WoodWeek 16 August 2017
This week we’ve got an invitation to participate in the ongoing industry-wide log price outlook survey. What do you think will happen to the log prices next? Every quarter, Scion runs a log price outlook during which a wide number of industry people vote online to state where they think prices are heading. These outlooks are sometimes quite accurate and sometimes quite wrong, but always tell us what people’s expectations were at the time. It also unpacks the market drivers that are currently considered to be important.
Next week, in Rotorua, forest contractors and managers are invited to an open industry meeting at 1:30pm on Wednesday, 23 August at the Distinction Hotel. A background paper highlights the potential areas for discussion. There is growing awareness of the need to attract and train personnel into careers operating machines in the forest industry. Currently the existing framework lacks coherence, sufficient trainees, scale and adequate funding.
Last week’s big wood news that property expert Sir Bob Jones will build a tall timber commercial building in Wellington, New Zealand’s most recent earthquake-affected centre, is a huge step forward for wood in commercial building. It’s no secret to wood manufacturers though. Their strongest advocate Jon Tanner, who leads the Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association (WPMA), has long been promoting wood, especially for earthquake safety in buildings. Now a national conference in Rotorua is set to spread the message even wider.
Finally, after 15 years of service to the Forest Industry Contractors Association, John Stulen will step down from his role as CEO at the end of the year. He has served the contractors group since 2002 when it was first established. After 31st December, Innovatek will no longer be managing the activities of FICA.
This week we have for you:
Open meeting on forest industry trainingIndustry Discussion on Developing Training for Forest Machine Operations - All forest contractors and managers are invited to an open industry meeting on Wednesday, 23 August at the Distinction Hotel in Rotorua at 1:30 pm.
The attached background paper highlights the potential areas for discussion. This concept document is intended to form the basis of discussions at an industry meeting in Rotorua on the 23 August (Distinction Hotel, 1:30 pm).
Background - There is growing awareness of the need to attract and train personnel into careers operating machines in the forest industry. Currently the existing framework lacks coherence, sufficient trainees, scale and adequate funding.
This meeting is intended to focus only on training and career development: the training process.
It does not ignore, but for the day sets aside, the need for a recruitment process: a marketing strategy, an awareness campaign, a charm offensive, to sell the forest industry as a rewarding career path. There is an accepted need for such a campaign to attract people to the industry, but this is a separate development, which hopefully will be influenced by and accelerated by any firm decisions arrived at on the day.
Toi Ohomai has demonstrated a successful training process, and the proposal offered here is that this should be expanded and increased in scope. Toi Ohomai now trains at the Basic Machine Operation level (level 3) and the time appears right to expand that capacity nationally. Both in numbers and in the Certificates offered.
Keeping up with the Joneses - Tall timber's secret is outLate last week we learned that property expert Sir Bob Jones will build a tall timber commercial building in Wellington, New Zealand’s most recent earthquake-affected centre, is a huge step forward for wood in commercial building.
It’s no secret to wood manufacturers though. Their strongest advocate Jon Tanner, who leads the Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association (WPMA), has long been promoting wood, especially for earthquake safety in buildings. Now a national conference in Rotorua is set to spread the message even wider.
Leading companies in the industry, like XLAM in Nelson, are well-versed in engineered wood products. WPMA and timber design engineers have been working hard to get the message out to building owners, developers and specifiers for years. So it’s rewarding to see our best-known property personality taking up the opportunity.
Jones’ decision comes at a great time for other property developers to get in on the act. A national conference focused on changing perceptions of timber in commercial building runs in September. Tall timber fanatic and conference director John Stulen says its time we caught up with our Australian colleagues. They already know tall timber stacks up well financially, occupants love it and wood building ticks the environment box.
“Commercial buildings in wood go up faster, better and cheaper with great design too” says Stulen. “Our keynote speaker managed the newest and tallest timber building yet. Karla Fraser of Urban One Builders delivered Brock Commons - an 18-storey timber building for University of British Columbia in Vancouver.”
“Australian companies like Lendlease and Strongbuild have moved quickly and decisively in the tall timber building game. They’re well ahead of their New Zealand counterparts in commercial gains. So, Jones’ decision to go big with a wood structured tall office building augers well for the whole sector in this country,” adds Stulen.
