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14th June 2021 Newsletter
It was with great pleasure I took part in the book launch of ‘A Path Through the Trees’; which tells the story of Mary Sutherland. Many of you will know Mary was a founding member of NZIF, designed our logo, served on council (including as VP) and bequeathed funds to allow for the NZIF Foundation annual Mary Sutherland award to be offered. It was therefore fitting and pleasing to see the Foundation provide not one; but two, Mary Sutherland awards on the night to Lily Marshall & Pamela Purdie. I would like to congratulate both awardees; they were well deserved.
My speech highlighted the obstacles Mary faced in her role as a forester in NZ. Her professionalism and knowledge was never disputed; however she was under-utilised due to being a woman. She was not allowed into the field (as separate accommodation would be required) so instead, she was office based forming volume calculations and undertaking microscope work.
I pondered how much had changed; concluding at a basic level not much. As a professional body we are 89.9% male. We only have one female on the council and only two on the registration Board. While we are seeing an increasing number of females enter our industry; what obstacles do they still face compared to their male counterparts? As a professional body these are questions we need to ask ourselves and actively work to break down obstacles when we see them.
I strongly believe diversity makes for better decisions. If you are in a position which allows for it, can I suggest you remember Mary and don’t make the mistakes of the past. Encourage future Mary’s into the field, listen to what they have to say and challenge them to use their full potential.
Finally I encourage you all to buy the book.
Today I read an article in Stuff headlined ‘Timber millers say log exports are killing them’. A strong statement. Within the article it is suggested if we are not careful we will be a country of log exports only as there will be no processing left. As to be expected, FOA’s position in the article as forest owners must have the right to make hay while the sun shines and take the highest price no matter where it comes from. This is countered by WPMA who state it is an unfair playing field, as China subsidises log purchase (please note the above are my words paraphrasing the article). This is a debate which has been going on for over a decade now with little change from either side.
As a profession it is time we had a debate; looking at the whole picture and not just from one side or the other. I would be interested in members views. Do we as a profession want domestic processing? At what cost? Should we be looking to diversify our markets, both in terms of location and product? As a profession what do we believe the end product we sell should be (standing trees, logs, processed wood; furniture etc)? As a profession what is the best result for New Zealand considering both economic return but also non-market benefits?
We are the professional body of forestry in New Zealand. We should have a view on the above which is not biased to forest owners or saw millers; but rather from what is best for NZ and our profession. It is difficult to step away from our day jobs (growing trees, processing, education, science) and look at the big picture, but as the professionals in forestry we must. So send your views in. Let’s start the discussion and maybe we can find some common ground.
For those of you who have not voted in the Fellows election, please do so. Being nominated a Fellow is an honour and a reflection of recognition from your peers. As such, it is important as members you vote. If you have not done so, please go to your dashboard and vote ASAP. The voting portal is closing soon.
I look forward to seeing many of you at the conference and AGM. If you are there please come up for a chat. Tell me what you like and dislike about the Institute, let me know where we can improve or even just provide us some bouquets. The council runs the Institute for you the members. The conference and AGM is a good opportunity for you to provide us feedback.
2021 NZIF Conference
27th to 29th June 2021 (Conference Registrations has closed)
If you have a late registration to the Conference, CPD Workshops or Women in Forestry Breakfast, please contact Raewyn on firstname.lastname@example.org and she will advise if there is anything available.
I can advise that the Future Forest Quiz night and both Field Trips are full. We can not take any further bookings for these.
27th to 29th June 2021
Copthorne Hotel & Resort Solway Park
We are excited to be presenting a varied and inspiring lineup for our next conference to be held in Masterton in the mighty Wairarapa. We all know how passionate our sector work force is about what we do, and we are seeking to showcase some of this pride with our lineup of speakers and CPD sessions.
Conference committee update
We are popular in Masterton! Our conference is nearly a sell out. The Future Foresters Quiz, Feild Trips, and some CPD sessions are a full sell out. Please check the website for booking other sessions.
