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Award winners in NZ forestry awards

An outstanding turnout by local forestry companies, contractors and transport operators from throughout the lower South Island of New Zealand attended the 2017 Southern Wood Council Forestry Awards. Source: Timberbiz

The Council, representing all major forest owners and most of the major wood processing companies in Otago and Southland ran the 2017 Awards program in conjunction with the country’s industry training organisation, Competenz.

In addition to profiling the contribution that forestry and those working within the industry are making to the economic and social well-being of the region, the night was really designed to celebrate the success of those that had achieved formal training qualifications over the year.

Through a series of nine major awards, the event also recognised the forest industry’s top performers from across the lower South Island.

The industry certainly rallied on the night. Like the previous two years, around 350 forest managers, forestry contractors, transport operators and product and service suppliers to the industry from throughout the lower South Island attended the awards evening at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium.

“The turnout by forestry workers, their families and supporters on the night is probably a true reflection on the momentum that’s been building over the last year or so with on-site training and safety in this region” Grant Dodson, Chairman of the Southern Wood Council said.

“In addition to recognising the training achievements of forestry workers and crews that have really stood out over the past 12 months, the industry was able to come together at one place to celebrate the industry along with training and business success.”

Presenters and speakers at this year’s awards evening include; Jamie MacKay, Host of NZ’s New Zealand’s flagship rural radio show, The Country, Hon Louise Upston, Associate Minister for Primary Industries, Hon Michael Woodhouse, Minister for Workplace Relations & Safety, Wiremu Edmonds, Director and Safety Champion, Tuakiri Ltd, Fiona Kingsford, CEO, Competenz and guest speaker Warren Alcock, the NZ Rugby Players Association‘s first accredited players agent (representing more than 80 All Blacks including Ritchie McCaw, Dan Carter, Ben Smith and Aaron Smith).

Around 120 National Training Certificates that had been achieved in Forestry & Wood Processing were awarded to top local contractors and forestry and wood processing employees.

In addition, nine major industry awards were presented to:

  • Training Excellence Award – Apprentice of the Year (Sponsored by Southern Wood Council) Award Winner; Ryan Spillane, MJ Logging
  • Training Excellence Award – Forestry Trainee of the Year (harvesting) (Sponsored by Rayonier/ Matariki Forests) Award Winner; Martin Gordon-Glassford, Griffin Logging
  • Training Excellence Award – Forestry Trainee of the Year (silviculture) (Sponsored by Dynes Transport): Award Winner; Russell Te Ngahue, XMen
  • Skilled Professionals Awards – Forestry Excellence Award (establishment, silviculture, fire, harvesting) (Sponsored by South Wood Export): Award Winner; Alistair McKenzie, Johnson Forestry Services
  • Skilled Professionals Awards – Wood Processing Excellence Award (Sponsored by UDC): Award Winner; Rodney Lonneker, Pankhurst Sawmilling
  • Skilled Professionals Awards – Forest Products/Logistics/Transport/Port Award (Sponsored by Oil Imports): Award Winner; Desiree Hollister, C3
  • Industry Excellence Awards – Forestry Environmental Management Excellence Award (Sponsored by Otago Regional Council): Award Winner; Heavyweight Hire
  • Industry Excellence Awards – Training Company/Contractor of the Year (Sponsored by City Forests): Award Winner; Shane Griffin, Griffin Logging
  • Industry Excellence Awards – Forest Products Health & Safety Award (Sponsored by Ernslaw One): Award Winner; Barry Wells, Port Blakeley
  • Tree Faller Certification – Otago Southland. Ten certificates for Professional Tree Faller Certification, a scheme that has been implemented in the Otago/Southland region were also awarded.