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Forestry expert appointed to Bay of Connections

For release on 3 September, 2013

Forestry expert appointed to Bay of Connections

Jacob Kajavala, Managing Director of Kajavala Forestry Limited (KFL), has been appointed as the new Eastern Bay of Plenty business representative to the Bay of Connections Governance Group.

Established in 2008, the Bay of Connections is the industry-led growth strategy for the wider Bay of Plenty region.

It is driven by a commercially-focussed Governance Group that represents Eastern Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Taupō and Western Bay of Plenty, in partnership with the Bay of Plenty Council, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the region’s economic development agencies.

The Governance Group is supported by a management group and sector groups focused on actions to drive efficiencies, productivity and benefits in the areas of aquaculture, forestry, freight logistics, energy, Māori development and sport and recreation.

Mr Kajavala’s business, KFL, was established in Kawerau more than 40 years ago. They are specialists in the planning and execution of central processing operations and are currently responsible for 5% of New Zealand’s total log output. The company employs more than 50 full time staff and won the 2008 Business Excellence Award for Primary Industry in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.

Mr Kajavala, of Ngāi Tūhoe and Finnish descent, holds a Bachelor of Science with a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration. He has held the position of President of the Forestry Industry Contractors Association since 2002 and has represented Forestry Contractors on the Board of Woodco since 2007.

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He is a founding member of Industry Symbiosis Kawerau - who nominated him for the Bay of Connections Governance Group - and currently holds the position of Deputy Chair.

In 2011, Mr Kajavala established an online Kite Surfing equipment business. The operation, based in New Zealand with manufacturing capability in China, captured four percent of the global market within two years of going to market. The business has also just won the ‘Emerging Business and New Brand’ award at the 2013 TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards which were announced last weekend.

Bay of Connections Management Group Chair, Fiona McTavish, has welcomed the appointment and says that Mr Kajavala’s depth of experience in the forestry industry, together with his entrepreneurial attitude for business, will make a strong contribution to the Group.

“We are working very hard to ensure the region’s economic growth through strategic collaboration and connections. To ensure our success we need people with experience, passion and commitment,” says Mrs McTavish.

“It’s great to have someone of Mr Kajavala’s calibre on board. He brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge, which will add greatly to the work we do.”

Mr Kajavala says that helping the Bay of Connections to build on its current momentum is a great opportunity.

“Genuine alignment of direction and effort is critical to the economic advancement of our region and I consider it a privilege to be involved.”

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