WoodWeek – 4 April 2018

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Greetings from your WoodWeek news team. Here at Innovatek we're dedicated to showing you new technologies. It’s the focus of our conferences and the emphasis of our popular news updates. Even better nowadays is the accessibility as many of the latest technologies can be free to try or start using. That’s the case for a new tool for small forest owners or landowners. A new online calculator for radiata pine and Douglas-fir productivity is now available, free of charge.

The Forecaster Calculator was built for owners and advisors of small forests, who can use it to test out different management scenarios for their forests, according to what they want to produce – see more in today’s issue.

Last week we ran our biggest tech conference for the primary industries - MobileTECH 2018, in Rotorua. For the past 6 years, this audience and the technologies being developed have grown faster than anything in forestry.

When we first began running this annual conference series, some presenters were using a new phrase "the internet of things". Now with last week's news release from Spark, it's a cow-mercial reality (excuse the pun): Spark's IoT network has good wide coverage. Need to connect a cow to the IoT? That’ll be just $1.79, thanks to Spark’s new LoRaWAN grid. New Zealand telco Spark has announced that its long-range, low-power network is now available for commercial use across 60% of the country.

In Australia, Federal Labor is promising to revisit and fix any logging agreements with state governments that are not based on “proper, independent and full scientific assessments”.

Finally, in China, there is a move into tall timber building. The Dingchi Wood Co. of Shandong Province will build a six-story wood building, which will be the tallest wood structure in China. The 23.55 meter tall building will be built in an industrial park in Penglai City with a total construction area of over 4,800 square meters. Nanjing Tech University will be the designer of the project.

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New online tool for small growers

New free online forest productivity calculator for small growers - A new online calculator for radiata pine and Douglas-fir productivity is now available, free of charge.

The Forecaster Calculator was built for owners and advisors of small forests, who can use it to test out different management scenarios for their forests, according to what they want to produce – for example, it can provide estimates of the volume and log product mix on a particular site at a particular age.

Bryan Graham, Science Leader at Scion says, “This tool was purpose built to be simple and effective. It’s online, so it can be accessible anywhere and anytime on either your tablet, laptop or desktop.”

The calculator is built using the same set of models as the Forecaster desktop application, which is used by the forest industry for yield table generation (i.e. log product volumes by age), regime evaluation and silvicultural scheduling.

The calculator combines the site specific information from the national models for site potential productivity (the Site Index and the 300 Index) with data that the grower can insert and vary. The variable options include stocking rate, pruning, timing of thinning, residual stems per hectare following thinning and harvest timing. Each new simulation creates a set of pdf reports based on log yield and silvicultural options.

Not included in the calculator are the settings and options that the full version of Forecaster provides. Instead, the model’s default options reflect standard silvicultural regimes on normal farm/forestry sites, planted with commonly- used stock.

Access to the Forecaster Calculator is via the Forest Growers Research web site: https://fgr.nz/programmes/calculators/forecaster-calculator

The new calculator was developed by Scion, with funding support from the Forest Growers Levy Trust. Software provider Integral will provide support for the calculator.

If you want to know more contact Melissa Evans [email protected]

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Internet of Things (IoT) now available commercially

Last week we ran our biggest tech conference for all primary industries - "MobileTECH 2018" in Rotorua. For the past 6 years this audience and the technologies being developed have grown faster than anything in forestry.

When we first started running this technology conference our presenters were starting to use a new phrase "the internet of things". Now with a release from Spark last week - it is now a cow-mercial reality (excuse the pun):

Need to connect a cow to the IoT? That’ll be just $1.79, thanks to Spark’s new LoRaWAN grid.

New Zealand telco Spark has announced that its long-range, low-power network is now available for commercial use across 60% of the country.

The network, aimed at internet of things (IoT) applications, will enable businesses and local councils to connect to sensors on vehicles, waterways, streetlights, car parks and more.

“Our IoT capability is really gathering pace, and now we’ve got this critical mass of coverage we’re able to make the network commercially available. This is a real milestone for Spark as we help New Zealand organisations win big in IoT,” said Spark General Manager IoT Solutions Michael Stribling.

“While we currently have 60% of rural and urban New Zealand covered, we’ll be working to extend that to 70% by July this year. We’re also looking to partner with organisations to extend coverage into areas where they need it.”

The LoRaWAN solution uses less power than cellular networks, making it suitable for connecting objects far from power sources.

Subscriber costs are based on the number of sensors connected and the number of messages sent each month.

