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Newsletter 144, January 2023

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President's Report

Hello everyone, I hope you' ve all had a great Christmas and New Year break. Having recharged the batteries, I trust you are ready for another exciting year of farm forestry activities. I want to briefly cover events running up to the end of last year. Several of the issues I raise will be also covered in the next release of the Tree Grower. I will be brief and only supply highlights for the newsletter.

As previously mentioned there has been significant work done on improving the subscription payment system on the website. Hopefully you found this simpler and easier to complete your renewal of subscriptions. We invite feedback on this experience and welcome comments or suggestions for improvement.

FGR Conference

The annual FGR conference that supplies presentations on most of the results from the past year of Forest Growers Levy funded research, was held in October at Nelson. This was unfortunately attended by only by 4-5 farm forestry members. I presented a short paper in the Forestry’s Future session, giving the Small and Medium Grower view. I suggest we need to be better engaged in these opportunities to get benefit from the Levy fees. We perhaps also need to find ways to fund attendance costs.

National Council Meeting

Our annual November National Council Meeting was held at Miramar Links next to the Wellington Airport. This was well attended given the continued risk of Covid. We were able to consolidate a number of initiatives, primarily the update of the Strategic Plan and the Organisational Review Consultancy Report from Matt Highway of Element Environmental.

Fundamentally Matt’s recommendations were to pursue the contracting of a self-funding operational support consultant and adopt a different commercial business model that partners with aligned organisations for mutually beneficial gain. This has been successful for the NZ Association of Resource Managers (NZARM) and Matt has been asked to write the job specification for what is proposed.


Promotion of the farm forestry message has intensified in recent months and considerable effort was put into our presence at the National Fieldays. This was the first year we have had a large Forestry Hub site that included approximately 35 organisations sharing the same marque and associated self-contained modules including a harvesting simulator, bio char, Save the Kiwi, and Forest 360.
An outstanding group of volunteers contributed to a significant NZFFA presence that promoted five species and highlighted the benefit of joining our organisation. My sincere thanks to all those contributing. Most of the team are in the following photo:

NZFFA team at Fieldays Mystery Creek 2022

We also had the “Kids grow a tree competition” with giveaway seedlings and associated info packs that recommend how to look after and encourage tree growth. This type of activity is aimed at creating a forestry culture in children that otherwise get little exposure to tree management.

We also supported the wood products display in collaboration with the Central North Island Wood Council. This display provided examples of the many diverse wood products we consume, that totals on average an amazing 2.5m3 of wood per person per year.

The day before the Fieldays opened, we had the Forest Grower Levy Board meeting at Hamilton airport and most of the board attended the opening of the Forestry Hub the next day. The opening was led by Minister Nash, and it was significant that forest growers, wood processors, consultants, researchers, training and voluntary organisations all engaged in the following four-day event.

Our national Billboard initiative has completed printing 12 signs. Sites for these are being sought for these. The process has been slower that hoped but these are made of high-quality materials that will last a long time.

Forestry and Wood Processing Industry Transformation Plan (ITP)

This was officially launched at the National Fieldays by Minister Nash. I am fortunate to be on the Interim Implementation Group. The seven projects selected for the first 6 months this year have been decided. We have had some of the NZFFA Alternative Species projects proposed to the Levy transferred into the Stage 1 of the ITP - Growing Confidence in Diversified Species Programme. The government contribution is expected to be approximately $650k and this may be matched by the industry contribution. Exactly how the funding will work is not clear, but the implication is that our team will need to start early this year and work hard to complete a lot of the projects in the next 6 months.

Best wishes for the New Year.

Graham West, NZFFA President



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.


  • Spray releasing young trees with glyphosate Dean Satchell's blog, December, 2022.  I'm often been questioned about spray releasing diverse species when helping landowners with the early stages of forest establishment. Spray releasing methods for radiata pine are well established and you can spray right…
  • Farmer’s forestry hysteria Vaughan Kearns blog, November, 2022.  The recent press release from the president of the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association is a breath of fresh air in response to the drivel that continues to emanate from…

NZFFA members can set up their own blogs on the NZFFA website. Email Dean.


  • Pine conspiracy needs reality check November, 2022. Farm Foresters are saying journalists and commentators need to educate themselves about the reality of plantation forestry. The NZFFA President, Graham West says ‘Frequent anti-pine rants on Newstalk ZB and…
  • Farming’s forestry hysteria October, 2022. Beef & Lamb NZ and Federated Farmers media release on recent results of an opinion survey on forestry offset adds to the misuse of information that’s building alarm and public hysteria…

NZFFA Subscription Renewal

NZFFA membership subscription is now due for 2023; please check your emails for a renewal notice linking you to your personal subscription.  Otherwise manage your subscription by logging into the NZFFA members page here

You think you've already paid but are unsure, check by emailing 

Central North Island Wood Council

The Central North Island Wood Council (CNIWC)  has recently been formed and we are engaged by having membership special conditions and membership rate to be on the Council. Graham West is our current representative.

CNIWC  involves 4 Branches who share in the costs of membership; 

  • BOP
  • Waikato
  • Taupo
  • Waitomo

See the latest newsletter


Proud to be a Farm Forester

Be a Proud Farm Forester - get your gears on!

Cathie Forde has organised for us NZFFA branded clothing and it looks great.  Find the order form and clothing details here.

Pictured is a member of our North Canterbury Executive team Laurie Bennett, modelling the the Regent business shirt with NZFFA logo.


NZFFA Annual Conference 2023

“The new normal. Opportunity or threat?” 30 March to 3 April 2023 Timaru

Programme includes:

  • Thursday 30 March – Action Group meetings
  • Friday 31 March – AGM, Councillor meeting and workshops
  • Friday 31 March – Opening dinner
  • Saturday 1 April – Local farm forestry fieldtrips
  • Saturday 1 April – Awards Dinner
  • Sunday 2 April – Mackenzie Basin trip
  • Monday 3 April – Geraldine trip
  • Monday 3 April – Closing dinner



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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