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Christmas Newsletter 14th December 2020
This is our last newsletter for 2020 and I would like to wish all members a very happy Christmas and an enjoyable and relaxing break. I think we will all be happy to move on from 2020 and I am well aware many members are tired and need a break.
I am very thankful to all members who have written to ‘members voice’ or personally to me during the year. Constructive debate is pivotal and the newsletter should be a safe place to have this debate and exchange ideas. It is also very useful to the council as it helps guide us to what is important for you. Your council exists to serve you the members so I encourage you to keep the conversation flowing.
I am enthused about the opportunities over the next two years. We have a very supportive Minister and this is our chance to make real change. However we only have 2 years to make this change so we need to move fast. While we must consult we can not afford to hold numerous talkfests and not reach an agreed conclusion. I assure members we will consult but I will take silence as agreement so if you have something to say I encourage you to say it.
You will see a letter from Vivien Edwards latter in this newsletter. Vivien is the author of Mary Sutherland’s biography; a project she has worked on for many years. I encourage you all to purchase a copy of the book, it is an important piece of the industry and NZIF’s history. This book would not have occurred without the existence of the NZIF Foundation and its ability to get funding as a charity. This shows the importance of the Foundation and the role it plays in furthering education. The Foundation is a charity and as such relies on donations. Increasing donations allows the Foundation to support more people and projects. I encourage you all to consider making a donation if you can. As a charity it needs your support.
My goal over the next two years is to promote professional forestry, including management of indigenous forests. This includes having well trained people in all parts of the sector, having discussion and debate around management practices, working with Government on the details around the Forest Advisors and Log Traders registration and we ensuring forests are seen as a pivotal part of New Zealand landscape and its economy.
The council have clear targets which we hope will benefit members. Targets include the completion of the valuation standards (including carbon valuation); completion of an updated Handbook, providing more CPD including some online, helping Future Foresters grow and flourish, submitting on any Bill which has an effect on professional forestry, helping local sections hold meetings and find speakers, ensuring we have a strong independent registration board, building relationships within New Zealand media and holding regular meetings with the Minister and officials.
I would like to thank the Council, our great administration team of Raewyn and Jay and the Registration Board for all their work this year. NZIF would not function without you. Your efforts are very much appreciated. Most are volunteers and I am sure all members thank them for their time and acknowledge the efforts they make during their weekends and evenings.
I am looking forward to 2021; but first like many of you I need a break. 2020 has been a very difficult year for me in many ways. As such we won’t send another newsletter out until 08 Feb.
Enjoy your break. Stay safe, relax and refresh; and if anyone is passing through Hawkes Bay and wants to catch up send me an email.
Have a very happy Christmas
The President received the following request from Yannina Whiteley and I was asked to have a go at a response.
Could the President briefly explain the likely interplay between - Registered Forestry Consultant, a voluntary scheme, and Forestry Advisor, and involuntary scheme. Is it worth being both?
Yannina suggests, more or less correctly, that the NZIF Registration scheme is voluntary and Registered Forestry Advisers, as set out in the recent legislation is involuntary. Starting with the NZIF scheme, registration is required for any member who claims or leads any person to believe that they are registered. Members cannot use the appellation forestry consultant or lead any person to believe they may be a forestry consultant, unless they are registered. In addition, only NZIF registered members are able to benefit from the Real Estate Agents exemption that allows them to be involved in Real Estate transactions. Consequently, the NZIF scheme is compulsory if you are an NZIF member, but there is no compulsion or legislation that you must join or remain a member. However, the Real Estate exemption is set in legislation, and you would need a separate approved (legal) status to be involved in Real Estate transactions if not a NZIF Registered member.
Turning to the new Forestry Adviser, that is definitely compulsory for those providing a forestry adviser service (as defined in the Act), and is backed by legislation that provides for offences and penalties, dealing with complaints, appeals to Courts, costs, etc. While NZIF has some of these powers in its rules, at the end of the day a member can walk away from NZIF and enforcement becomes that much harder.
