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Newsletter 76, November 2014

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New Zealand Farm Forestry Association
P.O. Box 10349
The Terrace

Wellington 6143

Farm Forestry Newsletter
   November  2014  No. 76

In this issue

Independent Forestry Safety Review

FFR Steepland harvesting programme

National consistency for plantation forests- MPI workshops on National Environmental Standard (NES)

Worksafe's new rules released

Fire Ratings and timber

Stump to Pump - forest waste to liquid biofuels

NZFFA Council survives


Ian Jackson
-South Canterbury
-North Otago

-Sthn High Country (north)

Vice President
Dean Satchell
-Far North
-Mid North

Newsletter editor
Dean Satchell

National Office
Association Manager Glenn Tims
Phone: 04 4720432



Angus Gordon

-Taupo & Districts
-Middle Districts
-Hawkes Bay

Neil Cullen
-Mid Otago
-South Otago
-Men of Trees
-Sthn High Country (south)

Hamish Levack
-Gisborne East Coast

Patrick Milne

-West Coast
-Central Canterbury
-North Canterbury

Peter Berg

-Lower North

-Bay of Plenty


The members area of the NZFFA website can be accessed by using your email address and password to log in.

Your email address MUST be the address you have provided to NZFFA for your subscription (which happens to be the one this newsletter was sent to...).

If you don't have a password or can't remember it, you can get one very easily. Just follow the instructions here.

Any problems logging in then email me.

Dean Satchell, website administrator

If you are receiving this e-newsletter and don't want to, please notify NZFFA by replying.


Nominations being called for National President and two Island Representative Executive Members

Nominations are made by branches and so if you want to be involved in a nomination you have to contact your local NZFFA branch. Nominations must be received by NZFFA National office by 17 January 2015.

National President:  The optional third year of the term of our current National President, Ian Jackson, ends at the Whangarei Conference next year. The qualification for National President candidates is having served at least one year on the National Executive. All branches can nominate and vote for National President candidates.

Island Representative Executive Members:  The NZFFA National Executive consists of six members, two of whom are designated North Island Representative Members and two are designated South Island Representative Members.  National Executive Members have a three-year term and two retire by rotation each year.  At the Whangarei Conference, the retiring North Island Representative will be Angus Gordon (Middle Districts) and the retiring South Island Representative will be Neil Cullen (South Otago).  The qualifications for Island Representative Members are being a financial member of NZFFA and residing in the appropriate island.  However, it is desirable that candidates have branch officer experience, particularly as Councillor.  Only branches in a particular island can nominate and vote for Representatives for that island.

Awards: Nominations are required asap for the NZFFA awards so that judging can be carried out and all in good time prior to Conference in Whangarei in April 2015.

Latest headlines
Looking underground without digging a hole: A new soil survey tool allows Scion scientists to assess below ground variation in soil properties using electromagnetic pulses... more >>
Giving forests a head start with good weed control: Effective weed control contributes significantly to the survival and growth of newly planted stands, and also promotes productivity throughout the life of the stand...more>>

Latest blogs
November 12, 2014 Product research priorities for Eucalyptus, by Dean Satchell

Events: Branch secretaries, please notify head office of any branch or action group events.

For more information on these events they are posted on the website >>

  • MPI - Consistency in the RMA, Otago. Host: Ministry for Primary Industries, Monday 24th November, 2014, 10:30am to 2:00pm. Location: Telford Rural Polytechnic, Balclutha
  • MPI - Consistency in the RMA, Manawatu/Wanganui. Host: Ministry for Primary Industries, Wednesday 26th November, 2014, 10:30am to 2:00pm. Location: Bulls town Hall, Bulls
  • North Canterbury branch field day: Macfarlane’s ‘Hawkeswood’, off SH1; November 27, Just north of Parnassus on SH1, starting at 10.30am
  • MPI - Consistency in the RMA, Canterbury. Host: Ministry for Primary Industries, Thursday 27 November, 2014, 10:30am to 2:00pm. Location: Hawkswood, North Canterbury
  • MPI - Consistency in the RMA, Northland. Host: Ministry for Primary Industries, Saturday 29 November, 2014, 10:30am to 2:00pm. Location: Tangiteroria Hall, Northland
  • Far North branch field day: Alan Macrae and Theresa Burkhardt’s property, 1436 Far North Road (SH1) Kauri Flat, about 14km north of Kaitaia, Sunday November 30th, 10am.
  • Swiss Needle Cast Workshop. Host: Scion, Tuesday 2-3 December, 2014, 7:45am. Location: Scion campus, 49 Sala Street, Rotorua
  • Lower North branch field day: Gavin Larsen’s farm at Topuni, Saturday 6th December, 9.30 am  for a 10.00 am start at Graham’s farm, 1434 SH1 at Topuni
  • Gisborne East Coast branch field day: William and Nancie Barclay, Ngatapa. Pines that are nearing harvest, Wednesday 10th December, 3-00 p.m.

