

Tornator piloted and tested CollectiveCrunch’s Linda Forest solution in the past months. The piloting and testing successfully concluded in June 2020 for Tornator’s Finnish and Estonian forest lands.

Linda Forest makes use of satellite, LIDAR and process data and utilizes state-of-the-art AI to predict forest inventories. Using Linda Forest, Tornator can reduce its need for field visits, has access to current forestry inventory data at the click of a button, and can plan its harvesting operations more efficiently.

Tornator is a leader in sustainable and responsible use of forest lands. Linda Forest contributes to Tornator’s leadership in the industry. Says Kimmo Kortelainen, Planning Manager at Tornator Oyj: “Digitalisation is key to our commercial and sustainability ambitions. Adopting Linda Forest is an exciting step forward for us and after finalizing the validation we will make the decision of commercial implementation with our business processes.”

Janne Järnstedt, Technical Product Manager at CollectiveCrunch, has been working closely with Tornator on this implementation: “Tornator is a leader in the industry and an important confirmation of our approach. We are looking forward to building a solid relationship.”



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Napier Port quarterly results

Napier Port third-quarter 2020 trade volumes - Container Services
Total container volumes reduced by 17.4% to 74k TEU1 from 90k TEU in the same quarter a year ago. Export containers reduced by 7k TEU, or 15.0%, to 39k TEU and import containers reduced by 9k TEU, or 21.4%, to 34k TEU.

Dry export cargo that was classified as ‘non-essential’ (and ceased to enter the port during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4), such as wood pulp and timber, wool, and paper products, reduced in the quarter by 6k TEU, or 28.6%.

Container vessel calls were down to 76 ships from 82 ships in the same quarter last year.

Bulk Cargo
Bulk Cargo total volume of 0.6 million tonnes was 24.2% less than the same quarter a year ago. Log export volumes reduced 31.4% due to the cessation of harvesting in Alert Level 4. For the nine-month period to June, log export volumes were down by 14.3% compared to the same period a year ago.

Charter vessel calls were 70 compared to 74 in the same period a year ago.

Chief Executive Todd Dawson said: “Napier Port saw the impact of the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown in the third quarter of the current financial year, with all but the cargo the Government deemed ‘essential’ reducing sharply in April. With the gradual lifting of restrictions from the end of that month we began to see a recovery in cargo flows."

“While we have seen a steady ramp up in production in key export trades, volumes remain lower than the prior comparative period with global economic uncertainty in the wake of the pandemic."

“We continue to engage with cargo owners to understand how COVID-19 trading conditions are affecting them and the expected outlook to cargo volumes through Napier Port. As previously noted, we intend to provide a further interim update to the NZX market regarding our June quarter trading results during August. We expect at that time to update the market on full year earnings guidance.”

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ABARES release forest glossary

Last month, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) released Australia's forests and forestry glossary - The publication will act as the definitive resource for the interpretation and use of forest and forestry terms in Australia.

It is a continuation of the glossary published in in Australia’s State of the Forests Report 2018 and will evolve periodically.

The glossary is available as both a searchable web version and accessible A4 PDF on the Forests Australia website and through ABARES Publications. An A5 hardcopy booklet is scheduled for release at a later date. Make sure you check it out and circulate amongst your networks!


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Tolaga Bay - Industry apology

East Coast - The forestry industry has issued an apology after heavy rain events over the past week and weekend caused flooding and landslips in catchments of the Tolaga Bay area, resulting in further woody debris on the beach.

In a statement released by Eastland Wood Council it said the forest industry apologised to the community for the debris on the beach, which had resulted from its operations and assured people it was “doing everything we can to mitigate the volume of material mobilised during flood events”.

“The East Coast forest industry is committed to cleaning up the beach in conjunction with the community and Gisborne District Council, and the planning for this is under way, with a view to commencing this work as soon as practicable.

“Since the June 2018 flood, forestry companies have done a lot of work in stabilising roads and landings in the forest to mitigate woody debris being mobilised offsite and resulting in slash on the beach.

“Companies have also changed their operating practices to prevent slash being washed off the landings, and these changes are evidenced by there being very little freshly cut woody debris on Tolaga Beach, unlike 2018.

“The majority of the woody debris on the beach this weekend is largely old material from June 2018 that was incorporated into the silt in the riverbanks and caught up in incised valleys. It has been remobilised by the current floods.

“Flood events, such as we have experienced over the past week, swell the rivers so that the fast- moving water picks up the older deposited material, and flushes it out with stormwater, eventually depositing it on the beach. This material includes a large volume of poplar and willows debris, which have been washed out of the riverbanks.

