WoodWeek 11 July 2018
David Evison, NZIF president said, “Unlike many countries, New Zealand has no national forest policy. Government decisions on matters as diverse as climate change, water quality, taxation, overseas investment and land use have too often adversely affected our forests. As trees live longer than most plants, a stable policy environment is critical for good forest management.”
The document ‘Forest Policy for New Zealand’ was presented to the Minister of Forests, Shane Jones, who formally opened the conference yesterday morning.
In August, FIEA’s forest safety conference – Forest Safety & Technology 2018 – will show how well forest workers have embraced new techniques for integrated workplace safety.
“The engagement with loggers and tree-planters by Fiona Ewing’s team at the Forest Industry Safety Council (FISC) has been outstanding,” says FIEA spokesman, Gordon Thomson. “In planning our case studies for this year’s conference, we found plenty of examples of people taking the elements FISC have been promoting and putting them into practice,” he adds.
“One of our keynote speakers – Hillary Bennett – has been working with people in industry and FISC for a long time. Her principles and techniques have been well accepted both here in New Zealand and in Australia among leading forest managers and contracting people,” adds Thomson.
New Forests has acquired a 38% shareholding in Wenita Forest Products and full ownership of the Otago Land Company, which holds 22,500 hectares of freehold land on which Wenita operates.
The Government should be cautious about planting pine near northern kauri forests, says an expert in the kauri dieback disease. Dr Amanda Black says pine plantations and agricultural pasture may have a role in incubating and spreading the disease.
This week we have for you:
China: Record forest products outputThe total output value of China's forestry industry exceeded 7.1 trillion yuan (1.1 trillion US dollars) in 2017, the National Forestry and Grassland Administration said this month. The output was only about 134 billion yuan in 1994, not more than one fiftieth of the latest figure, officials from the administration said during the three-day Eco Forum Global Annual Conference in southwest China's Guizhou Province. Trade volume of forest products topped 150 billion U.S. dollars last year, according to the administration.
NZIF - New forest policyNZ Institute of Forestry launches new national forest policy - New Zealand forestry professionals meeting for their annual conference in Nelson today will receive and discuss a new national forest policy. The document “Forest Policy for New Zealand” was presented to the Minister of Forests, Shane Jones, who formally opened the conference yesterday morning.
David Evison (pictured), NZIF president, introduced the policy to delegates. He suggested the Minister his Government and officials use the document to help develop sound long- term strategies for forestry development in New Zealand.
“Unlike many countries, New Zealand has no national forest policy. Government decisions on matters as diverse as climate change, water quality, taxation, overseas investment and land use have too often adversely affected our forests. As trees live longer than most plants a stable policy environment is critical for good forest management”, Dr Evison said.
“Four years ago a concerned group of forestry professionals, including members of this Institute, with expertise from across the sector, started a project to write a national policy. The document resulting from their hard work outlines five long-term policies to recognise, protect and enhance the many benefits that trees and forests deliver to the environment, economy, society and culture. The policies cover all forests (from conservation to production), management objectives, tenure types and all species (indigenous and introduced).”
“A good policy provides important principles to guide decisions on legislation and regulation and helps achieve better outcomes. If policy is well implemented, it will result in healthier, better managed forests which provide much greater value to New Zealand and New Zealanders”, Dr Evison said.
Conference: Leaders embracing forest safetyWorkplace safety gets top billing in forests
In early August, FIEA's forest safety conference series – Forest Safety & Technology 2018 – will show how well forest workers have embraced new techniques for integrated workplace safety.
“The engagement with loggers and tree-planters by Fiona Ewing’s team at the Forest Industry Safety Council (FISC) has been outstanding,” says Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) spokesman, Gordon Thomson. “In planning our case studies for this year’s conference, we found plenty of examples of people taking the things that FISC have been promoting and putting them into practice,” he adds.
“One of our keynote speakers, Hillary Bennett, has been working with people in industry and FISC for a long time. Her principles and techniques have been well accepted both here in New Zealand and in Australia among leading forest managers and contracting people,” adds Thomson.