Independent Forestry Safety Review

As you know, there has been a review into the forestry industry to investigate recent accidents and deaths.  The Indpendent Forestry Safety Review (IFSR) committee has been working for the past 6 months on this, and released their final report at Rotorua on Friday 31 Oct.  This report was based on initial interviews and consultation meetings with 540 forestry sector stakeholders taking part, 111 submissions to their consultation document, and more than 330 survey responses from actual logging workers.  At the launch, there were speakers from the Committee, FOA, FICA and the FFA, with Peter Berg representing our Association.

The review was entirely industry-funded, with the FOA contributing the large majority, the FFA contributed $5,000 from Head Office funds plus a total of $5,000 contributed from many branches, while FICA (the forest contractors association) contributed $5,000. Funding to move the review plan forward will come from the Forest Growers Levy and hopefully with Government support.

One key paragraph from the report is:
"The results of recent WorkSafe assessments show that health and safety failures are not simply those of the worker, but of the crew boss, the forestry contractor and the forest owner, manager or marketer.  The failures extend all the way up the supply chain.  This is why a FLAG (Forest Leaders Action Group) and Forest Sector Health and Safety Action Plan (the Plan) are necessary to drive long-term, system-wide and intergrated improvements across the supply chain.  The FLAG and the Plan should be put in place within three months of the delivery of this Final Report.  We believe this can be achieved with concerted effort."  (IFSR Final Report, p10)

The IFSR envisage that there must be on-going engagement with industry to implement the action points from their report, rather than writing a report which then gets shelved to simply gather dust.

As president and on behalf of my Executive, I would like to thank the branches for their monetary contributions.  It is pleasing to know that when there is a call for funds to help specific projects which would otherwise not proceed, that I can count on the members to be forthcoming.  Our combined contributions demonstrate to the industry our willingness to be involved, that we know and understand our industry obligations, and that we want to see the industry continue to move forward.

Further information can be found at:

Ian Jackson, President NZFFA

FFR Steepland harvesting programme

Website Publication Update: The Steep Land Harvesting programme has recently uploaded documents available for NZFFA members to view as a member of this programme. NZFFA members can access the FFR website via the Members area

Recent documents include:

  • Issue 20 - Harvesting Programme Update
  • Innovative Yarding Systems Design (Harvesting Programme Tech Note Reports)
  • After Dark Logging with Alpine Grapple Carriage (Harvesting Programme Tech Note Reports)
  • Summary Report - FFR Steep Land Harvesting Programme Review Summary

These reports can be found in the Harvesting Programme Technical Reports & Harvesting Programme Tech Note Reports areas of the FFR website. Start in the members area of the NZFFA website, you'll be able to login to the FFR website from there. Any problems email Glenn.

National consistency for plantation forests- MPI workshops on National Environmental Standard (NES)

MPI (Ministry for Primary Industries) is holding a series of four workshops nationwide to help develop a draft consultation for a possible NES for Plantation Forestry:

MPI is currently exploring options to achieve greater national consistency in the management of Plantation Forestry under the RMA.  One option to achieve this is a National Environmental Standard (NES) for Plantation Forestry.

The workshops will run from 10:30am – 2pm and will include lunch and a field visit to provide practical examples of how the proposed rules would be applied. They will be looking to discuss local issues on such matters as harvesting, earthworks, mechanical land preparation, afforestation, pruning and thinning, quarrying, replanting, river crossings, etc and how they can be either aggregated up into national issues with a nationwide solution, or whether some issues are so localised that they require location-specific rules.

This is definitely your opportunity to vent all your frustrations at the local or central government rules and regulations that hinder your operations.  As the attendees would have seen at the recent Council meeting where the MPI team presented, they definitely got a bit of a roasting!  But on speaking with them afterwards they appreciated the frank and open discussion as it shows how we as tree growers feel about being over- or mis-regulated, and our feedback will help to shape the final NES draft that will then go out for formal consultation.  They say that nothing is set in stone yet, and that this is our opportunity to influence what they will send out for formal consultation.

So, and as ever, if you do not attend and have your say, then you will deserve what you get . . .

Please publicise these workshops as widely as possible amongst your branch members, it is your opportunity to make your voice heard.  If we do not get good attendance, MPI might begin to wonder whether we’re worth talking to at all!

Meeting Dates and Locations
Monday 24th November, 2014, Telford Rural Polytechnic, Balclutha
Wednesday 26th November, 2014, Bulls Town Hall, Bulls
Thursday 27 November, 2014, Hawkeswood, North Canterbury
Saturday 29 November, 2014, Tangiteroria Hall, Northland

MPI are also prepared to hold additional branch meetings if you would prefer, but request a minimum of 15 attendees and access to a close at hand stand of trees for the practical demonstrations.  Contact either Stuart directly or rsvp to me and I will make the arrangements.

RSVP to Stuart Miller, 04 894 0902, for catering etc.  Or rsvp to me.

The slide show MPI presented at the Council meeting can be downloaded here.