Once you get part the voluntary/involuntary divide, the two schemes start looking quite similar, although a lot of the detail is still to come as regulations and rules are drafted and promulgated. Some examples are:
- The scheme will be managed by the Forestry Authority. The NZIF scheme is managed by the Registration Board
- The application and registration renewal process looks to be similar to NZIF. It applies to an individual, not to a company, partnership, etc. You have to be a “fit and proper person” which I would expect to be similar to the not eligible criteria in NZIF Rule 168. There are appeal processes if applications are declined
- The forestry adviser scheme can impose conditions on registered advisers that can include restrictions on the services the adviser can provide. NZIF has a requirement in its code of ethics that prevents a registered person from acting outside their competence. NZIF also has provision for a registered member to apply to the Board for skills recognition
- Both schemes have complaints and disciplinary provisions, with penalties for breaching the rules, code of ethics, etc.
- The Forestry Authority and the NZIF Registration Board both have to maintain registers of registered persons
- The Forestry Authority will be able to prescribe standards for forestry operations. Currently NZIF members are required to follow the NZIF Valuation Standard when making forest valuations. I assume that the Authority will, in due course prescribe standards for a number of activities, but that these are likely to be related to some of the codes of practice already used in NZ. Another might be the New Zealand Standard for sustainable forest management NZS/AS 4708
- Both schemes require a Code of Ethics. The NZIF one is binding on all members, the Forestry Adviser one will be binding on all registered advisers
So now we need to consider Yannina’s question regarding whether to join both schemes. My own view is that given the compulsory registration the Act requires of those aspiring to be forestry advisers, NZIF members required to register will have to opt for the statutory scheme. The inevitable result of this will be a significant if not complete absence of demand for the NZIF scheme. If this happens, then I also worry about the future of NZIF – it might become more of a “old boys and girls” networking entity and little else.
But there is another possibility. The Act provides for delegation of the some or all of the Forestry Authority powers to an entity other than a government department. NZIF has been managing a registration scheme for its members for many years. As noted above, although the details are not yet described in regulations, I would not expect a huge difference between the nuts and bolts of the new scheme and the NZIF scheme. So perhaps officials can be encouraged to look closely at the NZIF one and recommend to Ministers that we receive a delegation. Inevitably this would require some changes to the NZIF rules and procedures, but we went through that process a few years ago when we negotiated and were granted the exemption for NZIF registered members under the Real Estate Agents Act. And NZIF is still the only professional association that has achieved such an exemption. It is also worth noting that under the Chartered Professional Engineers of New Zealand Act, The Institution of Professional Engineers of New Zealand is appointed as the Registration Authority for Chartered Professional Engineers in New Zealand.
If NZIF could negotiate a similar role for registration of Registered Forestry Advisers, I would expect the new registration scheme would use the NZIF experience, there would only be one registration scheme for forestry advisers in NZ and NZIF would take on a whole new role that would further enhance the developments in professionalism in NZ forestry that NZIF has been steadily working towards in recent years. That is an exciting thought and one well worth pursuing.
A final comment on Yannina’s questions. Without doubt, it is worth pursuing NZIF registration before the new scheme comes in. I cannot predict what sort of transition there might be for NZIF registered members, but the discipline required to participate in the NZIF scheme will not go amiss, whether or not NZIF has a role in what eventuates in the next year or so.
On a personal basis, I still retain my NZIF registered status although I am not doing any paid work requiring NZIF registration. I do this because I am proud to have achieved my professional registration that helps in my credibility to be an active, albeit supposedly retired, NZIF member.
NZIF Registered Forester
Mob: +64 274 733 262
I read your latest column in the NZIF newsletter with great interest.
I read your latest column in the NZIF newsletter with great interest. It is a debate I am having on a regular basis at work.