Some of our ‘must-see’ keynote speakers:
Registrations are now open. We’ve got great support industry from principal partners McFall Fuel and VicForests. The conference runs on 8th August in Rotorua at Distinction Hotel. The following week on 15th August, it runs at Bayview Eden Hotel in Melbourne. Register now at: www.forestsafety.events
Banner year so far for log exportsWith half of the calendar year gone, log exports are steaming along at record levels. Just look at the blue bars in the graph below - every month in 2018 has gone higher than any of the past 4 years.
Source: Champion Freight
New Forests fund acquires Wenita shareholdingThis week New Forests announced its Australia New Zealand Forest Fund 2 (ANZFF2) has acquired a 38% shareholding in Wenita Forest Products and full ownership of the Otago Land Company, which holds 22,500 hectares of freehold land on which Wenita operates via forestry rights.
The assets are being sold by The Rohatyn Group (TRG), a specialised asset management firm with expertise in emerging markets and real assets, which first purchased the Wenita shareholding in 2005 in a joint venture with Chinese logistics company Sinotrans and 100% of the OLC land in 2006.
The transaction marks the successful completion and full investment of the AUD 707 million ANZFF2 fund. “The Wenita transaction is a milestone for our ANZFF series of forestry funds as we complete full investment of ANZFF2, securing significant scale in both target countries of Australia and New Zealand,” noted Mark Rogers, Managing Director for New Forests’ Australia-New Zealand business. “New Forests has been selective and disciplined in creating the ANZFF2 portfolio. The Wenita acquisition complements the fund’s hardwood and softwood plantation exposure in Australia and brings our New Zealand estate to more than 48,000 hectares in total.”
Wenita is the largest softwood grower in Otago with a 29,200-hectare estate growing primarily radiata pine. Wenita maintains Forest Stewardship Council certification of responsible forest management and has high standards for care of the environment, worker safety, and the quality of its forests and timber.
TRG Partner Ian Jolly said, “The ultimate success of this investment for TRG has been the result of significant direct involvement in the management of the plantations, including the setting of its business model and an extremely collaborative relationship with Sinotrans. At the time of acquisition, the Wenita estate was depleted, had very high operating costs and relatively poor yields. During our ownership, inventory has recovered, yields are greatly improved, and operating costs have reduced dramatically as harvesting is now in the second rotation. We are delighted to deliver a strong realized return from this investment to our clients.”
New Forests’ focused investment funds across Australia and New Zealand represent more than AUD 2.75 billion of forestry and processing assets. New Forests is currently investing its Australia New Zealand Forest Fund 3, which has capital commitments of AUD 873 million from a combination of pension funds and superannuation funds.
New Forests manages AUD 4.5 billion in assets and funds under management, with more than 940,000 hectares of forests, land, and conservation investments in Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, and the United States.
Northland forestry awards popularDave Wilson of Rosewarne Cable Loggers (pictured) won the top prize at the Northland Forestry Awards in a year of record entries.
As well as being awarded the Northland Forestry Skilled Professional of the Year, Mr Wilson also won the Harvesting Excellence Award. He is known as one of the most professional crew managers in the region.
Since he started with Rosewarne Cable Loggers, he has been based in the Karaka Forest – an area with huge hills, long pulls, blind spots and open to the elements. Forestry companies he has worked for say he is the best around, and the longevity of his own crew highlights just that.
Judge Jacqui Apiata-Coyne says Mr Wilson’s passion and expertise had helped him develop into a highly skilled professional and an authentic leader. “He is a man whose reputation precedes him,” says Ms Apiata-Coyne. “He leads a team who work in a demanding and complex environment.”
Introduced to the awards this year was the Newey Transport Emerging Talent Award, which was won by Channing Green in a tightly-fought section. Ms Apiata-Coyne said the calibre of entries this year had been particularly high.
“The competition within the Emerging Talent Award, Harvesting Excellence and Roading Excellence, was very strong this year. There is a high calibre among professionals within the industry and many of those recognised would be equally recognised nationally,” she added.
The awards are one of many initiatives developed by the Northland Forestry Health and Safety Group, aimed to recognised and grow excellence within the industry. The group has a specific focus in developing a healthy and sustainable future for workers and the environment in the region and making an active contribution to the Forestry Industry Safety Council.
