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Newsletter 134, July 2021

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Safetree Conference - Growing our Culture  Thursday 28 October 2021, Millennium Hotel, Queenstown Registrations are open for the Safetree Conference, Growing our Culture and the line-up of speakers will include well-know psychologist Nigel Latta.  The conference will…

NZFFA Conference 2022 - Timaru   Save the date 7 -11 April 2022

Tirohanga Ngahere Canopy website live. Canopy is a website brought to you by Te Uru Rakau – New Zealand Forest Service. This website has been created to support you throughout your forest project, and to help you make decisions at each stage. 


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.

  • Taranaki Branch AGM & Field Day  Saturday 3 July 2021 Field Day Time 10.00am The Green School – 406 Koru Rd, Oakura A tour with the owner of the unique wooden buildings and plantings Followed by…

  • Primary Industries NZ Summit  Defining pathways to adaptation and value 6 & 7 July 2021, Christchurch Town Hall The Summit brings farmers and producers from across the broad range of NZ’s primary industries together…
  • What Bug is That? - Katikati  Sunday 11 July 2021 1pm Katikati Arts Junction, Katikati next to the old Fire Station. Entomologist, Peter Madison, also known as ‘the bug man’, will give a presentation. For more details…
  • Dothistroma Survey Training Course  Scion Campus, Rotorua 13 July 2021 The Dothistroma Control Committee (DCC) is offering a training opportunity for people wishing to become skilled in aerial dothistroma survey on the 13th and…
  • Bay of Plenty Field Day -Te Puke  What to grow after harvesting Radiata? Saturday 17 July 2021 10am - 3pm 387 No.2 Road, Te Puke. Steve's property just harvested. You are invited to what will be a…
  • Middle Districts Mid-Winter Dinner  Thursday 22 July Fielding - Save the date All branch members are most warmly welcome to gather for our annual mid-winter dinner meeting, on Thursday 22 July in Feilding. Full details…
  • Nelson Branch Field Day  Saturday 24 July 2021 This Field Day will be hosted by Tony Dick and his ground base logging family at their Forest Creek operation. Tony characterizes their business as sustainable production forestry.…
  • Mid Otago Branch - Managing Your Security for Safer Farms, Farm Forestry & Forestry Blocks  27 July 2021 7pm Outram Hall Holyhead Street (Main Street Outram). Managing Your Security for Safer Farms, Farm Forestry and Forestry Blocks Topics to discuss Farm and Forestry blocks and vandalism issues…
  • Firewood Workshop -Waihi  Saturday 14 August 2021 33 Landlyst Road Waihi Firewood is a tree crop. Many of us use it, and not all have easy access to it. Robert proposes a combination learning and…


President's Report

Graham West, President

Hello everyone. A theme that emerged for me at the last Council Meeting and subsequent industry meetings was that we need to generally improve communication within the organisation and externally. With busy lives and so many things happening in the sector, we need to put extra effort in to make communication occur. 

I hope this regular update will help develop a better awareness of the issues impacting on the organisation and an awareness of what the Executive is working on. Progress on our rejuvenation strategy is occurring at many levels. We are all one team, short on resources, often overlooked, but continue to put in a lot of voluntary time into the farm forestry cause. Good communication and transparency will hopefully make our organisation better and our involvement more rewarding.

 Key activities the executive have participated in during May and June are:

1. Ministers Letter

A letter (largely drafted by Hamish and Howard) has been sent to the Minister of Forests Stuart Nash on 3rd May, suggesting he support the investigation of options for aggregating the ownership of standing forests owned by small scale growers. This may be a useful solution for the Forestry Industry Transformation Plan. Only the standard receipt has been received back so far.

2. Small & Medium Enterprise FGLT Committee

A decision was taken by the FGLT Board to close this committee at the end of this year. As chairman, I have written (with help from Howard and Steve Wilton) two letters (from NZ FFA & SME Comm) to the new chairman of FGLT Board – Stephen Franks – expressing our disappointment at the decision and the lack of consultation. I have had some feedback and while advised the Board were reluctant to revisit this decision, the on-going restructure of the FGLT and its Secretariat are still unresolved, hence discussions are continuing. 

3. Levy Promotions Committee

The Levy Promotions Committee (which the president and vice president sit on) has been through a review of its PR strategy and its PR services providers. It has a budget of $900k hence can have significant effect on our profile.  But because of the lack of consensus on the way forward,  the Committee has been disestablished by the Board and they have now taken the matter over. This matter is on-going.

4. Newsletter, Website and Funding Working Groups

These groups have been very active with numerous evening Zoom meetings and phone calls. Early proposals for change were provided to the Executive meeting on 2nd June. Good progress is being made, already the Newsletter is better and more frequent. Ideas and strong opinions are plentiful. If you have ideas, please send them in.

5. Strategic Planning Workshops

To address the concerns raised about diversifying species throughout the sector, two one-day workshops were held by Forest Growers Research/NZ FOA in Wellington on 25 & 26 May.  The purpose the workshops were:

25th May - to develop an industry perspective on the key determinants for enablement of future high-worth value chains, created using alternative species and to identify the blocking conditions that stand in the way of this future. Dean & Angus attended.