I constantly get feedback around how bad pines are (both from within the organisation and in the public arena) and can I please encourage foresters to plant more natives after they have harvested. I also get lots of comments that all forestry activities are bad for the environment and every harvest is another Tolaga Bay waiting to happen! I am a one voice in the organisation and I am constantly defending commercial forestry and the excellent work all the companies I monitor and work with are doing down here.
I also often have conversations with our land management advisors around trees. They are regularly asked by the farmers they meet, to give advice on the 1BT, ETS and carbon trading. The LMA’s are keen not to have radiata planted but sometimes find it hard to justify native planting commercially to farmers. There is a lot more talk now around mixed planting – using radiata and other conifers as the nursery crop in the short term and, with careful management, let the native understory come through for long term carbon. This, obviously needs careful management and needs good consultants to make it work, but land owners are keen on this. They like the idea of getting the quick carbon initially off the radiata and use these credits to help fund the native regeneration understory. It also appeals to their environmental conscious and helps them to meet their new obligations under the NES for fresh water. Having some clear direction on this and a better calculation model for mixed species carbon credits from MPI would be a great help with this.
Experience in Canterbury is that, although there is opposition to lots of radiata being planted (and in Canterbury we have topped the table for 1BT exotic applications and area planted), in most cases, planting has occurred on unviable farm land. On land that constantly needed spraying for weed control and spraying for fertiliser. Given the state of our waterways, this is not ideal and expensive. Trees help to over come this (no spraying of chemical), improve run-off quality, stabilise our very erodible soils as well as provide an income source much better than running stock units per hectare.
Changing public perception of forestry is the biggest hurdle I face. While I am a fully trained forester (having graduated from Canterbury), working in compliance gives me a slightly different perspective (and maybe a greater idea of public concerns) of the industry. I am hugely proud of the industry and do find it frustrating dealing with the constant negativity forestry tends to attract.
Thanks for reading my rant! I hope it gives some idea of what is happening in Canterbury.
Re the fate of radiata plantings dedicated to carbon sequestration
Re the fate of radiata plantings dedicated to carbon sequestration, surely that, and the attendant risks, would depend heavily on local factors. And equally, knowledgeable professionals could make a pretty good stab at identifying those factors, such as recognising the soils and terrain on which the radiata might eventually collapse to create the potential for debris slides in gullies – just as you mentioned.
Where radiata can be harvested, there can of course be continued sequestration of carbon by wood in service, particularly with medium-rise wooden buildings which are starting to go up. I understand that this potential is moving towards effective recognition. Towards the other extreme, I gather the typical service life of radiata sawtimber used as concrete boxing (or ”shuttering”) in China is less than a year.
Now that I have started, I come back to how I see the difficulties for the forestry profession to operate as the effective political lobby needed to create a level playing field. Foresters are chronically under-represented in the upper corporate echelons, thus being very largely constrained to speak only in turn. I guess that tends to shade the political input via the Forest Owners Association. And the very nature of commercial forestry, as a stand-alone sectoral enterprise, militates against the multiplicity of individual players that creates a political grassroots organisation like that of the farming sector. Diagnosis, though, is not a solution, but if one gets it right it surely helps one reaching whatever solution may be feasible.
Maybe we shouldn’t plant radiata carbon forests as their long term impact is unknown
James notes that some members think maybe we shouldn’t plant radiata carbon forests as their long term impact is unknown: if we plant them we may be causing problems for ourselves in the future. Well, really? Everything we do may cause us problems in the future. We can either do nothing, or act now based on the feelings, values and best information we have to hand. Let’s face it, ‘problems in the future’ are being caused by overpopulation and pollution but we keep on having children and using plastic, petrol, and throw-away clothing.
