OFO marks NZ purchase with new initiatives
Wednesday 12 Sep 2018
Nelson Forests has committed $500,000 to its new sedimentation research fund and has already engaged with researchers at Cawthron Institute and Landcare Research, although it expects to develop collaborations with researchers at other organisations over time.
Lees Seymour, Managing Director of Nelson Management Ltd (pictured), the management company for Nelson Forests, says that sedimentation research will take place in Marlborough and Nelson Tasman and will build on work that the company has already done on the issue of sedimentation.
“We realise that there is a high level of interest in forestry’s role in sedimentation and that our community is looking to us to proactively address this issue. Research is crucial and will help us prevent, manage, and mitigate sedimentation.”
Tim King, Chair of the Tasman District Council Environment and Planning Committee, strongly supported the company for establishing the new fund. “It is excellent to see Nelson Forests engaging with researchers and the community on the issue of sedimentation. This is exactly the kind of thing we want to see from forestry companies.”
Nelson Forests’ new school leaver apprenticeship programme for students from Marlborough Girls College and Marlborough Boys College was also warmly welcomed. The programme is being set up to assist school leavers to make the transition to an apprenticeship programme.
The Principal of Marlborough Girls College, Mary-Jeanne Lynch, says that there would be strong interest in trade apprenticeships at Kaituna Sawmill amongst her students. “There are great careers available for women in forestry, and it’s really heartening to see that Nelson Forests has 33% of all managerial roles being filled by women. We are excited to see our students being considered for these apprenticeship opportunities.”
The Assistant Principal of Marlborough Boys College, James Ryan, was similarly enthusiastic. “Not all students want to go into tertiary study and it is so important that all our students have meaningful pathways ahead of them.”
Starting from next year, Nelson Forests expects to offer up to four trade apprenticeships at one time at its Kaituna Sawmill in a diverse range of vocations including fitter turner, electrician, saw doctor, timber processor, boiler operator, and timber machinist.
The new Nelson Forests initiatives were announced at two special functions in Nelson and Blenheim held to celebrate the settlement of OFO’s purchase. OFO’s Chair, John Gilleland and CEO Linda Sewell were among those present.
“We are delighted to mark the settlement day in this way,” said OFO Chief Executive Linda Sewell. “Nelson Forests has a strong reputation for environmental stewardship and encouraging young people into forestry and these new initiatives support the company’s existing values. Those values are also very important to OFO and we look forward to continuing to contribute to the Marlborough and Nelson Tasman communities.”
About OneFortyOne – OFO was formed in 2012 following the acquisition of a 105-year lease of 93,000 hectares of plantation assets from the South Australian Government. OFO’s name comes from the 141st meridian line at the border of South Australia and Victoria and passing through OFO’s plantation estate. Since commencing its operations OFO has expanded its estate, increased the number of trees planted and grown its domestic processing and sales market by more than 45 percent. In January 2018, OFO purchased Carter Holt Harvey’s Jubilee Highway sawmill in Mt Gambier, South Australia and Woodchip operations at Portland, Victoria. In just five years, OFO has become an established industry player within Australia with a strong track record of industry and community partnerships.
OFO directly employs more than 360 people in addition to approximately 1450 contractors who provide road haulage, silvicultural and harvesting support, with the majority of employees living and working in close proximity to the plantation. OneFortyOne CEO, Linda Sewell, has extensive experience in forestry and wood processing in both New Zealand and Australia.
About Nelson Forests – Nelson Forests is a vertically-integrated plantation and sawmill business that operates in the Nelson Tasman and Marlborough regions of New Zealand. Nelson Forests owns more than 60,000 productive hectares of plantations and it produces 1.2 million cubic metres of logs and 55,000 m3 of timber annually.
Nelson Forests, located within New Zealand’s second-largest domestic processing region, employs 101 people fulltime. It’s business activity is further supported by approximately 350 contractors.
The Nelson Forests management team has more than 150 years of collective industry experience. Nelson Forests has a strong culture of safety and a track record of environmental management which has been broadly used as the benchmark for performance in the New Zealand industry.
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