Eastland: A decade of forestry awards

Tuesday 5 Feb 2019

Celebrating 10 years of regional forestry awards - Nominations are now open for the biggest celebration of the region’s forest industry, the Eastland Wood Council Forestry Awards 2019.

And it is an extra special awards this year, which marks the 10th anniversary , bringing with it celebration and recognition for those who drive the local industry.

EWC chief executive Kim Holland says the anniversary is a time to celebrate and reflect on past awards and achievements. “It is a huge milestone for the industry nationally,” she says. “EWC led the way in 2010 with the first forestry awards in New Zealand and they’ve now been replicated across the country.”

Kim felt the ongoing success of the awards was a real credit to the industry and an opportunity to recognise excellence and achievement of the people and companies involved. “The people who make our industry what it is are all passionate, skilled and hard-working and they deserved to be recognized for the outstanding work they do.”

Event manager Prue Younger, who has been involved from the start, has seen the calibre of entries rise over the years, along with the numbers attending the awards evening. “Everyone has been memorable, and the evening is always a sell-out – this year will be no different with around 600 people expected,” says Prue.

A new category this year is the Woman in Forestry Certificate which seeks to recognise a female forester who demonstrates excellence across a range of skills, going above and beyond in any area of the timber industry.

Other categories include forestry excellence, roading, harvesting, distribution, wood processing, construction, individual faller, pavement excellence, health and safety, regional service, contractor of the year and the environment.

The concept of local forestry awards was first floated by Matt Wakelin, a then member of the Eastland Wood Council. “I just thought it would be good to recognise the workers in the forest and in doing so present the positive side of the industry,” said Matt.

While he left Gisborne before the first awards evening was even held, he has returned to help toast those he sought to be recognised and says it was quite special to attend.

“Seeing that room full of people, with people being recognised for their work in the forest and just the community support it gets – it is great to see.” He congratulated Prue and the Eastland Wood Council on their commitment to the awards. “Hats off to them,” says Matt who now works for Carter Holt Harvey as the manager of fibre supply. “These awards have now been replicated around the country but importantly Gisborne has been successful in reaching its 10-year milestone.”

WHAT: Eastland Wood Council Forestry Awards 2019
WHEN: May 17, 2019
WHERE: Showgrounds Park, Gisborne
MORE INFO: http://eastlandwood.co.nz/events/efa-awards/

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