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Forestry Training and Success Celebrated in the South

MEDIA RELEASE
15 May 2017

Forestry Training and Success Celebrated in the South

Last Friday saw an outstanding turnout by local forestry companies, contractors and transport operators from throughout the lower South Island of New Zealand. The function was the 2017 Southern Wood Council Forestry Awards.

The Council, representing all major forest owners and most of the major wood processing companies in Otago and Southland ran the 2017 Awards programme in conjunction with the country’s industry training organisation, Competenz.

In addition to profiling the contribution that forestry and those working within the industry are making to the economic and social well-being of the region, the night was really designed to celebrate the success of those that had achieved formal training qualifications over the year. Through a series of nine major awards, the event also recognised the forest industry’s top performers from across the lower South Island.

The industry certainly rallied on the night. Like the previous two years, around 350 forest managers, forestry contractors, transport operators and product and service suppliers to the industry from throughout the lower South Island attended the awards evening at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium.

“The turnout by forestry workers, their families and supporters on the night is probably a true reflection on the momentum that’s been building over the last year or so with on-site training and safety in this region” says Grant Dodson, Chairman of the Southern Wood Council. “In addition to recognising the training achievements of forestry workers and crews that have really stood out over the past 12 months, the industry was able to come together at one place to celebrate the industry along with training and business success.”

Presenters and speakers at this year’s awards evening include; Jamie MacKay, Host of NZ’s New Zealand’s flagship rural radio show, The Country, Hon. Louise Upston, Associate Minister for Primary Industries, Hon. Michael Woodhouse, Minister for Workplace Relations & Safety, Wiremu Edmonds, Director and Safety Champion, Tuakiri Ltd, Fiona Kingsford, CEO, Competenz and guest speaker Warren Alcock, the NZ Rugby Players Association‘s first accredited players agent (representing more than 80 All Blacks including Ritchie McCaw, Dan Carter, Ben Smith and Aaron Smith).

Around 120 National Training Certificates that had been achieved in Forestry & Wood Processing were awarded to top local contractors and forestry and wood processing employees. In addition, nine major industry awards were presented to:

Training Excellence Award - Apprentice of the Year (Sponsored by Southern Wood Council) Award Winner; Ryan Spillane, MJ Logging

Training Excellence Award - Forestry Trainee of the Year (harvesting) (Sponsored by Rayonier/ Matariki Forests) Award Winner; Martin Gordon-Glassford, Griffin Logging

Training Excellence Award - Forestry Trainee of the Year (silviculture) (Sponsored by Dynes Transport): Award Winner; Russell Te Ngahue, X-Men

Skilled Professionals Awards – Forestry Excellence Award (establishment, silviculture, fire, harvesting) (Sponsored by South Wood Export): Award Winner; Alistair McKenzie, Johnson Forestry Services

Skilled Professionals Awards – Wood Processing Excellence Award (Sponsored by UDC): Award Winner; Rodney Lonneker, Pankhurst Sawmilling
Skilled Professionals Awards – Forest Products/Logistics/Transport/Port Award (Sponsored by Oil Imports): Award Winner; Desiree Hollister, C3

Industry Excellence Awards – Forestry Environmental Management Excellence Award (Sponsored by Otago Regional Council): Award Winner; Heavyweight Hire

Industry Excellence Awards - Training Company/Contractor of the Year (Sponsored by City Forests): Award Winner; Shane Griffin, Griffin Logging

Industry Excellence Awards - Forest Products Health & Safety Award (Sponsored by Ernslaw One): Award Winner; Barry Wells, Port Blakeley

Tree Faller Certification – Otago Southland. Ten certificates for Professional Tree Faller Certification, a scheme that has been implemented in the Otago/Southland region were also awarded.

Congratulations go to all the winners, the nominees, their employers and families. This year’s awards programme with strong support from the wider industry, supporting organisation’s and major equipment and product suppliers has again been another important milestone for the forestry industry in the lower South Island. It’s firmly established now as the major fixture each year on the local forestry calendar.

MEDIA RELEASE ENDS

Southern Wood Council

The Southern Wood Council Inc (SWC) was set up in 2001 to promote, encourage and coordinate the sustainable economic development of the forest products industry in the Otago and Southland regions of New Zealand.

The Southern Wood Council includes all the major forest owners within the region, forest managers, larger wood processing and manufacturing companies, port authorities and representatives from local councils, industry training and Government organisations.

SWC member companies own or manage the majority of the larger plantation forests within the region. It is one of few truly independent groups of its type that have been set up and currently one of the most active regional forestry groupings operating in New Zealand. For more information visit: www.southernwoodcouncil.co.nz

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