Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


University of Canterbury to help with forestry safety

University of Canterbury to help with forestry safety

September 2, 2014

The University of Canterbury is to launch a new research project to make sure New Zealand’s new forestry roads are safe and are established with minimal environmental impact.

The New Zealand forestry industry is building more than 1400km of new roads a year and the research, to be conducted by Dr Kris Brown, will help improve design standards.

``The importance of infrastructure is widely recognised by forestry stakeholders, but the New Zealand Independent Forestry Safety Review Panel has heard that the quality and adequacy of forestry roads, bridges and skid sites are variable and often not up to the mark.

``I hope our research at the university’s School of Forestry will help raise standards for design, construction and maintenance of forestry roads.

``The likelihood of accidents can increase when infrastructure is not specifically designed for heavy forestry machinery and logging trucks. Infrastructure not wide or strong enough to withstand repeated heavy loads has been cited by the coroner as a contributing factor in accidents,’’ Dr Brown says.

He will investigate these important issues through his research and outreach to industry. His work has been helped by $100,000 grant, over five years, to the university from the New Zealand Forest Owners Association. Associate Professor Rien Visser says support from the association is important to the university’s forestry research.

``There is a need for more core forest engineering skills for all graduating forestry students, including harvest planning, being able to cost-effectively design infrastructure, understanding environmental standards and, most importantly, being able to effectively manage safety. Dr Brown will also expand his research into logging efficiency and forestry safety.’’

Associate Professor Visser says building a new road to access forest areas for harvesting can easily cost more than $100,000 per kilometre. These are costs that have to be recovered from the value of the trees harvested.

``The industry spends about $200 million a year on roads. As such our industry is seeking to build ‘fit-for-purpose roads’, a concept that attempts to minimise costs while not compromising safety and environmental performance.

``Research done to date at the University of Canterbury has indicated that the forest industry can readily improve its road construction practice by correctly testing, and subsequently compacting the substrate on which the road will be built.

``Most forestry companies use aggregates from in-forest quarries, and these aggregates do not typically meet a strength standard on which the national design curves are based. While new design standards for the lower quality material being used have been developed, we still need to test their validity.

``Safety is so important. A fully loaded logging truck can lose traction on a corner on a steep section of road with potentially fatal consequences. We have a comprehensive final year forest road engineering course to ensure our graduates enter the workforce have some of these core skills.’’


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news