WoodWeek – 3 May 2017

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Wow, it’s May already. Looking to the latest market update from Champion Freight, log exports are up for the month of March by 14% over the same month in 2016. Year on year the growth in log exports is 26% driven mainly by Chinese demand, where quarterly volumes have exceeded 3 million cubic metres for the past 3 quarters.

This year forestry export revenues are forecast to rise even further. For the year ending June, they’re forecast to increase by 5.8% to NZ$5.4 billion, and climb a further 8.8% to NZ$5.9 billion in the year to June 2018. With the supply of harvestable wood also forecast to rise even higher over the next five years, logging contractors and transport operators from around the country will continue to be extremely busy. With the strong harvesting market, delegate registration rates are strong for HarvestTECH 2017 coming to Rotorua on 20-21 June 2017. The event sold out in 2015 and is looking to be just as busy this year.

Looking to employment issues in our industry – a Tokoroa logging company got mainstream media coverage when they got fed up with drug-taking job applicants. Their billboard shouted “If you're a "drug ....ed" you need not apply for a job at Tokoroa logging company G Hale Logging.” Henry Hale, who came up with the idea to take the blunt approach to advertising the position, said with Tokoroa's rampant drug usage the company was left with no choice.

Looking to value-added markets, particularly engineered wood developments, keep an eye on this space. Innovatek is planning another engineered wood conference targeting the key decision-makers and influencers in commercial building. It's called: “Timber in Mid-Rise Construction”. Running in late September it will feature key project managers from some of the most exemplary projects in the wood world today.

Finally, to an engineered wood story that’s local and offers some of the best prospects for adding value to growing radiata pine products. The University of Canterbury (UC) has chosen wood for a state-of-the-art building in the University’s new Science precinct. The project will push the boundaries of multi-storey timber-framed construction in New Zealand.

Not to be outdone, the Australians are onto this new wonderwood stuff too - Australia’s first engineered timber office building has opened its doors at Sydney’s Barangaroo, just one year after construction began on site. Developed by Lend Lease as the ‘front door’ to Barangaroo South, International House Sydney is built on the strength of the highly engineered wood components.

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Champion Freight Export Report - May 2017

Thanks to the great team at Champion Freight we've got the latest log export market activity update for you in a series of very clear and self-explanatory charts.

Click here to download the Champion Freight reports.

Source: Champion Freight

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Logging conference proving popular

The New Zealand forestry industry set a new record last year for the annual forest harvest. There is no denying the fact that the sector is on a high right now. On the back of booming log exports to China, low shipping rates and strong domestic demand, wood harvesting has reached record levels.

This year forestry export revenues are forecast to rise even further. For the year ending June of this year, they’re forecast to increase by 5.8% to NZ$5.4 billion, and climb a further 8.8% to NZ$5.9 billion in the year to June 2018. With the supply of harvestable wood also forecast to rise even higher over the next five years, logging contractors and transport operators from around the country will continue to be extremely busy.

Local contractors, individually and collectively, are currently working hard on improving their safety, productivity and on-site efficiencies to meet this demand.

As part of that drive, the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) is running the second two-yearly technology event, HarvestTECH 2017, in Rotorua on 20-21 June 2017.

The inaugural HarvestTECH event ran two years ago with close to 450 meeting in Rotorua. The event SOLD OUT! It was the largest gathering of logging contractors, forestry managers, forest owners, harvest planners and equipment suppliers to the industry seen in New Zealand. Equipment suppliers, researchers, forestry companies and international contractors from throughout Australia, Canada, the US, Finland, Austria, Germany, Indonesia, and South Africa also flew into Rotorua to attend the event.

The focus in 2015 was on steep slope logging. The number of logging crews working on steeper terrain in the country had seen exponential growth. Of course, with growth came innovation. New mechanisation developments and the desire to increase productivity had led to significant advances in harvesting practices and the equipment being used on this steeper country.

As well as significant investment from key suppliers, significant innovation had also come through contractors working directly with local engineering companies. The 2015 event was able to showcase new kiwi ingenuity to the rest of the world.