Glenn Tims

Worksafe's new rules released

Safety and Health in Forest Operations: Roles and Responsibilities of Principals and Contractors, November 2014

Download the document here>>

Fire Ratings and timber

Amendments to the fire protection provisions of the New Zealand Building Code has received publicity around the effects these changes will have in reducing opportunities to use timber in buildings. The Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association have produced a media release clarifying the situation:

In April 2012 the NZ Building Code Regulations for Reaction-to-Fire were changed. These changes became mandatory in April 2013.

Recognition of these changes has come late to the NZ timber industry, and some provocative statements have been made.

The changes were based on a large amount of work done at BRANZ on reaction-to-fire of internal linings of buildings. See BRANZ Study Reports 160,301,302 and 314.

These regulations have changed the ways in which timber can be used as linings in some types of buildings in New Zealand. More >>

Stump to Pump - forest waste to liquid biofuels

The Stump to Pump PGP programme, led by Norske Skog Tasman and Z Energy, investigated how to generate more value from forestry waste by converting it to liquid biofuels.

It has concluded its feasibility study into the commercial viability of a biofuels business in New Zealand from Radiata Pine residues... more>>

NZFFA Council survives 

Most people would think that a meeting about management / governance issues concerning an outfit like the NZ Farm Forestry Association could only be boring. So, it was a surprise to many attending that last Wednesday’s FFA Council meeting in Wellington was far from that.

A bit of background. The FFA is run by an ‘electoral college’ system, where branches and the membership directly elect their representatives (councillors) to make up a Council, which then elects a national Executive According to our Constitution, the Council makes the operational decisions which the Executive then implements. In actual fact, virtually the opposite occurs. The Executive, located in Wellington and fully exposed to all the latest news and views in the forestry sector, makes the operational decisions, which the Council largely ends up just rubberstamping. Over the last decade, this rubber-stamping has taken place in an hour-long meeting during the national conference, just before the AGM. Just not enough time. For this reason, there were serious doubts about the need for a Council – which has been described more than once as ‘a waste of time’ and ‘dysfunctional’. Hence the call for the Wellington Executive/Council meeting on Dec 4.

The venue for the meeting was good, as it made us feel important. It was in a Board room at the very top of a high-rise building in Wellington, alongside not only the FFA office, but also the HQ of the ‘big boys’ – the NZ Forest Owners Association. As we drank our coffee and chatted in comfortable seats, we felt smug looking down on Wellington streets, where the general public battled the wind and rain as they scurried about pursuing their boring businesses.

There were 28 Councillors and Executive members present, representing all but one of our 26 branches, although some represented more than one branch (by proxy). The role of the Council was discussed for an hour or so, at the end of which it was decided (almost unanimously) that it should stay as it is – in other words, as it is stipulated in our Constitution. Why the change of feelings from ‘dysfunctional – get rid of it’ to ‘no change’? Well basically, it was due to two words ‘better awareness’. The Council system is the most practical way for branch opinion to be represented at the top. The only change would be accepting that the Executive is the best body for key decision- making as well as for implementation – although ideally with greater assistance from a Council, which could be made a little smaller and more streamlined.

We also decided that our Special Interest Groups (eucalypts, cypresses, indigenous species etc) should be accorded the same status as branches; that some branches should consider amalgamation; that we don’t want to change our name (but could add a by-line to show that we are not all farmers); and that in order to maintain our income financial members we had to be wary of allowing too many branch-only subscribers who only pay $15. The last mentioned arose when the annual topic of ‘Tree Grower’ cost raised its head. It is by far our biggest single expense, but we all agreed that it is our shop-window, and as such needed to be maintained – unless we could think of a better alternative.

Finally, the matter of the new operating environment created by income from the Forest Levy has to be mentioned, as it was a core reason for calling the Council together. The 2015 income generated by the forest levy amounts to $6.8 million. The biggest single use of that money is on research ($3.2m), after which would be health and safety matters. The NZFFA is very well on the six or so sub-committees which actually decide where the money is spent. At the moment farm forestry gets allocated $75k (most of which goes to support our HQ office administrator, Glenn Tims), but we could easily negotiate for more. Perhaps most importantly, we have been contracted to liaise with all the Small Scale Forest Growers (owners of forests less than 1000ha). There is estimated to be 12,000 of them, the vast majority of which are not FFA members. But they pay the levy on all produce they harvest, so they have to be informed about how the funds are spent, and on the equally important matter of their health and safety responsibilities relative to anyone they employ to do forest work on their properties. It has been a large job to identify not just who these SFFGs are, but even more so, how to contact them.

By 4.30pm, brains were starting to scramble and times to catch planes were approaching fast. So the meeting was formally ended by our President, Ian Jackson. We departed with the satisfaction of having participated in a most informative (and enjoyable) gathering, and with a lot more confidence in the need for, and future of, our Association. There is definitely a need for another full-day Council meeting every year.

Nick Ledgard


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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