Michael Cambridge is president of the Marlborough Forest Industry Association which has 170 members. They cover all aspects of the forest industry including forest owners, sawmillers, harvest contractors, forestry consultants, the Port Company and the District Council.
He has been a merino farmer for much of his working life and has seen how the wool grower industry levy was used to kick-start the transformation of the NZ Merino industry. This was done by getting all players in the industry to work together to bring merino back into fashion.
He has travelled to Europe 6 times to study European wood building systems. He saw how the European wood construction industry works together to efficiently prefabricate very comfortable houses and inspiring public buildings. This has helped bring wood back into fashion in Europe. There are good signs that wood is coming back into fashion in NZ with great examples highlighted by the timber design awards.
Michael has organised 6 seminars to highlight different aspect of forestry, including wood energy, carbon foot printing, steep land harvesting and “Rebuilding Christchurch with Wood”. These have led to some very constructive collaboration. The photo shows him holding a sample of CLT (cross laminated timber) at one of the seminars.
Michael is helping to organise some of NZ Farm Forestry conference to be held in Blenheim next April. He will be leading a field trip looking at the challenges of steep land harvesting, and a boat trip down the Pelorus Sound looking at forestry and farming in a sensitive and amazing landscape. He will also chair a session on bringing wood back into fashion in cities.
Michael has established a 600 hectare forest in the Waihopai Valley to provide long term income for the Cambridge family. He sees a great future in sustainable family forestry.
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