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Newsletter 130, April 2021

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In this issue


Forestry doesn't have to be just Pine. Timber supply and alternative species has been on the TV news recently, Murray at MacDirect, and Gabrielle Walton at Papamoa give their stories here

Forest Growers Research are happy to advise that the following Woodlot Harvesting videos are now loaded and available on the Forest Growers Research website ( follow the link

Forest Growers Research April 2021 newsletter is also worth a read


For more information on these events, they are posted on the NZFFA website »
Branch secretaries, please make sure you notify head office of any branch or action group events.

  • Mid Otago Branch - Back to Basics Field Day  1pm Saturday 17th April Start Location-  Pullar Road Kilmog (3km Nth from Evansdale left off SH1)- down by yards. If wet & damp alternative is up at shed on John Rendalls…
  • Gisborne East Coast Branch Field Day  KNAPDALE FORESTRY FIELD DAY Sunday 18 April 2021 114 Snowsill Road, Waihirere, Gisborne Our hosts Kees and Kay Weytmans   0274-465658 12:00 Mid-day, BYO Lunch, tea and coffee available at Knapdale…
  • South Canterbury Branch Field Day  Balmoral Station - High Country Forestry Date and time: Tuesday,  20 April 2021 11.00 am to mid afternoon (bring own lunch) Venue:  Balmoral Station (Andrew,  Karen,  Sam and Sarah Simpson)…
  • Hawke's Bay Branch Field Day & AGM  Smedley Station 22 April 2021 When & where?  Meeting at the Smedley Station woolshed, end of Smedley Rd. 10.00am Thursday 22 April What to bring  A 4WD vehicle if possible (We will…
  • North Canterbury Branch Field Day  Trees for extreme dry sites: 22 April 2021 Hunter’s trees, 492 Hurunui Bluff Rd Turn right off SH7, just before Hurunui river bridge. Starts 10.15am We first visited Grant and…
  • Forest Biosecurity Conference 2021  Ka mua, ka muri: Looking back to move forward To reflect on the forest biosecurity journey and what has been achieved to date to help guide our way forward. When: 12…
  • Taranakipine Forest Owners Open Day  Thursday 13 May 2021, 1pm to 4 pm • 32 Hudson Road, Bell Block Come and see how we process regionally grown Radiata Pine into solid wood and engineered timber...


Reports (Members Area)

Rejuvenate or die- The future of NZFFA

Opinion Piece from John Channings

 The NZFFA organisation is dying and this is happening at a time of unprecedented opportunity.

From my reading it strikes me the organisation has two primary objectives; one is political – to further the interests of forest growers; the second is to educate its members and the community at large.

The political agenda can continue to be effective even with a very small membership as long as there is a committed passionate core.

Currently education lives and dies on membership but could continue via easily accessible information of the on-line kind.
Field days (and their downstream benefits) are the ‘X’ factor that NZFFA provides which cannot be gained any other way and has been the gold that sustained membership up until now. 

So, a good question to ask is “in these days who is the organisation for or more usefully who could the organisation serve?” 

Originally it was geared for a very specific group; Neil Barr’s farmer mates. However, things have changed.  

Beyond the fact of declining membership there are several background tendencies at play. I speak specifically of family farms that are being sold out of family ownership either to the neighbour (making bigger farms) or to some corporate entity (with farm managers) or get subdivided into ‘lifestyle’ blocks.

These facts along with the aging membership guarantee the decline in farmer membership of NZFFA.

Where could new members come from?

Lifestylers? They are an eclectic bunch who often have lots of dreams and little knowledge.

I think it is also true to say that they often own land that is much more than the classical 10 acres. For example, I think of an acquaintance of mine in the Hawkes Bay who owns 100 acres and as a hobby plants the property (grazing leased to the neighbour) in eucalyptus and pines. He does not know what he is doing, is not a member of NZFFA but is having a great time planting. He strikes me as typical of the potential new membership.

When lifestylers think of trees their priorities are probably more towards ‘conservation’ and feel-good factors and not really into planting a forest (too big) or harvesting trees (too far in the future).

It strikes me that Farm Forestry is at the moment invisible to them. They are more likely to belong to the ‘Tree Croppers Association’ .

Does the organisation go for recruiting lifestylers?

Click here to comment on Opinion Piece


Growing trees for profit 

Rowan Reid, Victoria, Australia. 

Rowan Reid is a farm forester in southern Victoria where he helped establish one of Australia's most successful Landcare groups, the Otway Agroforestry Network that I had the privilege of visiting in the early 1990s.  More than 10,000 visitors have toured his Bambra Agroforestry Farm, which is set up as a 42-hectare outdoor classroom for farmers, scientists, students and tree lovers, and a living laboratory for his own learning.

Rowan Reid’s farm provides visitors the opportunity to learn about his experience of  growing and milling Australian native specialty species. Over the years, Rowan has planted thousands of trees of more than 50 different timber species including English oak, coast redwood, blackwood, poplar, sheoaks, black walnut, Australian red cedar, silky oak and, of course, many species of eucalypt.

To view the wealth of resources that Rowan has produced over 30 years click the following links:   
  Growing trees for profit - Australian Wood Review


Integrated Farming & Forestry - Case study series

Following the serious 2016 earthquake in Kaikoura/Waiau districts, four excellent case studies were developed using funding from B&L NZ, MPI and Environment Canterbury. They are worth a read; you can find them at:


National NZFFA Conference 2021 Wellington

Message from Dougal Morrison Conference Committee Chair

Thanks to those who attended the recent national conference.

It gave the opportunity to get up to hear some great speakers and come up to speed on some important issues. More importantly it gave the opportunity to network, catch up with old friends and make some new friends.

It also provided the opportunity to launch Tane’s Tree Trust’s  “O Tatou Ngahere” continuous forest cover initiative.

A special thanks go to our sponsors, which you can see on the NZFFA website, and to the organising committee members.


President: Graham West

Newsletter editor: Dean Satchell

National Office: Liz Chamberlain Phone: 04 4720432

NZFFA Executive »

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Disclaimer: Personal views expressed in this newsletter are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent those of the NZ Farm Forestry Association.

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