Jones’ announcement makes for an exciting week for tall timber. It coincides with news of Ara Institute of Canterbury’s new, three storey, 6500 square metre architecture and engineering building. The building - dubbed “Kahukura”is set to open soon. In it the designers, Jasmax, deployed innovative wood building technologies. It is arguably the greenest building in the Canterbury reconstruction programme.
The upcoming national building industry conference, entitled “Changing Perceptions of Engineered Timber in Construction” runs on 28 September in Rotorua. It's the second annual conference for Innovatek in commercial wood building. The diverse programme attracts building owners, developers, architects, engineers, specifiers and key engineered wood suppliers. The theme is “Advantages of Timber in Mid Rise Construction.”
The conference is set to be part of a wood technology week of events coming to the city in September, including the FIEA WoodTECH 2017 two-day conference and trade expo. Rotorua Lakes Council are event partners promoting their successful “Wood-First” policy. For more details see: www.cpetc2017.com
Photo: Artists impression of Jones' new wooden office tower, complete with bronze-tinted glass windows. Studio Pacific Architecture.
Log price outlook survey - InvitationWhat do you think will happen to the log prices next? - Every quarter Scion runs a log price outlook during which a wide number of industry people vote online to state where they think prices are heading.
These outlooks are sometimes quite accurate and sometimes quite wrong, but always tells us what people’s expectations were at the time. It also unpacks the market drivers that are currently considered to be important.
The outlook can be used to assess the degree of surprise when prices head in a different direction compared to expectations and helps us to understand why certain market drivers sometimes appear more prominent than what industry players may have anticipated.
Scion’s 11th log price outlook will run until 3 September and anybody who would like to participate can do so by clicking here
Participation is confidential. After the 3rd of September the votes will be counted and the results will be broadcasted to all participants.
For more information go to: https://www.scionresearch.com/science/
Buy Louie's book - Support the museumThe book "Louie and his Hard Case Buggers" is a classic yarn. It's a logger's lookback in pictures and stories of his time in the logging industry.
You can now buy Louie's book online and support the Timber Museum in Putaruru at the same time.
Now is the time to get ahead with your Christmas shopping for that crusty old bugger in your family - buy the book now.
Click here: www.nztimbermuseum.co.nz
Or download the order form
Local book launch a success at Putaruru Timber Museum
It was great to see throngs of people - locals and further afield - flock to the Timber Museum in Putaruru for the recent successful book launch of local author Lance Duncan’s book “Louie and his Hard Case Buggers” in mid-July.
200 signed copies were sold on the day and some 400 people visited the Timber Museum. Her Worship the Mayor Jenny Shattock and Hayden Woolston, son of publisher Trevor Woolston said a few formal words before opening up the floor and it was at that point that a number of great tales were told by all.
Books are available from the Timber Museum and Louie the Logger’s Cave in Putaruru. Enquire at the Timber Museum for more details.
About the book ... well-known local forester and hunter Lance Duncan tells the story of his life through numerous yarns from many years; full of humour and written as Lance tells it, it will have you in stitches. Not a read for the faint-hearted!
Foresters promote public policyRepresentatives of the NZ forestry community are developing an ‘optimal’ policy for the future of forestry in New Zealand. While the substantive report of their work is not complete as consultation is underway across the forest sector, NZIF's project team has released a précis of the work to date.
This policy brief will allow the public to consider the thrust of their policy work in progress and to better judge forest policies being expressed by election candidates.
The Forest Policy Project team (FPP) intends providing a policy that will be useful to, and as appropriate, could be adopted by, all involved in forest investment, management and governance.
The policy project was initiated in 2014 by forestry professionals. It is an independent group enabling the New Zealand forest sector to jointly and cooperatively develop and establish a utilitarian all-forests Policy with a multi-generational outlook spanning the next century.
The FPP group, with wide support from amongst the forestry community, established four specialist Working Parties. Each reviewed science and data in order to prepare up-to-date recommendations on various aspects of forest policy.
Working party papers were debated by the sector. They were then combined with a range of additional material from wide sources into an initial policy document. It is currently being completed. The current policy brief contains the key points from the draft policy.
Click here to read the FPP Policy Brief.