An example given is that of a dairy farm wanting hourly updates on the location and body temperature of its cows. The farm will pay up to NZ$1.79 per cow per month for connectivity, with the cost per connection decreasing as the number of sensors increases.

By Jonathan Nally

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Women paid more in forestry

Forestry and mining only NZ industries where women consistently paid more - Forestry and mining workers' wage growth has been tumultuous over the years, yet in the wake of the global financial crisis the median wage for women spiked.

The pay gap between men and women in the industries has been more fluid than in most. Forestry and mining are the only sectors in New Zealand where the median wage for women had historically exceeded that of men. From 2006 to 2010, women workers' median wage was significantly higher than men, data from Statistics New Zealand found. At its highest, the median wage for women was nearly $3 higher than the median wage for men in early 2009.

Recently, the difference has been smaller. The median hourly salary for females in the industry last recorded as $33.67 and the equivalent for males at $32.31.

Financial and insurance services, health care and social assistance showed much wider gaps between the median hourly wages of women and men.

In mid-2014, the median hourly wage for men in the finance and insurance sector was nearly $20 higher than the equivalent for women.

The gap has shrunk since then to about $14 but it is still far wider than any other industry in New Zealand.

New Zealand Institute of Forestry general manager Tim Thorpe said he was surprised that the forestry industry had the best wage parity between genders.

"People think of forestry being just out there in the bush and the key image is people felling trees and that sort of thing, but you've got scientists working in the sector, marketing professionals, and that could be areas where there are more female employees earning higher wages."

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Australia: Federal government to assess state RFAs

Australia: Labor vows 'full scientific assessment' of logging agreements - Assessment to include climate science and threatened species impacts, ministers say.

In Australia, Federal Labor is promising to revisit and fix any logging agreements with state governments that are not based on “proper, independent and full scientific assessments”.

In a pledge that could have implications for the rollover of nine agreements due to expire in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia over the next three years, the shadow minister for agriculture, Joel Fitzgibbon, and shadow minister for environment and water, Tony Burke said; “Labor will always support proper, independent and full scientific assessments of RFA [regional forestry agreement] outcomes as part of the agreed framework.

“This includes all relevant science, including climate science and impacts on threatened species,” the ministers said in a joint statement.

It comes after Guardian Australia revealed federal and state ministers had discussed legal concerns that extensions to logging agreements might be invalid when based on old scientific assessments.

NSW Labor has accused the state and federal governments of “unnecessary rush” in rolling over three RFAs in NSW based on “out-of-date science”.

The RFAs were negotiated by the commonwealth and states in the 1990s to better protect forest biodiversity and expand national parks and other protected areas, while at the same time providing “long-term stability” to forest industries by guaranteeing timber supply.

The documents obtained by Guardian Australia reveal that the environmental and scientific reviews conducted 20 years ago for each RFA region will not be revisited, in part for cost reasons.

The Victorian Labor government is arguing with Canberra about the need for new scientific assesments of five Victorian RFAs which are due to expire in March 2020, after short-term rollovers last week.

The assistant agriculture minister, Anne Ruston, has refused a Victorian request for $23m to fund new “studies, data collection and assessment activities” before the RFAs are extended on a long-term basis.

In recent email responses to constituents writing with concerns about the rollover of the RFAs, Burke said: “Labor has supported regional forest agreements [RFAs] as a way to manage forests. If RFAs are not delivering, this is something Labor will address in government.

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Source: www.theguardian.com

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China joins the tall timber building race

Shandong to build tallest wood structure in China - Dingchi Wood Co of Shandong Province will build a six-story wood building, which will be the tallest wood structure in China.

The 23.55-meter tall building will be built in an industrial park in Penglai City with a total construction area of over 4,800 square meters. Nanjing Tech University will be the designer of the project.

“We believe wood construction has a promising future in China as society becomes increasingly aware of environmental issues,” said Xu Wenhao, president of Dingchi Wood.

“Despite the fact that cost of wood construction is over 4,000 yuan (CAD$800) higher per m2 than that of a concrete, we are confident that the difference will shrink as wood construction becomes more popular” Xu added.

Shandong has recently established a provincial wood building industry association and plans to further promote wood construction for public buildings and resort towns.

Source: Canada Wood

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Eucalyptus investment expanded in Malaysian

New Forests’ Tropical Asia Forest Fund Expands Investment in Malaysian Eucalyptus Plantation - Investment firm New Forests has announced an additional equity investment in its first Asian forestry investment, a eucalyptus plantation business in Sabah, Malaysia.