If our feelings, values and information tell us to plant radiata we should plant radiata. We should also, of course, do everything sensible to minimise the foreseeable problems that might cause. What are they? Well, they don’t include old age: radiata grows happily for 150 years, as evidenced in the Wellington Botanical gardens. They aren’t disease or windthrow. Disease or windthrow will simply damage or kill the trees, leaving gaps for others to grow through; and as natural disasters, they don’t affect carbon credits. The only real problem is fire, and not because of its affect on the trees. To a tree fire is just other natural disaster. The real problem is that trees burn very hot, and allow fire to spread to other assets like houses, roads and people. Trees are always the victims, not the causes of fires, but the public doesn’t see that. As far as the public is concerned, if we are going to plant radiata forests on steep hills and leave them, we need to manage the fire risk and be seen to be managing it. That means keeping people out, having the forests a ‘manageable’ size, and having suitable access for fire protection.
With that proviso, we should plant all the radiata we can.
I decided to check whether Mary Sutherland, who graduated with a BSc in Forestry from Bangor University, Wales, 1916 was in fact the "first female forestry graduate in the world”.
Internet searches in English reveals:
- Ms. Toini Eklund, who was the first Finnish female forester and seemingly the first in Europe, started her professional forestry degree at the University of Helsinki in 1918. See: 100 years of forests - a tribute to the centenary of Finland's independence | Forest Bioeconomy, Business and Sustainability | University of Helsinki
- Ms. Margaret Stoughton Abell, the first American female forester, graduated with a BSc in Forestry, Iowa State College, USA in 1930 worked as a Research Forester with the USDA Forest Service. See: U.S. Forest Service’s First Woman Research Forester – CompassLive (usda.gov)
- Ms. Aurora Gruescu, a Romanian professional forest engineer graduated in 1933 from the Bucharest Polytechnic, is recorded by the World Record Academy as the world’s first female forestry engineer. See: World's first woman forestry engineer: Aurora Gruescu (worldrecordacademy.org)
At least according to internet searches in “English” Mary Sutherland has earned the right to be known as the first female forestry graduate in the world.
Many thanks for doing such a great job as editor.
Have just finished reading Volume 65 of the Journal and, as usual, found the papers engaging and informative. The Journal is an excellent publication which I feel achieves a nice balance between formally reviewed academic papers, high quality information for professional foresters, and opinion pieces. The obituaries are always respectful and informative. I knew Richard Woollons well and thought his obituary was a very fitting tribute to a lovely man.
I am looking forward to the next volume.
Many thanks for doing such a great job as editor.
The impending collapse of some specific radiata pine forests
I’m reading a lot recently about the impending collapse of some specific radiata pine forests, to be followed by the springing forth of multitudes of native trees.
Some people need to get outside more, I suggest. If you could kill radiata pine by wishing it away it would have happened already. Get used to it is my advice, along with gorse, rabbits and starlings it’s not going anywhere.
And I like that, when you do visit those old radiata pines, over 65 years old its pretty clear that there is an ecology where they are fit, and they do reproduce into gaps as the old ones collapse.
Pines are here to stay, they do not become fairy circles or unicorn colonies by collapsing at the sound of some cosmic trumpet.
Bert Hughes RMNZIF
The National Party’s proposed ban on planting pine forests where it is unlikely to be harvested seems misguided.
We need to remind folk that forests provide many benefits in addition to wood production including soil and water conservation, recreation, wildlife habitat, recreation, carbon sequestration, and nursery for restoration of native forests.
There is no evidence of population collapses occurring in radiata pine forest cover at 80 years except perhaps for a reference in Wikipedia about the average life expectancy of Monterey pine in its natural environment. It seems is highly unlikely – Pine trees often live for hundreds of years. In their natural environment, Monterey pine life expectancy is mainly dictated by fire occurrence rather than any age based upper limit on life expectancy. Richard Woollons and Bruce Manley published an analysis of permanent sample plots which concluded “that growing radiata pine stands in New Zealand out to old ages, maybe 60–100 years, is more than feasible”. I myself have seen many old radiata pine trees in rude health in many places in New Zealand include a few old radiata pines in Hagley Park which must be older than 120 years of age.