Proof H&S costs don't hinder businessHealth and safety costs unprecedented business growth in forestry - Some businesses want the next government to reduce health and safety costs, but one business in a dangerous industry says paying to save lives has not hindered its growth.
The New Zealand Chambers of Commerce's Business Election Manifesto released last week, said some of 990 businesses surveyed want health and safety compliance costs cut by the incoming Government.
Forestry company IFS Growth boss James Treadwell said almost half of his business expenditure was for health and safety, but he would not have it any other way.
IFS manages forests for land owners. Treadwell said its major safety costs included salaries for forest supervisors, staff training and software licensing.
He said health and safety was ingrained in the business and most of the money spent on it was self imposed not enforced by WorkSafe New Zealand.
"I struggle to see how any other business can actually say they have a lot of compliance costs. What they are actually saying is lives are not important."
A WorkSafe spokesman said he was surprised that so many businesses called for a cut to health and safety costs because the legislation left most choices up to the individual business.
The Health and Safety at Work Act requires businesses to ensure safety where ever is 'reasonably practicable'. It says all staff must be involved in making that happen, including contractors and visitors.
The spokesman agreed that health and safety should not be looked upon as a cost.
"Compliance is the wrong way of looking at it. It is looking after workers.
"We typically say that good health and safety is good for business."
Source: IFS Growth
Leadership change for FICAFICA Leadership & Management Change - After 15 years of service to the Forest Industry Contractors Association, John Stulen will step down from his role as CEO at the end of the year. He has served the contractors group since 2002 when it was first established. After 31st December Innovatek will no longer be managing the activities of FICA.
On behalf the Association Stulen acknowledged the group’s achievements were built on the long-term support of the many loyal contractor members. Furthermore there has always been solid support from key industry suppliers as sponsors for FICA. This support was critical for everything FICA has been able to do to improve the profitability and sustainability of forest contractors in both logging and silviculture.
On behalf of FICA, president Ross Davis thanked John Stulen for his long service, which has resulted in forest contractors becoming an important voice in forestry nationally and well- respected internationally in logging contracting circles.
Davis says, “We are grateful to John for his long-term achievements. He’s positioned our contractors association so that we are respected and listened throughout our industry and with key Ministers in Government. They now know who we are and what we contribute to the economy and the environment.”
During his tenure Stulen started with a blank canvas and built a loyal following of professional and proactive forest contractors. With a supportive board and loyal industry sponsors FICA has been successful championing contractor sustainability with forest owners and managers, government officials and international forest organisations.
When the forest industry faced public scrutiny in 2013 over it’s workplace accidents record, FICA made the call for an independent inquiry. As a result FICA led the forest contracting community to work with forest managers and workers to develop the cooperatively governed Forest Industry Safety Council that is now making positive change.
Recognising the importance of transforming to safer workplaces, FICA contractor members and engineering suppliers have transformed forest harvesting. In just four years the tree- felling task has been extensively mechanised. Over 80 percent of tree felling is done using million-dollar harvesters. The other high-risk work task of breaking out for yarders has been substantially automated with radio technology making way for remotely operated camera grapples.
Stulen is now managing technology transfer services focused on new engineered wood technologies for commercial building, including cross-laminated timber (CLT) and laminated veneer lumber (LVL).
FICA will now recruit a new chief executive. The FICA board will provide updated contact details for the Association in due course.
Forestry vital to Snowy ValleysHalf of all Snowy Valleys workers reliant on forest industry - A new, in-depth study of the region’s forest industry has concluded that half of all employed people in the Snowy Valleys are reliant on the sector to survive.
The study, undertaken by the University of Canberra, the NSW Department of Industry, the Softwood Working Group (SWG), and Forest and Wood Products Australia, found that 18 per cent of workers in the Tumut and Tumbarumba regions are directly employed in the industry.
It then found that for every one person directly employed, 2.8 jobs were created, through “production-induced and consumption induced effects.”
In fact, $115 million in wages alone is paid to South West Slopes residents in a given year, which is then typically spent elsewhere in the region.
Softwood Working Group Economist Diana Gibbs said the results of the study, which involved six months of data crunching, were surprising even to those intimately familiar with the industry.
“We actually went back and checked some of the modelling not just twice but three times because the results were so good!” she said.