Two years on, logging steeper terrain is again being covered in Rotorua this year. Developments by local engineers, manufacturers and contractors continues to raise the bar. Several kiwi companies have successfully exported their equipment and expertise into the US, Canada and South American markets.

“Steep slope logging though isn’t the only focus for the 2017 programme,” says FIEA Director, Brent Apthorp. “HarvestTECH will also cover new technologies and operating practices in small woodlot harvesting, harvest planning, mechanisation and automation.”

Those attending will also get an insight into some truly innovative harvesting operations. From Tasmania, delegates will hear about an Australian company that’s strapped a harvesting head onto an excavator and is working from a moored barge. They’re currently harvesting up to 26 metres under water and extracting high value specialty hardwood timbers from Tasmania’s waterways.

From New Zealand’s West Coast, a company involved in large scale helicopter extraction of storm damaged timber since April 2014 will be outlining some of the issues around felling, extraction, logistics and safety with heli-lifting operations.

“The practical use of collected harvesting data, improving data exchange and communications in more remote locations will be a common theme throughout the June technology event”, says Mr Apthorp.

In addition to two days of tech updates, two field tours will also be showcasing new innovative technology and logging practices in local forests.

This is the largest tech update for logging operations in New Zealand since 2015. Details can be found on the event website, www.harvesttech.events.

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Tokoroa logger tired of drug-taking applicants

A Tokoroa logging company is fed up with drug-taking job applicants - If you're a "drug ....ed" you need not apply for a job at Tokoroa logging company G Hale Logging.

And if "you think you're not but really you are", it's not going to make your chances any greater.

That's made well and truly clear on the job vacancy sign for an operator capable tree feller, which hangs on the fence outside the company's depot in Balmoral Drive.

Henry Hale, who came up with the idea to take the blunt approach to advertising the position, said with Tokoroa's rampant drug usage the company was left with no choice.

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NZ Logger - A Champion Swing Yarder

Interest in the new Log Champ swing yarders that are now going to work in New Zealand is very high - not surprising, since it has been many years since a new brand of yarder was introduced. NZ Logger magazine has taken the opportunity to look at one of the first of the 650 modes to arrive, with a full Iron Test of the Lew Prince Logging machine near Napier appearing in the May issue.

And while the latest harvesting technology always garners plenty of interest, it can be sobering to see how our forefathers extracted logs back in the pioneering days of forestry and one King Country man is so fascinated with that era he's put together his own bullock train to experience the way native logs were hauled from the bush. That story and the history of how bullock trains were used by foresters on the 19th century is also covered in the magazine this month.

Plus much more, in the May 2017 issue of NZ Logger, now on sale at selected service stations, or to subscribe for either the printed version and/or the digital version, visit www.nzlogger.co.nz.

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Injunction stops Oji

Oji Fibre Solutions Gives Court Undertaking To Suspend Tender Process

On Monday 24 April Oji Fibre Solutions gave undertakings to the Auckland High Court to suspend a tendering process for wood processing services at its Kinleith and Kawerau mills until 6 June, when a full court hearing will be held. This follows an application by Pedersen Holdings Limited last week for an injunction against Oji Fibre Solutions and its advisor Partners in Performance (NZ) Limited.

Gavin Hudson, Pedersen’s chief executive officer, said the company is concerned that the tender process is interfering with its contracts that run as far as 2024.

He stressed that the company is keen to continue to provide services to Oji Fibre Solutions. “We are disappointed we have had to take legal action to uphold our contracts. We think Oji Fibre Solutions can be a great part of New Zealand’s fibre future. We’ve got lots of ideas, and have invested millions of dollars in specialised equipment, to help them achieve that. But it needs to be done on the basis of mutual respect.”

Source: Scoop News

Oji Fibre Solutions, which bought Carter Holt Harvey’s pulp, paper and packaging businesses in 2014, will put off a tender for wood processing services at its Kinleith and Kawerau mills until a full court hearing in June after current operator Pedersen Group sought an injunction to stop the process.