The 2018 awards were celebrated at the ASB Stadium in Whangarei, with more than 540 attending to toast the best of the industry. Poi Terei was master of ceremonies.
Check out: www.northlandwoodcouncil.co.nz for full results.
Pine and pasture may harbour kauri diebackThe Government should be cautious about planting pine near northern kauri forests, as research suggests they may act as reservoirs for kauri dieback, says an expert in the disease.
Dr Amanda Black of the Bio-Protection Research Centre says pine plantations and agricultural pasture may have a role in incubating and spreading the disease – as revealed by research for a Master’s thesis, completed by her student Kai Lewis.
But at the same time, the Government is promoting an increase in commercial forestry – including radiata pine – as part of its 1 billion trees programme.
“We urgently need further research to clarify the role pine forests, pasture, and other plants play in incubating and spreading Phytophthora agathidicida– the organism that causes kauri dieback,” says Dr Black, who supervised the study and thesis by Kai Lewis.
“Until we are sure of what role they play, we should be very careful about planting any further pine plantations anywhere near kauri forest.”
For his thesis at Lincoln University Mr Lewis studied how well P. agathidicida reproduced in three types of soil: kauri forest, pasture, and pine forest. He collected samples near Waipoua Forest in Northland and one of the original mainland sites from which kauri dieback has spread.
Results showed that in its early stages of development P. agathidicida reproduces much more rapidly in pine forest and pasture soil than it does in kauri forest soil. In pine forest soil it also produces more long-lived spores (oospores).
Other research reported earlier this year showed P. agathidicida also infected other native plants, including tanekaha, suggesting more potential hosts need to be examined.
Mr Lewis’s research also showed that P. agathidicida could infect Pinus radiata and several common pasture plants, even those that show no symptoms. This suggested other plants and soil may act as a reservoir for P. agathidicida.
“This raises the possibility that kauri dieback may be moving from pine plantations and pasture into kauri forests, carried by people, animals, and even on machinery,” says Dr Black. “We urgently need further research to find out if this is happening and how. Until we know the answer, we need to be very careful.”
You can download the full thesis from Lincoln University’s Research Archive.
ANZ Commodity Price IndexThe ANZ World Commodity Price Index slipped 1.0% m/m in June, following five consecutive monthly increases – some payback was due.
Of the 17 commodities in the index, five rose, three were unchanged and nine declined. Prices fell across all broad categories, with the exception of seafood, which was flat. Wool prices continue to recover, up 18% YTD.
The NZD had a topsy-turvy month but ended up appreciating against all major trading partners except the USD. This saw the NZD index dip 1.1% m/m to be up 7.4% y/y.
Richard Stanton Award: Nominations now openNominations open for Richard Stanton award for excellence in forest management
In Australia the group 'Responsible Wood' is calling for nominations in this year’s coveted Richard Stanton Memorial Award for Excellence in Forest Management.
This is the fourth year of the award which pays tribute to a man who devoted his life to sustainable forest management in Australia and internationally.
Richard Stanton was CEO and national secretary of Australian Forestry Standard Ltd (now Responsible Wood), and had a number of key roles with the Australian Plantation Products and Paper Industry Council, the Australian Paper Industry Council, Plantation Timber Association of Australia, National Association of Forest Industries, and State Forests NSW.
Nominations for the award are open to individuals who have contributed significantly to either forest management or chain-of-custody certification under the Responsible Wood certification program. The award nominees will be those who have contributed to sustainable forest management under AS4708 or chain of custody under AS4707.
The award is open to, but not restricted to, forest owners and managers; chain-of- custody certificate holders; staff of certification bodies; forest scientists and researchers; and designers of products manufactured from sustainable timber.
The award also carries a $2000 bursary prize.
Applicants for the award will have demonstrated excellence in the following areas:
> A significant and valuable contribution to sustainability;
> Innovation, improvement or excellence in forest management or chain of custody certification;
> A strong commitment to the Responsible Wood certification scheme and sustainable forest management;
> Innovation and improvement in the promotion and marketing of Responsible Wood certified products.
The selection of the successful applicant will be made by the Responsible Wood marketing committee and announced at the annual general meeting in Brisbane on October 23. Nominations for the award close on October 5, 2018.