“When you look at the total workforce in Snowy Valleys shire, 50 per cent of all jobs are reliant on the forest sector – which is phenomenal! But when we went back and looked at the data we realised that it was because the area is an industry cluster.
“We’re so lucky; we don’t only grow the trees here but also process them here. All the support services that the industry requires are in the region as well, so if you need tyres or repairs or almost anything else, everything is right there.”
The study found that the economic impact of the timber industry in the South West Slopes is more than tourism in the Snowy Mountains, including the ski fields, and farm gate agriculture from Wagga to Albury, combined.
It put the output of the forest industry at over a billion dollars: $1,050,000,000. Including flow-on effects, it puts it at $2,130,000,000.
Comparatively, Snowy Mountains tourism injects $472 million into the economy, and the gross expenditure of farm gate agriculture in Tumut, Tumbarumba, Gundagai, Wagga Wagga, Greater Hume, and Albury is $526 million.
“The study demonstrated that the Tumut and Tumbarumba area is home to a global industry,” said Diana Gibbs.
“We’re talking about a billion dollars of output."
Source: Tumut and Adelong Times
More new forests with grantsMore new forests funded through grant scheme - A total of 5183 hectares of new forest will be planted by 101 applicants who have received support through the 2017 Afforestation Grant Scheme (AGS) funding round, Associate Minister for Primary Industries Louise Upston says.
The Afforestation Grant Scheme (AGS), administered by the Ministry for Primary Industries, aims to establish new forests by providing grants of $1300 per hectare to successful applicants.
“Estimates suggest that 1.1 million ha of land is at serious risk of erosion, and forest cover is the best form of erosion control. Through the AGS, we aim to plant 15,000ha of new forest by 2020,” says Ms Upston.
“The latest funding round drew 40 applications and 400ha more than last year’s. That brings the total number of hectares funded through the AGS since 2015 to 12,451, putting us well on track to achieving our 15,000ha goal by 2020.
“New forests created through the AGS will improve land-use productivity and regional economic development. It will also deliver environmental benefits such as reducing soil erosion, improving water quality and absorbing around 1.9 million tonnes of carbon every year,” Ms Upston says.
More information on the AGS can be found at www.mpi.govt.nz/ags
Sustainable forestry chair appointedChair of Sustainable Forestry appointment - A new forestry science and education partnership has been created in the central North Island with the establishment of a new Chair of Sustainable Forestry at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology.
Creation of the role is a collaboration between Toi Ohomai and Rotorua-based Crown research institute Scion. The Chair will be based at both the Toi Ohomai and Scion campuses.
Professor Linton Winder, Academy Leader for Primary Industries, Science and the Environment, Toi Ohomai, says a key purpose of the role is leading the development of a Centre of Excellence for Forestry for the region and New Zealand as a whole.
“The opportunity for Toi Ohomai to work with Scion to meet the needs of our region is fantastic. Scion is a global leader in forestry and wood technology, and we look forward to building a stronger relationship with them to meet the needs of our industry”.
For Scion, this partnership between the two institutes will strengthen its linkages with relevant tertiary institutions throughout New Zealand and cement Scion’s position as a key player in the Bay of Connections economic development plan.
The first appointment to the Chair is Scion’s Dr Tim Payn, Principal Scientist and Research Leader Economics, Ecosystems and Climate.
Dr Payn took up his role as Professor of Sustainable Forestry on 1 August 2017 for a term of three years.
In addition to championing a new Centre of Excellence for Forestry, Professor Payn will facilitate collaborative student-based research projects between the two institutes, continue to conduct his internationally recognised research, and contribute to teaching programmes at Toi Ohomai.
Professor Payn says he is very much looking forward to making links between Toi Ohomai’s student programmes and Scion’s scientists and technologists.
“This is an exciting opportunity to get some of the really new advances in forestry in front of the next generation of foresters and help future-proof the sector both regionally and nationally.”
Professor Payn has a background in soil science and has specialised in research on sustainable forest management more recently. He is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Forestry and is heavily involved in global efforts to support sustainable forest management. He currently chairs the 12 Country Montreal Process Technical Advisory Committee which supports policy aimed at defining and measuring sustainable practice. He is also Vice Chair of the Engagement Committee of Future Earth, a global sustainability initiative.
