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Forester of the year never regretted his career

8 July 2005

“Forester of the year” winner has never regretted career in forestry

The New Zealand Institute of Forestry recently presented its Forester of the Year Award to Dr Andrew McEwen of Wellington. The award, in the form of a carving, is one of the highest accolades the Institute can bestow. In presenting the award, the Institute President, Ket Bradshaw, noted that the award is made to recognise leadership and excellence in the forestry sector, particularly where the achievement demonstrates the character and strength of the forestry profession.

Dr McEwen’s forestry career spans 43 years. The first 25 years were with the former New Zealand Forest Service where he worked in general forestry, as a scientist at the Forest Research Institute in Rotorua and was also responsible for the installation of the Department’s first computer network. During his time with the Forest Service he graduated with science and forestry degrees and was the first Ph.D. graduate from the Canterbury University School of Forestry. From the mid 1980s he was involved with the establishment of the State enterprise, New Zealand Forestry Corporation and subsequently with the privatisation of the former State forests. He established his own business in 1999. Dr McEwen is Registered Forestry Consultant, Vice President of the Institute and the Chairman of its Southern North Island Section. He produces a weekly newsletter that is emailed to members on Friday afternoons. “This has proved a rewarding way to keep up to date with what is happening in forestry and with members of the Institute. I always enjoy the contacts that the newsletter brings and particularly the contributions and good humour of the members”.

The Institute, established in 1927, has around 770 members and has been growing over the last few years, despite the downturn in parts of the sector. “We are concerned with all forests”, says President Ket Bradshaw, “covering the range from indigenous to introduced species and from protection forests to commercial tree farms. We have a long history of encouraging the highest standards of ethical and professional performance amongst our members and are recognised for the quality of our advice and submissions on forestry issues.”

When reflecting on the award and his career, Dr McEwen said “I decided to make forestry my career while still at secondary school. Despite the ups-and-downs of the sector, I have never regretted that decision. I have been fortunate to have worked on a wide range of activities, in a great profession that makes a huge contribution to New Zealand’s economy and landscape. I hope that I will continue doing this for some time to come.”


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