Rotorua-based Pedersen made the application for an injunction against Oji and adviser Partners in Performance International (NZ) last week over concerns the process will interfere with its contracts that run through to 2024, chief executive Gavin Hudson said in a statement.

"We think Oji Fibre Solutions can be a great part of New Zealand's fibre future," Hudson said. "We've got lots of ideas and have invested millions of dollars in specialised equipment to help them achieve that. But it needs to be done on the basis of mutual respect."

Pedersen operates the Kinleith and Kawerau mills in New Zealand, Norske Skog's pulp mill in New South Wales, the Maryvale paper mill in Melbourne and the Vanua Levu chip plant in Fiji. It's owned by private equity firm Maui Capital.

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UC first with timber technology building

The University of Canterbury (UC) has signed a contract with Dominion Constructors for a state-of-the-art building in the University’s new Science precinct that will push the boundaries of multi-storey timber-framed construction in New Zealand.

Vice-Chancellor Dr Rod Carr says he is proud the latest Science precinct building will be built using innovative timber technology that the University’s academic researchers developed and are teaching UC Engineering students to use. “The University of Canterbury has always been at the forefront of using timber as a building material, and this building presents the opportunity to showcase the innovation developed at the centre of our own campus,” Dr Carr says.

The new Science precinct began with the construction of the $55 million Biological Sciences laboratory building before the Christchurch earthquakes and the refurbishment of the former Zoology Building. By completion more than $300 million will have been invested in the precinct, from University funds, Crown Capital contribution and Insurance settlements.

UC Learning Resources Executive Director Alex Hanlon is pleased to announce the last building in the Science precinct.

“It’s an exciting time for us to be able to see the central building join up the pieces that together make the Science precinct, and I’d like to thank the team for working so hard to get us to this point,” Ms Hanlon says.

“This is leading edge construction. Buildings already exist that use some of this technology, but this will be the very first multi-storey, all timber ‘moment’-framed building in New Zealand, and potentially in the world.”

A moment frame is a two-dimensional series of interconnected members that uses rigid connections. It can resist lateral and overturning forces, is more flexible than other options, and allows larger movement in earthquakes.

Scheduled to be completed in 2019, the new building will house UC College of Science staff and postgraduate students. It will replace the von Haast building, which is currently being prepared for demolition.

The design was driven and developed by a team from UC, BECA, and architects Jasmax. It uses laminated veneer lumber, or LVL, which has incredible strength.

“The team wanted something that was not only environmentally friendly, but utilised the University’s extensive knowledge, especially the research of Professor Andy Buchanan in pre-stressed timber and multi-storey timber buildings,” BECA structural engineer Andre Kirstein says.

After researching structures in Auckland and overseas, particularly tall timber buildings in Canada, the team consulted builders and developers who were implementing similar technology. A timber supplier advised on the cost benefits and construction options.

“Essentially, we took the theory and went out into the field for the hard practical knowledge before developing something that we believe marries the best of both worlds. The final design utilises much of what Professor Buchanan developed, with a little adaptation,” he says.

“Across the building, we’ve designed a four-storey moment frame, which uses this stressed system, but using a similar system along the length of the building would have pushed the boundaries of construction technology too far, so we have cross- braced it longitudinally instead.”

The project will demolish the old building, but maintain the 1960s-era basement which does not meet current codes. The team devised an above ground system with foundation loads that could be accommodated by the basement without significantly strengthening it.

“This is why we’ve braced a number of bays rather than using one big cross-brace, and used moment frames to reduce lateral forces at foundation levels. It’s enabled us to spread the load evenly across the whole basement,” Mr Kirstein explains. “Most timber buildings have a thin layer of concrete on top of the timber floors to help with what we call the diaphragm action between structural systems. But we’re not doing that, we’re using the timber itself to distribute the load.”

The team undertook significant research to complete the design for a building that steps out ahead of current design codes in other ways too, such as acoustics and fire performance.