Z Energy: Permanent forestry projectsZ Energy has invested $1.5million in permanent local forestry projects to voluntarily offset the emissions from their operations. The investment represents the largest voluntary purchase of units from permanent forest sinks seen in New Zealand to date.
Z’s Sustainability Manager, Gerri Ward, says that for a carbon-intensive company that believes in the science of climate change, it was important to materially lead on solutions.
“Under Z’s environmental sustainability stand, we have committed to reducing our operational carbon emissions by 30% by 2020, and offsetting those we are unable to avoid.
“We’ve been underway for several years in identifying ways we can transform our business and our behaviours to reduce our emissions first, before looking to offset those we can’t avoid at this point in time,” said Gerri.
Z has partnered with long-standing carbon consultants Permanent Forests NZ Ltd (PFNZ) for this offsetting initiative. PFNZ specialise in aggregating, marketing and selling New Zealand forest carbon credits on behalf of owners of forests registered under the Permanent Forest Sink Initiative.
Gerri said that investing in local, permanent forests ensures the veracity of Z’s offsetting efforts.
“The integrity of our offsets is absolutely paramount. By locking up the carbon in these long-lived forestry projects, we know we’re getting authentic outcomes which we can stand by,” she said.
According to PFNZ’s Managing Director, Ollie Belton, many possible participants in the voluntary market, for example companies looking to voluntarily offset their emissions, or attain “carbon neutral” status, are deterred by the complexity of the carbon market, the lack of links between the compliance and voluntary markets, and the shortage of available permanent carbon offsets.
“This complexity has resulted in a reluctance to enter the voluntary market in recent years, both by buyers and sellers of forestry credits,” said Ollie.
“This deal with Z will undoubtedly make others sit up and take notice, and will lead to more land being committed to long term carbon conservation under the Permanent Forest Sink Initiative,” he said.
Z’s operational carbon emissions, including those from corporate travel, retail electricity, coastal emissions, and hauliers come to about 58,000 tonnes of CO¬2- e (carbon dioxide equivalent) per annum. At an average cost of about $25 per tonne, this comes to an annual cost of about $1.5m per year.
The outcome of this investment is purposely intended to make the business take the environmental cost of their activities into account when making business decisions.
“It’s reasonably easy to unintentionally dismiss environmental sustainability when making purely cost-driven business decisions,” said Gerri.
“By spending $1.5m on voluntary carbon offsets, we’ve effectively placed an internal price on carbon of $25 a tonne; which forces us to pay closer attention to where we’re being most carbon-inefficient,” she said.
Alongside the offset programme, Z also continues to focus on reducing the carbon intensity of its business. Z’s biodiesel plant in Wiri is operational, and Z has also recently increased its investment in Wellington-based electric ride-sharing company, Mevo.
Pollywood composite power poleA new sustainable telegraph and electricity pole manufacturing technique could reduce wood usage by up to 85%.
Distribution Network Operator Northern Powergrid is calling on companies across the energy and construction sectors to support the development of start-up Pollywood’s new tubing.
The hollow poles are made by sustainably combining wood fibre and bio-based resins to make a long lasting, lightweight and cost-effective product.
The firm says its new technology could help deliver significant environmental benefits in new markets across the globe – whereas the wood from a single tree would usually create just one pole, now it can now be used to make up to seven.
Pollywood says the innovation will save more than 90,000 trees a year, reduce lead time for poles from up to 18 months to a week and help reduce carbon dioxide emissions from boats being used to transport wood.
Buy and Sell
... and finally ... laughter, the best medicine
During his physical, a doctor asked his patient about his daily activity level.
One evening, after the honeymoon, he was organising his golfing equipment. His wife was standing nearby watching him.
After a long period of silence she finally speaks. "Honey, I've been thinking, now that we're married maybe it's time you quit golfing. You spend so much time on the course. You could probably get a good price for your clubs."
Tim gets this horrified look on his face.
She says, "Darling, what's wrong?"
"For a minute there you were sounding like my ex-wife."
"Ex-wife!" she screams, "I didn't know you were married before!"
"I haven't been," he replied.
That's all for this week's wood news.
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