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EWC forestry award to JNL’s David Rameka

David Rameka from JNL’s Gisborne Mill in New Zealand won an Eastland Wood Council (EWC) Forestry award that recognises an individual who demonstrates excellence across a range of skills within wood processing – skills beyond best practice guidelines Source: Timberbiz

To be eligible for the award an individual must:

  • Demonstrate safety and/or environmental leadership
  • Show evidence of expertise/ specialisation
  • Demonstrate a high quality of work output
  • Show evidence of professional development
  • Show recognition by peers and employers.

Mr Rameka started with JNL some eight years ago at the age of 20 and spent some time as a machine operator in the sawmill before becoming the leading hand for that line. During his time as leading hand his crew was able to consistently reach and often exceed its targets. Production went from around 90 tonnes per day to 120 tonnes per day.

Then Mr Rameka was promoted to leading hand in the solid wood finishing area where he was able to assist those crews work more effectively and efficiently.

After more than two years there he was made SLVL finishing team leader.

“It took a little while to get used to the difference between manufacturing/producing solid wood products and manufacturing/producing SLVL structural beams. But after a few months or so in the job we were able to increase safety, quality, and productivity and overall efficiency in all SLVL finishing lines,” Mr Rameka said.

“Last year my role was increased to include part of the manufacturing line in the SLVL due to the big staff reduction and refocus of the business I also took a more in-depth role with dispatching and logistics.”

Currently Mr Rameka is the team leader/supervisor of the SLVL production area, despatching and logistics.

“I plan and oversee most of the production that happens through our SLVL production lines,” he said.

“This includes planning, training, making sure things are done, providing tools to get things done, helping and running machines myself to meet deadlines.

“I also deal with all the despatching and logistics for the whole mill. This includes planning for both solid wood and SLVL, sending both SLVL and solid wood products going out, receiving products into the mill and liaising with ports, trucking companies and customers both local national and international.

“I just wanted to add that a lot of my ‘success’ has only happened because I’ve had great crews along the way that have embraced my ideas and way of doing things as in the end, it made me look good. If not for them I would be still at square one.

“When I moved from solid wood to SLVL in 2016 I knew nothing about SLVL and thepeople on the floor were able to help me out, and as a team, we achieved great results.”