26th May - to develop an industry perspective around readiness criteria should radiata-based industry be disrupted. Defining and prioritising the key questions that arise from disruption and understanding how they may differ across a diverse group of sector participants. Graham & Peter attended.

A short summary was provided in the last newsletter, a full summary will be released ASAP. 

I was encouraged by the day I attended. The case study presented by Zespri on the PSA calamity was very revealing and thought provoking. There was little debate that that this issue needed to be addressed on pan sector basis.

6. National Field days

The Waikato Branch were invited to participate on the MPI stand at the National Field days (16 – 19th June) via TUR – NZ FS. This was apparently due to some directive from high-up! Dave Forsythe coordinated this, and volunteers mingled with MPI staff on a very flash large stand in the Pavilion. I helped on two days and while we would have liked to have a higher profile on the stand it has got me thinking forestry should be there next year.

7. CNI Wood Council

I represent NZ FFA on this new council. There are many members involved in the seven regional wood councils and it’s a great way to connect and have influence. The major initiative of the CNI Council so far has been supporting the “Generation Game” in Sth Waikato. This programme makes children over 16 years more aware of the career opportunities in the forestry sector. There seems to be lots of funds from government and Council to support this type of activity. Plus, good support from Corporates. CNI Awards event planned for Aug – Oct 2022 which will include Farm Forester Award.

8. Forest Growers Research 

I have a monthly catchup with the new Forest Growers Research, R&D Director, Bart Challis to help him become better informed of small-scale grower issues. This has allowed several issues to be aired and progressed, i.e., next steps for species diversification, Forest Research Committee appointments, IP access from Scion for Treefarmer functionality, and the Mechanisation of Silviculture programme.

Go well, I’m happy to discuss anything further, just give me a call.


Carbon price accelerates to new highs - make hay while the sun shines

Jeff Tombleson

The demand nationally for carbon credits comes largely from industry based fossil fuel emitters who are required to purchase around 45 million credits annually for surrender to the Crown.  For example the oil companies along with say Genesis Energy that burns fossil fuels at the Huntly power station are required to offset all their emissions by purchasing the equivalent amount of carbon credits for every tonne of coal or litre of fuel burnt. This cost in turn is passed on to the consumers power bill or payment at the petrol pump currently costing you an extra 9 cents per litre. Just like the tax on tobacco an increased tax aims to create a change in behaviour.

Forest plantation owners can receive credits issued by the Crown relating to the amount of carbon sequestered from a component of their plantations. On average radiata pine sequesters 30 tonnes of carbon per hectare per year. Sold at today's price of $43.50/tonne the annual return amounts to $1,300 per hectare. Just like the historic price of tobacco the Climate Change Commission has advised that to change the behaviour of fossil fuel consumers the price of carbon needs to increase to $140 per tonne by 2030 and $250 per tonne by 2050. This in turn incentivises farmers and investors to establish further new forests.

Farm foresters with plantations established on new land over recent years will make spectacular returns from the carbon sequestered. FFA members contemplating establishing new plantations are doing so in a unique environment that could return to them an equal amount via the sale of carbon credits as to what they may receive at the end of the rotation from timber production. Unlike the previous ETS rules the carbon credits received do not have to be returned at harvest.

Unfortunately, because very little new forest area has been established since the planting boom of the 1990s this means very few carbon credits are being generated that are in turn available for purchase by emitters seeking 45 million units annually. As such the government has become a seller of carbon credits via printing and auctioning. This is generating around $1 Billion annually for the government coffers that is thankfully being spent on initiatives to reduce NZ's emissions as recently launched by the Minister for Climate Change James

Has the ETS had the desired effect of reducing emissions since its introduction in 2008? No – quite the reverse. Will the ETS (versus industry initiatives and well targeted policy) be the driver to lower New Zealand’s emissions in the coming
years? Highly unlikely.

For those who have had the foresight to establish new plantations in recent years or are in the process of doing so; you are making a valuable contribution to increasing New Zealand’s forest sink - may the ever increasing price of carbon reward your endeavours – make hay while the sun shines!

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Fungus may be the Cure to Control Wilding Pines

An indigenous New Zealand fungus may help to control wilding pines – one of the country’s most ecologically damaging weed species – a student’s research project shows. Wilding pine control costs New Zealand millions of dollars a year and involves the costly and time-consuming methods of cutting down the trees and spraying herbicide from the air.

Control seldom totally eradicates the pines, which often reinvade sites some years later.

Armillaria novae-zealandiae, also known by Maori as harore, is a fungus that feeds on decaying wood. It is common in native forests, where it is a natural part of the ecosystem, helping to decay fallen trees. But if it gets into pine plantations it is seriously destructive, killing seedlings and reducing growth.

In a Bio-Protection Research Centre student research program, biology student Genevieve Early, investigated how well A. novae-zealandiae and two closely related species established on wilding pine species.... See more @Timberbiz


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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