At a ceremony in Kota Kinabalu last week, the new investment into Acacia Forest Industries Sdn Bhd (AFI) from New Forests’ Tropical Asia Forest Fund (TAFF) was welcomed by the Sabah Forestry Development Authority (SAFODA), which is a joint venture partner in the plantation business.

The additional investment comes nearly five years after TAFF’s initial investment in the Hijauan Group. The group’s subsidiary company Hijauan Bengkoka Plantations Sdn Bhd (HBP) is a joint shareholder of operating plantation company AFI alongside SAFODA, a Sabah State government agency involved in reforestation development.

The additional investment will be made by TAFF via its majority ownership of the Hijauan Group. New Forests, on behalf of TAFF, has worked together with SAFODA to enable this further equity investment to continue to execute on AFI’s strategic plans for improving plantation quality and transitioning the company to a higher value sawlog production model.

Paul Speed, Director of Investments and Operations for New Forests in Asia and Chairman of HBP noted, “Since our initial investment in the Hijauan Group, we have worked towards improving the quality of the AFI plantations and ensuring AFI’s position as a leading plantation company in Sabah. We have already implemented significant capital investments, such as construction of a new state-of-the-art nursery, refurbishing facilities and housing, and supporting local water infrastructure projects.

The further equity investment by TAFF over the next five years will ensure that strategic initiatives like these can continue to be implemented through the AFI business.”

AFI is headquartered in Kota Kinabalu with plantations located on the Bengkoka Peninsula of northern Sabah. Since 2015, AFI has switched from planting primarily Acacia mangium to Eucalyptus pellita, a crop that offers additional market versatility and better resilience to locally prevalent tree diseases. The new seedling nursery opened in January 2018 with a production capacity of 2.5 million seedlings per annum.

To meet New Forests’ environmental and social investment requirements, AFI has run a multi-year social engagement program culminating in a participatory mapping exercise that completed in 2016. AFI has since developed a new social forestry strategy based on the outcomes of engagement and the need to address land tenure and support local livelihood opportunities. With the additional investment from TAFF, AFI will continue to focus on re-establishment of its commercial plantations while also piloting new models for outgrower forestry in the Bengkoka Peninsula.

“AFI is pleased to welcome further investment from TAFF via its investment in the Hijauan Group,” said Mike Janssen, General Manager of AFI. “As a business we remain focused on being a leader in sustainable plantation management in eastern Malaysia. Ongoing equity investment into AFI will help ensure we realise our potential on the ground here in Sabah and that we can become a major supplier of certified eucalyptus to domestic and regional markets.”

New Forests’ TAFF is a USD 170 million fund that launched in 2012 as the first forestry fund dedicated to sustainable forestry in Southeast Asia. The fund has since taken equity positions in three forestry businesses in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Laos. These investments encompass more than 150,000 hectares of land with the target of managing and establishing more than 60,000 hectares of certified plantation forests.

Geoffrey Seeto, Managing Director for New Forests Asia remarked, “The AFI additional investment showcases how institutional investors can progressively work to support the development, recapitalisation, and professionalisation of the forest sector across Asia. Through TAFF’s investment in AFI we have seen steady growth in biological value and taken an active management approach to improving business systems and processes in line with international best practice. This positions our investments not only for improved return potential but also as examples of forward-looking investments that align with sustainable development objectives in growing Asian markets.”

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Local workshop for electric truck conversions

New Zealand’s first truck conversion workshop opens in Auckland - Waste Management has opened an electric vehicle (EV) conversion workshop where diesel trucks are being turned into EVs for New Zealand streets.

The company plans to convert 20 of its national truck fleet in the next two years. The first conversion is almost completed and the truck will be used to collect waste from Auckland Hospital. In addition, the workshop is also open to other companies looking to transform their vehicles into EVs.

Tom Nickels, Waste Management Managing Director, says he is delighted to open the workshop in what is a major step forward for both the company and electric vehicles in New Zealand.

“Our investment in the EV workshop will create a knowledge centre for EV conversion in New Zealand and will help us move towards our long term goal of a fleet of fully electric vehicles.

“Our conversion partner EMOSS in the Netherlands has provided the kitsets and knowledge for our team to start completing conversions here in Auckland. We are also looking forward to helping other New Zealand businesses convert their fleets for a more sustainable future.”

The Government’s Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund, administered by EECA, contributed $500,000 in 2017 to help build the workshop and convert the first two trucks as part of its commitment to EV development.

Waste Management announced its move towards a fleet of electric vehicles in September 2016 as part of its sustainability commitment.

