Northland Forestry Awards 2016 Winners

Northland Forestry Awards 2016 Winners Andrew Widdowson, representative Northland H & S Forestry Group with Nigel Harrison, Wise on Wood Northland Forestry Awards 2016 Winners

Who won what at this year’s Northland Forestry Awards…

Deals on Wheels congratulates Nigel Harrison, who took the title of Northland Forestry Skilled Professional of the Year and won the Harvesting Excellence Award at the inaugural Northland Forestry Awards evening on 15 July.

The 39-year-old father of two from Wise on Wood was the toast of the sold-out formal dinner, which attracted 280 people to Toll Stadium in Whangarei where the very entertaining Eric Rush was MC.

The multi-skilled Harrison can do any task in a ground-based logging crew – from faller to digger operator, loading, fleeting, shovelling, operating a harvester processor and falling, a skidder, bulldozer, forwarder and more.

In 2013, he became a FITEC (now Competenz) assessor, following with contract training and assessing for North Tec a year later. He is known for his attention to health and safety and environmental unit standards believing they go hand-in-hand with the hands-on tasks.

Harrison was introduced to the world of wood when his family started logging exotic trees, and milling them to build houses. He gained a national certificate in carpentry and discovered what was to become a life-long passion. Harrison continued in the family business with his parents and older brother for more than 20 years, creating a very successful ground-based harvesting operation between them.

Tombleson Logging also did well at the awards, with the family taking home the Forestry Family of the Year Trophy and employee Jeremy Gunner winning the Trainee of the Year certificate.

Hancock Forest Management northern area manager Andrew Widdowson, spokesman for the Northland Forestry Health and Safety Group – the organisation behind the establishment of the Awards campaign – was delighted with the response to the inaugural awards.

"It’s great to see many from the wider industry getting in behind the event," said Widdowson. "It is all about lifting the profile of forestry in Northland and an opportunity to recognise the experience, commitment and skill of all involved."

He highlighted particularly those who are held up as real role models through a range of different operations that make up the industry – from engineering through to distribution. "It’s a real celebration for us all."

Widdowson is confident a strong foundation has now been set for the awards in an industry that is a significant contributor to the regional economy. "The whole process around the awards will only improve over time," he said.

Jacqui Apiata, ACC injury prevention and management consultant for the northern region, said she, with fellow judges Mike Goodison from WorkSafe NZ and Brett Jobe from Competenz, were most impressed with the calibre of entries.

"We didn’t know what to expect in this first year, but nominees put a lot of effort into their entries and this made some of our decisions really difficult," said Apiata. "Some of the categories could have gone either way and in some instances it came down to the calibre of the entry."

Apiata says the region is committed to reducing serious harm. "We are all working towards a culture of safe production where everyone is watching out for one another right throughout the supply chain. The awards are just one of those avenues.

Award winners

Training excellence

Trainee of the Year sponsored by Competenz: Jeremy Gunner, Tombleson Logging Limited

Training Company/Contractor of the Year sponsored by Competenz: Northpine

Skilled professionals

Forestry Excellence Award sponsored by Greenheart Group: Barry Waitai, Silviculture Contractors

Roading Excellence Award sponsored by AZTEC Forestry Transport Developments: Dave Johns, Trees Out Ltd

Harvesting Excellence Award sponsored by AB Equipment: Nigel Harrison, Wise on Wood

Distribution Excellence Award sponsored by Northpine: Ian Newey, Aztec Forestry Transport Developments Ltd

Wood Processing Excellence Award sponsored by Carter Holt Harvey Woodproducts New Zealand: Bruce Larsen, Northpine

Industry developments

Forestry Family of the Year Trophy sponsored by Northern Forest Products Ltd: Tombleson Family, Tombleson Logging Ltd

Contractor of the Year Trophy sponsored by Blackburne Group: Lars and Fiona Rosewarne, Rosewarne Cable Loggers

Outstanding H & S Management Award Trophy sponsored Summit Forests: Northern Forest Products

Outstanding Environmental Management Award Trophy sponsored by Fortuna: Shane Maxwell, Kohurau Contracting

Overall winner

Northland Forestry Skilled Professional of the Year Trophy sponsored by Northland Forestry H & S Group: Nigel Harrison, Wise on Wood

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