“Woody debris material will flush out of the river from time to time, but it will reduce significantly in volume over time as the improved operating practices in the forest reduce the material able to be mobilised.

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Source: Gisborne Herald


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Fieldays features forestry innovator

I suspect seasoned Fieldays visitors, like your WoodWeek news team, may find that the online experience just doesn't compare to donning gumboots and chancing a cold wet walk outdoors for a day along Mystery Creek's finest muddy avenues.

It's slightly more underwhelming then that this week's Fieldays ONLINE "Innovator" show features, as the chosen highlight, an already-screened episode of TV1's Country Calendar. That said, if you haven't seen forestry's keenest aquaculture innovator from down south then this little gem - Hyundai's Southern Crawlies - is for you!

Koura are threatened in the wild due to poor water quality from intensive agriculture and storm water from urban environments. John Hallows has a natural fascination for these species and in six short years, he's managed to bring these creatures back from the brink of extinction.

He seeded empty fire-fighting ponds in forestry blocks, introduced a breeding population and now there are thousands of koura spread across 700 ponds. John loves being in the forest - he does what he loves and that's the best part of his job. “Everyone's passionate and excited about it. I get out of bed and I meet interesting people and some interesting crayfish! I’m a very lucky man.”

More: Country Calendar >>

More: This NZ Life >>

Source/Photo credit: Fieldays Online and thisNZlife


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Almost finally ... never mind the paper bag

Never mind the paper bag for your Johnnie Walker: it's a paper BOTTLE - The newest trend in eco-alcohol is a bottle made from sustainably sourced pulp, and will be “fully recyclable in standard waste streams”, according to a statement from Diageo.

The Smirnoff vodka owner has forged a partnership with venture management company Pilot Lite, to launch a new business aimed at sustainable packaging development for major food and drinks manufacturers, called Pulpex Limited.

Diageo said it is the first drinks group to develop a recyclable paper spirits bottle, but companies all over the world have been toying with eco-friendly packaging for some time.

Danish brewer Carlsberg has been working on creating the “world’s first paper beer bottle” since 2015. The company revealed two prototypes for the bottle last October, after working with green startups EcoXpac and BillerudKorsnäs, and post-doctoral researchers from the Technical University of Denmark. The collaborative project resulted in the creation of paper bottle company Paboco, which also works with firms including Absolut, Coca-Cola and L’Oréal.

Last month, British sustainable packaging company Frugalpac launched a wine bottle made from 94% recycled paperboard, which it said has a carbon footprint 84% less than that of glass.

Back in 2011, the drinks business received a visit from a company attempting to launch a paper wine bottle in the UK. Documents filed on Companies House show that particular business, called Green Bottle, was dissolved in 2015.

Carlsberg’s designs are made from sustainably-sourced wood fibres and have an “inner barrier” allowing the bottle to hold beer. One uses a thin recycled PET polymer film barrier, while the other has a bio-based PEF polymer film barrier.

However, the paper bottle Diageo is launching is lined with a spray coating instead of a plastic film barrier, which the company claims makes it the “world’s first plastic-free paper bottle”.

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Buy and Sell



... and finally ... good for a laugh or two

A young man got a job at the local supermarket and reported for his first day of work. The manager greeted him with a warm handshake and a smile, gave him a broom and said, "your first job will be to sweep out the store."

"But I'm a university graduate," the young man replied indignantly.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't know that," said the manager. "Here, give me the broom, I'll show you how."

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Yesterday friends dropped in unexpectedly for a cup of tea. My wife took me aside and said " We don't have any sugar for the tea.

I said " Leave it to me " The tea was served and I said to the guests. "Lets play a little game”, I said, “One cup has no sugar in it and whoever gets that cup will shout us all out to dinner tonight.”

Everyone commented on how nice and sweet the tea was.

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A ragged individual stranded for months on a small desert island in the middle of the Pacific one day noticed a bottle lying in the sand with a piece of paper in it. Rushing to the bottle, he pulled out the cork and with shaking hands withdrew the message.

"Due to lack of maintenance," he read, "we regretfully have found it necessary to cancel your e-mail account."



We work to bring you forest news that's useful, helpful and practical. If you know someone else who might enjoy it, pass a copy on and suggest they subscribe directly. And, if you've got some feedback to help us bring you better services, please email us at office@innovatek.co.nz today. Have a great day!

John Stulen, Editor

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