We can squeeze a few more into the Women in Forestry breakfast. But only if you are identify as a women in your email signature.
There has been much discussion around the climate change commission reports and it’s good timing to have our speaker Nicola Shadbolt address us on this topic.
We will be running the popular question app again so you can throw inappropriate questions at the speaker through a mobile app on the day. Make sure you have your smartphones on hand. All questions are anonymous, (just saying)
Thanks to all generous sponsors and our committee for their 2 year commitment to this conference organising.
Looking forward to seeing many familiar faces and some new ones at our NZIF Conference. Make sure to bring your “Pride and Passion” for forestry with you.
Chair of Organising Committee
NZIF conference 2021
I too applaud Bridget Robinson’s suggestion concerning how to address myths and legends about plantations. As for the exact format, I have no strong views, but the format can presumably be tailored to each case. Posting drafts within the Institute for feedback sounds good.
In refuting myths it will be crucial to protect credibility, and that will surely entail conceding any elements of truth in them. For instance, water consumption of plantations can be a problem, to be balanced against benefits for water quality and flood mitigation. On some ‘hot button’ issues we may even need to admit to unresolved controversies.
Rowland Burdon FRSNZ, FNZIF
NZIF FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES RECIPIENTS OF TWO MARY SUTHERLAND SCHOLARSHIPS
The NZIF Foundation announced the awarding of two Mary Sutherland Scholarships at an event on 3rd June 2021, celebrating the recent publication of the biography of Mary Sutherland, the first woman in the world to graduate with a forestry degree (A Path Through the Trees: Mary Sutherland – forester, botanist & women’s advocate by Vivien Edwards, published by Writes Hill Press). Mary Sutherland graduated from the University College of North Wales, Bangor in 1916. She emigrated to NZ in 1923 and was employed by the newly established State Forest Service. In 1927 she was a founding member of the NZ Institute of Forestry and designed the official seal, which still forms the basis for the Institute’s logo.
The Mary Sutherland Scholarship was initiated by the NZ Institute of Forestry following receipt of a bequest from Mary Sutherland. Initially awarded to the top student from the Forest Service ranger school, the Scholarship has, since 2012 been awarded by the NZIF Foundation and is available to a student enrolled in a forestry related course at a NZ polytechnic. Normally only one scholarship, worth $1,000 is available each year and the recipient is usually announced at the annual NZIF Conference dinner. To recognise the significance of the biography, the Foundation this year decided to award two scholarships (each of $1,000) at the celebration of the publication.
The 2021 recipients are both enrolled for the first year of a Diploma in Forest Management at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology in Rotorua. They are:
- Lily Marshall, attended Taupo-nui-a-tia college in Taupo before completing a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at Victoria University of Wellington. She spent several years overseas before returning home to pursue a career in forestry. She particularly enjoys the practical aspects the Diploma has to offer and is looking forward to the part forestry will play in a sustainable future for New Zealand.
- Pamela Purdie from Rotorua attended Rotorua Girl’s High School and subsequently worked as a silviculture technician before commencing her diploma. Her ambition is to lead and teach others to uphold NZ’s environmental and health and safety regulations.
The celebration was held in the new building, Te Whare Nui o Tuteata, at the Crown Research Institute Scion, only a short distance from a memorial plaque to Mary Sutherland in the Redwood Grove in Rotorua’s Whakarewarewa Forest. It was coming across the plaque that led to Vivien Edwards embarking on a lengthy mission to research and write a biography of Mary. It was attended by over 100 people including descendants of Mary Sutherland’s oldest sister, the President of the Rotorua and District historical society, Chriss Taylor, who was responsible for installing the plaque, in the Redwood Grove, historians, Zonta Club members, Heather McKenzie, the first woman to graduate with a forestry degree in New Zealand (1974), former recipients of the Mary Sutherland scholarship, including Tina Drummond, the first woman to receive it (1997), Her Worship, the Mayor of Rotorua, Steve Chadwick, students from Toi Ohomai, former students of Bangor University and a wide range of historians, members of the NZIF and other forestry people.