Since then the company has launched the Southern Hemisphere’s first sideloader electric truck for residential wheelie bin waste collections, which has started work on Christchurch streets. Another sideloader electric truck will soon be in operation in Auckland. This is in addition to the electric box body truck which started work in Auckland in November 2016. Waste Management has also added more than 20 electric cars within its light fleet during this time.

“Our move towards electric vehicles reflects our place in a circular economy, where our vehicles can be ‘powered by waste’. Through our modern, sustainable landfill and energy parks we generate renewable electricity from the gas we capture from the decomposition of waste that we collect,” says Nickels.

Up to 95% of gas emissions are captured through this process, putting enough power back into the national grid to power over 18,000 homes nationally.

More >>

Source: Scoop

Learn more at the upcoming WoodFlow 2018 series being run for local forestry companies in June. You can check out the full programmes for both countries on the event website, www.woodflow.events.

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Are we soaking up more CO2

Are we soaking up more CO2 than we think? - Satellites watching over New Zealand might show our forests are soaking up more CO2 than estimated - and leave us better off under international climate change commitments.

The rise in humanity’s technological prowess has undoubtedly impacted the Earth’s environment. However, though technology has played a role in creating these problems, it is also helping scientists understand and tackle them.

Researchers are developing and implementing a sophisticated array of modern instruments to measure climate change factors and assist in building greenhouse gas inventories for our government and the United Nations.

Increasingly, earth observation satellites are being used around the world to measure greenhouse gases and to catalogue associated influencers of climate change, such as changes in forestry stocks.

New Zealand is part of this movement, developing earth observation data to understand and manage the country’s carbon footprint and track progress in meeting its Kyoto Protocol obligations.

All things being equal, New Zealand would be expected to exceed our emissions cap for this commitment period of the Kyoto protocol. However, by using removals from forestry and a portion of the surplus units from the first Kyoto commitment period, we are projected to come in under forecast.

Under the Kyoto Protocol framework, net removals from forestry activities can be used to counter-balance gross emissions. Forests absorb CO2 from the atmosphere as vegetation grows, acting as a carbon sink. The carbon budget is the balance of the sources of greenhouse gas emissions put against carbon sinks. In this commitment period from 2013 to 2020, emissions and removals from forestry are projected to amount to 102.9 million tonnes of CO2 uptake - going some way to meet our 2020 targets. New Zealand is currently projected to recognise 26 million of surplus CP1 units to meet its 2020 target.

Understanding and evaluating a whole country's carbon emissions and uptake is a monumental job, only possible through the use of advancing technology. Earth observation satellites, for example, offer scientists ways to measure these carbon sinks and find ways to harness and calculate the effect of them.

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Source: Baz McDonald via newsroom.co.nz

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Daiken cleared to buy MDF plant

Daiken cleared to acquire Dongwha's MDF wood products business - The Commerce Commission has granted clearance for Daiken New Zealand to acquire 100% of the shares in Dongwha New Zealand Ltd.

Daiken, which manufactures and supplies MDF from a plant it operates in North Canterbury, sought clearance to acquire Dongwha, which manufactures and supplies MDF from a plant it operates in Southland.

In making its decision, the Commission considered competition issues in the national market for the manufacture and supply of raw MDF panels.

Deputy Chair Sue Begg said the Commission is satisfied that the merger would not substantially lessen competition in the relevant market.

“We were satisfied on the evidence before us that the market is currently delivering competitive outcomes and that the proposed acquisition is not likely to substantially change that situation,” Ms Begg said.

A public version of the written reasons for the decision will be available on the Clearances Register in the near future.


Daiken -Daiken is the New Zealand subsidiary of Daiken Corporation, a Japanese company specialising in the manufacture and supply of wood- based construction materials. In New Zealand, Daiken manufactures and supplies medium density fibreboard (MDF) from a plant it operates in North Canterbury.

Dongwha - Dongwha is 80% owned by Dongwha International Limited (a company incorporated in Hong Kong) and 20% owned by Laminex Group (NZ) Limited. In New Zealand, Dongwha manufactures and supplies MDF from a plant it operates in Southland. Its minority shareholder, Laminex (which is part of Fletcher Building Products Limited), purchases MDF from Dongwha for its own wood products business in New Zealand. Laminex also on-sells some of the MDF it purchases from Dongwha to other parties.

Merger clearance process - We will give clearance to a proposed merger only if we are satisfied that the merger is unlikely to have the effect of substantially lessening competition in a market. A fact sheet explaining how the Commission assesses a merger application is available on our clearances page.