“Professor Buchanan is a leading force in this, touring the world presenting papers on fire performance within wooden buildings, so the team also tapped into his experience, and other international research,” Mr Kirstein says.

“When we looked at overseas practice, we seemed to be hitting the sweet spot in terms of what they have found over the years. So although it’s a first in terms of a New Zealand design and new technology, it’s not new in principle and has sound research behind it.”

Image:Architect’s impression of the new University of Canterbury Science precinct building, to be built using innovative multi-story timber-framed construction.

Source: University of Canterbury

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Can NZ move to a low-carbon economy?

The Productivity Commission's next big investigation will be how the country can make the most from transitioning to a low carbon economy.

Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett and Finance Minister Steven Joyce today asked the government's productivity researcher to review how New Zealand can maximise the opportunities and minimise the costs and risks of moving to a low- carbon economy.

The commission is scheduled to report back by the end of June next year and is complementing existing work as the government pursues a goal of meeting a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions from 2005 levels by 2030.

"This next step in our climate change work programme will enable us to properly assess the economic trade-offs that we'll need to make to meet our ambitious 2030 Paris Agreement target," Bennett said in a statement.

"In the long-term - 2030 and beyond - New Zealand will likely need to further reduce its domestic emissions in addition to the use of forestry offsets and international emissions reduction units, although these will continue to remain an important part of the country's climate change response for meeting our targets."

Last year, Bennett signalled the government was considering ways to encourage more forestry planting as a key plank in lifting carbon credit supply for the emissions trading scheme.

Plantation owners faced major uncertainty earlier this decade when carbon prices plunged to below 50 cents a tonne when major emitters were allowed to buy low- quality credits from former Soviet bloc countries to offset their emissions. Policy changes, including a ban on using such credits, have seen the price of carbon rise, with New Zealand Units trading today at $17.30 a tonne.

Joyce said New Zealand's domestic response to climate change will be shaped by the nation's position as "a small, globally connected and trade-dependent country" and that the commission was well-placed to "dispassionately assess" what makes the most economic sense in lowering emissions.

"We look forward to the final report and recommendations for how New Zealand should manage a transition to a lower net emissions economy, while still maintaining and improving the incomes and prosperity of New Zealanders," he said.

The review's terms of reference weren't immediately available.

Source: BusinessDesk via Scoop

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Kiwis urged to plant a tree in June

Kiwis Challenged to Plant a Native Tree on Arbor Day - New Zealanders are being challenged to plant a native tree on Arbor Day 2017 (5 June) to set a record for the most trees ever planted on one day in New Zealand. The challenge comes from Trees That Count, an ambitious new programme which aims to increase native tree planting in New Zealand – to help restore and enhance the environment, encourage biodiversity in cities, clean air and waterways and make a tangible difference to climate change.

Funded by The Tindall Foundation, and delivered by Project Crimson Trust in partnership with Pure Advantage and the Department of Conservation, Trees That Count is a conservation programme developed to inspire every New Zealander to join the movement to plant millions more native trees for future generations.

Calling on our good old Kiwi ‘can do’ attitude, our love of the nature and the outdoors and our spirit of getting behind a cause, Trees That Count is encouraging people to plant a native tree on Arbor Day and record it at www.treesthatcount.co.nz

Trees That Count is already counting the number of native trees being planted in New Zealand, with more than 400,000 pledged thus far for 2017. This Arbor Day campaign will capture a separate count to see how many trees will be planted on 5 June. Trees That Count’s overall target is to see 4.7 million trees planted in New Zealand in 2017 – one tree for every person.

Trees That Count grew out of a simple question by Sir Stephen Tindall, “How many native trees are we planting in New Zealand?” This question begged another: “How many more could we plant?” The Tindall Foundation then engaged researcher Dr David Hall, author of Pure Advantage's Our Forest Future report, to scope the possibilities of increased native tree planting in New Zealand. Using Ministry for Primary Industries figures, he estimated that if we set a per-capita target of planting 40 native trees for every New Zealander, it would be roughly enough to negate New Zealand’s average annual increase in greenhouse gas emissions since 1990.