The subject of forest collapse is interesting because it almost never occurs in the wild – especially in New Zealand conditions - except in the case of desertification and perhaps pest and disease outbreaks. Pine forests might naturally self-thin and regenerate from below. The pine could act as a nurse crop for other species through a successional process, with pine remaining dominant in specific sites and conditions. What a pine forest won’t do naturally is die off and deteriorate into some sort of exposed shrubland / non-forest type.
In addition to countering unlikely plantation radiata collapse scenarios, we should also be investigating opportunities for cultivating a variety of species suited for this long rotation function and which are maybe are superior to radiata pine. The Californian sequoia species are an example of very long-lived fast growing trees, that provide high value timbers, and which have the additional benefit of coppicing following harvesting. There are a large number of hardwood species in the oak, chestnut, walnut and beech family which could produce not only valuable timber but also valuable tree crops.
Permanent Exotic Forests
As highlighted in the presidents column this is a “hot topic” and will become more so in the next year. For many not interested in the Carbon/ETS space it may seem a small issue. I would encourage all members to get involved in this – whatever your view – as what could flow out of this will have major implications for all parts of the forest industry – existing and new. We always moan that forestry doesn’t get any attention – well we have it now and we had better make sure we get a message out there.
It seems to me there is a strong desire in the community to see more native forest re established – no matter how hard/expensive it is this is the major wish of society. As an industry we need to recognize this and show we also value and want more native forests – as Im sure most members do. Exotics have been demonized and especially permanent exotic radiata forests. Even then the release from the National Party remit defined permanent radiata forest so a degree of refinement has already occurred from earlier statements from the like of 50 Shades of Green(one of the movers is a founding member of this group) “..make it illegal to plant a pine forest if it is unlikely ever to be harvested..” “.. that renders food producing land useless..”. Permanent Radiata forests do have an important place and role to play in climate change and native forest regeneration but I personally believe we need to define where these forests will be located – be it land class, soil erosion etc can be debated. Everyone’s definition of productive land is different of course!!.I have found once you explain the ecological process and science behind these there is a large degree of acceptance. On the flip side we need to support and encourage Government support for people to retire land to naturally regenerate into native forest through means such as those at Hinewai Reserve – Hugh Wilson et el – which have worked on a large scale. If society wants to be see more native they have to pay more to the land owners to do this – as usual the “Government” will be asked to pay!! If as an industry we show we do support native forest restoration and recognize the need to define where permanent exotic forests are located(there’s plenty of room)I believe we will get more acceptance of exotic timber plantations in our landscapes.
Have your say!
Ideas, thoughts or advice?? Send it through to firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration Board Chairman
Peter Casey has been a member of the New Zealand Institute of Forestry since 1984. He spent 15 years in the Forestry Sector up to 1996 where with a multi-disciplinary back ground of a Forestry degree, Chartered Accountant and a MBA he held a diverse range of roles. Peter has previously served on the NZIF Council in the 1990’s.
Then up to 2017 Peter held senior roles in the public and private sector across the Transport, Infrastructure, Industrial Chemicals, Property and Fund Management sectors. Peter returned to the sector in 2017. Peter is currently the General Manager of New Zealand Carbon Farming, the largest supplier of Carbon Credits in NZ.
Peter is a Registered Member of the New Zealand Institute of Forestry, Chairman of the Registration Board and hopes his range of experiences can contribute to growing community recognition of the positive and value add role of the professional forester.
Christmas Office Hours
The NZIF office will be open until midday 23rd Dec 2020 and re open 11th January 2021.
The last Newsletter for 2020 will be on the 14th Dec and the first for 2021 will be on the 8th February.
Canterbury / West Coast Local Section notice of Xmas Dinner
Elms Quality Hotel, Wednesday 16th December
Gathering 5.30 for a 6.45 meal
Meal cost (set Xmas menu) is $48.50
Drinks at your cost
RSVP your attendance to Patrick Milne ( Patrick@cypress.co.nz )by end of business day Monday 14th December
After dinner - -A time to reflect – come along and if you feel inclined tells us about your reflections of 2020.