2021 recipients of the Mary Sutherland Scholarship, Lily Marshall (left) and Pamela Purdie with NZIF Foundation trustees James Treadwell and Andrew McEwen
Former and 2021 recipients of the Mary Sutherland Scholarship at the celebration of the publication of the biography of Mary Sutherland. Left to right Georgia Paulson (2018), Simon Honour (2010), Tina Drummond (1997), Chas Hutton (1980), Dave Lumley (1975), Lily Marshall (2021) Pamela Purdie (2021)
Chair, NZIF Foundation
Presidents speech at Mary Southerland book launch
Tenā koutou katoa
Ko Ruapehu te maunga
Ko Hinemaiaia te awa
Ko Taupo te roto
No Heretaunga ahau
Ko James Treadwell tōku ingoa
tenā koutou, tenā koutou, tenā tatou katoa
Evening all. I stand here in my role as president of the institute of forestry and as trustee of the nzif foundation. In both of these roles, Mary’s influence still lingers.
I wear Mary’s logo design on my lapel and every year I review many hopeful applications for the Foundation award which was started by Mary’s donation and is named after her. There is perhaps only one other past forester who’s influence is as strong as Mary’s.
I want to dwell on the barriers Mary tried to overcome and the poor treatment she received. There is no doubt Mary knew her stuff. However did we allow her to use her full potential? It seems we did not. This from her history.
Her botanical knowledge and professionalism were acknowledged, but under-used during this dramatic period of forestry development. Unable to share a tent with male staff, she was seldom sent on field work as other accommodation had to be paid for. As a consequence, she was mostly employed on technical calculations for volume tables and in time-consuming microscope work.
It seems the more we change the more we stay the same. I am a CEO (yes the President role is voluntary) of a forest management company employing directly 25 people. We currently employ only 24% females and I am embarrassed to say only one is involved in field work. We all need to acknowledge more work is required to get proper gender diversity within our profession. (Just look around you). I strongly believe diversity makes for better decisions. If you are in a position which allows for it, remember Mary and please don’t make the mistakes of the past. Encourage future Mary’s into the field, listen to what they have to say and challenge them to use their full potential.
I received last night and apology from Minister Nash for not being able to attend this event. He asked me to forward his apologies to you all. I will be sending Stuart a copy of this book. It is well known the Minister is looking to form the Forestry Service mark 2. I will be encouraging him to ensure the service has and encourages diversity and does not limit any one persons ability to contribute fully, due to to their gender.
I am extremely grateful to Viven for bringing this important book to life. As President, it is fantastic to have more information about the person who is responsible for our logo, one of our awards and was a founding member. As a professional forester it is a pretty strong mirror. Are we doing better today than when Mary was striding around the trees?
My belief is change is underway, but momentum is required and as leaders we must continue to make our profession open and everyone who chooses to join us must be treated equally and welcomed to our industry. I would like to believe Mary can stand for broken glass ceilings; as an inspiration for teenage girls thinking about their future career; as a mirror to our leaders reminding us diversity brings better results and continues to drive bloody good forest practice built on science.
Thank you Viven for the gift you have given us; thank you Andrew for your drive and support of Viven to help get his book to print and thank you all for turning out tonight. You being here shows our profession is important and change is in the wind.
Te Whare Nui o Tuteata - The Way of the Future
When people walk into Te Whare Nui o Tuteata it's quite likely they'll reach out to touch its timber beams.
The $14 million Rotorua building is Scion's front door for the public and its partners.
"You don't find people hugging concrete columns or steel beams," Doug Gaunt, a Scion engineer says. "Wood is a warm thing to touch."
Scion was formerly known as the Forest Research Institute and specialises in research, science and technology development for forestry, wood and other biomaterials
NZ JOURNAL OF FORESTRY
Volume 66 - 1 is now online