Sir Stephen Tindall, Co-founder of The Tindall Foundation, is passionate about the project and encourages people to get involved. “Planting native trees in your neighborhood, on your farm, at school or outside your office is one of the best things you can do for the local environment and for the planet. It is also a great way to bring people together and connect with your local community. Trees help record the history of your family and grow alongside you and your children. I’d love to see our streets, parks, playgrounds, front yards, farms, hillsides and rural areas full of trees and New Zealanders able to enjoy all the benefits they bring for generations to come.”

If people are unable to plant a tree themselves, they can support the campaign by donating or gifting a tree for $10, which will be planted on their behalf.

Pledge, donate or gift your tree at treesthatcount.co.nz

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New ute fails safety rating tests

Great Wall's Steed ute fails Ancap safety grade - Kiwi vehicle buyers who value safety performance have been warned off a new Chinese made ute.

In the latest round of crash testing information from the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (Ancap), the 4x2 petrol dual cab Steed failed to meet even basic standards during its crash test achieving a very poor two star safety rating.

New Zealand's Automobile Association (AA) motoring services general manager Stella Stocks says if price (the Steed is new from $26,990 in NZ) is a key factor for those looking to buy a ute, they'd be better off buying a second-hand one with a better safety rating.

Ancap also had a dig at Great Wall's decision to market the Steed as "all new" when "there has been little change to the vehicle's structure".

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Source: Stuff News

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Australian CLT office goes up in record time

Australia’s first engineered timber office building has opened its doors at Sydney’s Barangaroo, just one year after construction began on site.

Developed by Lend Lease as the ‘front door’ to Barangaroo South, International House Sydney is built entirely of the industry’s ‘rising stars’ – cross laminated timber (CLT) and glue laminated timber (Glulam).

Project architects at Sydney practice Tzannes say the design and construction of the building, as well as the choice of building materials, were born from a big picture and first principles analysis – the project’s siting in the masterplan meant it had to demonstrate leadership in environmentally sustainable design and foster wellbeing for users.

“The architecture of International House Sydney reflects a new form of beauty,” says Alec Tzannes, the principle architect. “Beyond shape and surface, it is deep design renewing architecture’s role to serve the greater social purpose of lowering carbon emissions.”

Building with wood was a natural choice, with CLT and glulam both known to be highly sustainable materials from production through to construction.

The timber used for the project was sourced from certified, sustainably-managed forests, and prefabricated in a factory by Stora Enso in Austria. Prefabrication offers several benefits, such as sophisticated detailing, accurate fabrication, the creation of minimal material wastage, and the minimisation of schedule delays due to weather changes.

The engineered timber was then shipped to Australia and assembled on site.

“Even the construction was sustainable,” Barangaroo's managing director, Rob Deck, told Fairfax Media. “[Being] timber, it did not require drilling or concrete pouring, which made it a very quiet building site with minimal wastage.”

The speed of construction also meant less impact on neighbouring occupants and communities.

More >>

Source: Architecture & Design

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Buy and Sell

... and finally ... joke shortage ... only have one-liners

I got caught in police speed trap yesterday. The officer walked up to my car and said "I've been waiting all day for you."
"Well," I said, "I got here as fast as I could."

When my boss asked me who is the stupid one, him or me? I told him everyone knows he doesn't hire stupid people.

Before you criticise a man, you should walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you do criticize him, you’re a mile away and you have his shoes.

Entered what I ate today into my new fitness app and it just sent an ambulance to my house.

When an employment application asks who is to contact in case of emergency, I always write, "A very good doctor".

A recent study has found that women who carry a little extra weight live longer than the men who mention it.

Teamwork is important; it helps to put the blame on someone else.

Just for fun I asked my husband if he remembered what today is ... Scaring men is SO easy.

Have a safe and productive week.

John Stulen

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