Photo: Dr Tim Payn, Scion
New benefits for electric vehicle ownersOperators of electric vehicles (EVs) are set to benefit from rule changes which will see heavy electric vehicles exempt from road user charges and potentially allow drivers of electric vehicles to use bus and high occupancy vehicle lanes, Transport Minister Simon Bridges says.
From 1 September 2017 heavy EVs will be exempt from road user charges, which otherwise apply to vehicles that do not pay for petrol at the pump, until they make up two per cent of New Zealand’s heavy vehicle fleet.
“Light EVs are already exempt from paying road user charges until 31 December 2021. On top of all of the other benefits that EVs generate, extending this exemption to heavy EVs will offer a significant cost reduction to the operators of these vehicles,” Mr Bridges says.
Changes have also been made to Land Transport rules, which from 1 September, will enable road controlling authorities, such as the NZ Transport Agency and local and regional councils, to make bylaws to allow EVs access to special vehicle lanes, such as those dedicated to buses and high occupancy vehicles.
“The positive acceptance of EVs in New Zealand is having real benefits. We are now offering more choice in new EVs than ever before. We are also seeing an increase in the number of used EVs importers are bringing into the country,” Mr Bridges says.
“It is great that both private and public sector organisations are helping uptake by choosing EVs over conventional petrol or diesel vehicles for their fleets.
“Over the past year we’ve also seen an increase in businesses opting for EVs as non- passenger vehicles, including light vans for food delivery, public transport and refuse trucks, all of which are great uses for EVs. We want to see this extend to operators of heavy vehicles as well with these latest changes designed to encourage this growth.
“Going electric is not only good for business, but makes best use of New Zealand’s plentiful renewable energy supply, improves air quality and minimises greenhouse gas emissions,” Mr Bridges says.
In May 2016, the Government announced its Electric Vehicle Programme, a wide ranging package of measures to encourage the uptake of EVs in New Zealand. The target is to double the fleet each year, reaching 64,000 EV registrations by the end of 2021.
Remote forest lifestyle suits someIt wouldn't be everyone's favourite place to live.
Hans and Michelle Brink live 9km along remote Watershed Rd in the Whanganui hinterland. It takes them an hour and a quarter to drive to the nearest shops, in Whanganui, every week.
At 500m to 700m above sea level, the winters can be cold and they get distant views of the sea and inland ranges.
Mr Brink has been there for 33 years, since leaving a farm in the Ruatiti Valley to work on John Medlicott's new 1900ha project in Watershed Rd.
The steep scrubby hills were cleared with a rollercrusher and chainsaws and converted to pasture, helped by subsidies available then.
When Mr Medlicott sold to a forestry trust in 1993, Mr Brink stayed on.
"I just stayed here and insisted that I can do this forestry thing. A bit stubborn, I suppose. I got involved with planting."
Between 1994 and 1996, 1300ha were planted in pines and the forestry trust went broke.
The forest was bought by a mix of other private interests. Mr Brink bought some, and he also bought 400ha of cleared land that was grazing sheep and cattle.
There has never been a house on the land. The couple live in a converted shearers quarters.
They have 24 solar panels and a large new lithium battery to store the energy. Past power outages have lasted three weeks but they rarely have to fire up their generator now.
Source: Stuff News
... and finally ... things you wouldn't expect
After much prayer, the elders of the first church determined that the animals were predestined to be there. Who were they to interfere with God’s will, they reasoned. Soon, the squirrels multiplied.
The elders of the second church, deciding they could not harm any of God’s creatures, humanely trapped the squirrels and set them free outside of town. Three days later, the squirrels were back.
It was only the third church that succeeded in keeping the pests away. The elders baptized the squirrels and registered them as members of the church. Now they only see them at Christmas and Easter.
Tea is more dangerous than beer.
Please avoid drinking tea.
I discovered this last night.
I had 14 beers till 3am at the pub while my wife was just drinking tea at home.
You should have seen how violent and angry she was when I got home. I was peaceful, silent and headed to bed as she shouted at me, all night and even into the next morning.
Please folks, if you can’t handle your tea, don’t drink it …
That's all for this week's wood news.
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