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Tips from a log rolling expert

Keep your feet moving! There's always a price to pay when a mistake is made in competitive log rolling.

One wrong step and a dunking is assured.

Logging sports veteran 'Timber' Tina Scheer is better than most in the highly skilled sport where two contestants battle to stay on one rolling log. She will be showing the American sport when it takes centre stage at the Royal Easter Show in Auckland.

Speaking from Spokane Washington shortly before she caught a flight to New Zealand, Scheer said it was an incredible sport that most people did not get to see.

"It takes an incredible amount of skill and practise to become a show roller good enough to perform in front of people."

The roller puts one arm out front and one out the back and bends their knees slightly, taking quick steps while maintaining their balance.

"We call it pitter patter. You are constantly removing your weight from the log because if you put both feet on the log and don't move, your weight is going to go one way or the other, but if you lift them up all the time, you are removing your weight from the log."

The constant backwards and forwards movement made it incredibly physically taxing, she said.

"It doesn't take long to get tired out there and from the waist down is where you have to move, but the control is from the waist up."

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Source: Stuff News

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Buy and Sell

... and finally ... Little Johnny never grows old

Don’t you just love Little Johnny…..

Little Johnny's at it again......

A new teacher was trying to make use of her psychology courses. She started her class by saying, 'Everyone who thinks they're stupid, stand up!'
After a few seconds, Little Johnny stood up.
The teacher said, 'Do you think you're stupid, Little Johnny?'
'No, ma'am, but I hate to see you standing there all by yourself!'

* * * * * * * * * * *

Little Johnny watched, fascinated, as his mother smoothed cold cream on her face.
'Why do you do that, mommy?' he asked.
'To make myself beautiful,' said his mother, who then began removing the cream with a tissue.
'What's the matter?' asked Little Johnny. 'Giving up?'

* * * * * * * * * * *

The math teacher saw that little Johnny wasn't paying attention in class.
She called on him and said, 'Johnny! What are 2 and 4 and 28 and 44?'
Little Johnny quickly replied, 'NBC, FOX, ESPN and Cartoon Network!'

* * * * * * * * * * *

Little Johnny's kindergarten class was on a field trip to their local police station where they saw pictures tacked to a bulletin board of the 10 most wanted criminals.
One of the youngsters pointed to a picture and asked if it really was the photo of a wanted person.
'Yes,' said the policeman. 'The detectives want to capture him very badly.'
Little Johnny asked, 'Why didn't you just keep him when you took his picture?'

* * * * * * * * * * *

Not laughing yet? One more - little Johnny DID grow up to become a jackaroo before deciding to go to university to change career ...

A young jackaroo from outback Queensland goes off to university, but halfway through the semester he has squandered all of his money.

He calls home. 'Dad,' he says, 'you won't believe what modern education is developing...they actually have a program here in Brisbane that will teach our dog Ol' Blue how to talk.'

'That's amazing!' his Dad says. 'How do I get Ol' Blue in that program?'

'Just send him down here with $2,000,' the young jackaroo says, 'I'll get him in the course.'

So his father sends the dog and $2,000.

About two-thirds through the semester, the money again runs out. The boy calls home. 'So how's Ol' Blue doing, son?' his father wants to know.
'Awesome! Dad, he's talking up a storm... But you just won't believe this. They've had such good results with talking, they've begun to teach the animals how to read.'

'Read?' exclaims his father. 'No kidding! How do we get Ol' Blue in that program?'

'Just send $4,500. I'll get him in the class.'

The money promptly arrives. But our hero has a problem. At the end of the year, his father will find out the dog can neither talk nor read.

So he shoots the dog. When he arrives home at the end of the year, his father is all excited.

'Where's Ol' Blue? I just can't wait to talk with him, and see him read something!'

'Dad,' the boy says, 'I have some grim news. Yesterday morning, just before we left to drive home, Ol' Blue was in the living room, kicked back in the recliner, reading the Wall Street Journal. Then he suddenly turned to me and asked, 'So, is your daddy still bonking that little redhead barmaid at the pub?'

The father groans and whispers, 'I hope you shot that b*stard before he talks to your mother!'

'I sure did, Dad!'

'That's my boy!'

The kid went on to be a successful lawyer.

That's all for this week's wood news.

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John Stulen
Innovatek Limited
PO Box 1230
Rotorua, New Zealand
Mob: +64 27 275 8011
Web: www.woodweek.com

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