Regards to all
Thanks to NZIF
Thanks to NZIF
When I discovered Mary Sutherland’s memorial plaque, in the Redwood Forest at Whakarewarewa, back in 2009, I wondered how a woman forester was employed by the New Zealand State Forest Service, when not a lot of women work in forestry today. Few people remembered Mary, and those who knew of her existence, knew little about her. My search for documented evidence on her State Forest Service work led me to various locations – the Wellington and Auckland offices of Archives NZ, Scion and Te Amorangi Trust Museum in Rotorua; and the NZIF’s historical records, which Andrew McEwen, then president of NZIF, let me access.
Bangor University provided information on Mary’s time at the University College of North Wales, where she undertook her forestry studies and graduated in 1916. Mike Roche, who wrote the New Zealand Dictionary of Biography article on Mary Sutherland, provided a lead that helped me track down family records collected by Mary’s niece, who had died two years before. My search to locate her collection led from the niece’s obituary and death notices to her neighbours, who provided her brother’s address in England. He had been to New Zealand to settle his sister’s affairs and had left the records with a descendent of another of Mary’s sisters. The records were in Tauranga, a few kilometres from where I live. Included in the collection were nine letters written by Mary; a diary of her return to Britain in 1952, when she revisited the university at Bangor; and photographs. The files on Mary’s time at the Dominion Museum, where she became the botanist, were located at Te Papa Archives; and although relevant Department of Agriculture files appeared not to have survived, Mary’s letters, her articles in the New Zealand Journal of Agriculture and annual reports, shed light on her farm forestry career.
Like a jigsaw, the pieces of information I collected, needed to fit in the right place, to write Mary’s story. When most of the work was done, I approached various publishers; but a woman forester in the 1920s and 30s did not fit in their publishing plan. Her life and work was not considered a commercial proposition. They only produced a few books a year and New Zealand was a small market. Constant rejection made it hard not to give up, but Andrew recognised the value of what my research had uncovered. He recommended I consider funding options. The Stout Trust looked promising, but as an individual I was not eligible to apply. However, it was possible for a charitable organisation, to do so on my behalf, which is how the New Zealand Institute of Foresters Foundation became involved.
I wish to acknowledge Andrew and the Foundation, for supporting the development of my book; and NZIF for access to the historical NZIF records - also the members, who made suggestions and answered my questions. They helped locate photographs and assisted in determining the christian names of foresters from the past, which proved a challenge.
My sincere thanks to you all,
Author of A Path Through the Trees. Mary Sutherland – forester, botanist & Women’s advocate
A path through the trees: Mary Sutherland — forester, botanist and women’s advocate by Vivien Edwards, $45 +p&p.
This fascinating biography of the first woman forestry graduate in the world (Bangor University), includes the early history of the NZ Forest Service and formation of NZIF, and historical photographs of Sutherland and her family, and forestry in Britain and New Zealand.
Kia ora from Royal Society Te Apārangi | Issue #1121
Royal Society newsletter
Accelerating New Zealand’s investment into biofuels
Te Uru Rākau is moving ahead with the next stage of research into creating a New Zealand biofuels industry, following a successful first stage, Director Sector Investments Jason Wilson announced.
"The Wood Fibre Futures project earlier this year identified viable wood-based alternatives to high carbon emitting products such as transport fuel, concrete, steel, and coal.
"Having identified the options, we are now looking to accelerate to stage 2 of the project, which will be to build business cases for attracting international investors to New Zealand."
NZ School of Forestry Schlich Memorial Award for 2020
The recipient of the NZ School of Forestry Schlich Memorial Award for 2020 is Grace Marshall. Miss Marshall will receive a cash prize to be presented at the graduation function in April 2021 and along side the cash prize is a one year Graduate membership of NZIF which is funded by NZIF.
Challenges and opportunities with native forestry on Māori land
A new research paper by Motu Economic and Public Policy Research has found that Many challenges hinder Māori to realise their aspirations for native forestry on their land.