Call out for Northland's forestry stars


Nigel Harrison (left), Northland Forestry Skilled Professional of the Year for 2016, with Andrew Widdowson Call out for Northland's Forestry stars Nigel Harrison (left), Northland Forestry Skilled Professional of the Year for 2016, with Andrew Widdowson

Entries are now open for the 2017 Northland Forestry Awards

Last year's inaugural event was a huge success and the Northland Forestry Health and Safety Group is confident the industry will step up again and take the awards to new heights in 2017.

There are a number of exciting initiatives for this year's awards, including two new awards—the Tree Faller Excellence award and the Breaker Out Excellence award. A mentor programme has also been introduced to support people through the nomination process.

Health and Safety Forestry Group spokesperson Andrew Widdowson said the key objective of the awards is to celebrate and recognise the high level of skill and professionalism within Northland's forestry industry.

"Many don't appreciate the huge value forestry is to the region," Andrew says.
Northland has nearly 170,000 hectares planted in plantation radiata pine, with forestry directly employing around 850 people. That accounts for 10.2% of the region's primary industry workforce.

The current harvest level of 4.2 million tonnes annually, accounts for 13% of
New Zealand's total annual log harvest. Forestry accounts for 4.3% of Northland's GDP, contributing $218 million to the local economy each year.

"We want to attract skilled employees to Northland, up-skill and lift the standard of the skill base in the workforce and unit industry players, create healthy and challenging competition within the industry, and provide an opportunity for everyone to celebrate our skilled professionals," Andrew says.

There are awards up for grabs across the industry, including forestry, road, harvesting, distribution, and wood processing excellence, with someone walking away with the ultimate crown—the Northland Forestry Awards Skilled Professional of the Year. Industry excellence is also recognised, with awards for the forestry family of the year, contractor of the year, and health and safety and environment management awards.

The Northland Forestry Health and Safety Group is also keen to encourage the region's businesses to get involved with the awards.

"It's important we all share the vision to recognise and applaud those in the industry and work together to lift the profile of forestry in Northland."

Nominations open 3 April and close on 1 June. Judging will take place throughout June, with the awards night scheduled for 7 July.

Comedian, actor, and singer Pio Terei will be the Master of Ceremonies for the awards night, which is being held at the 500-seat capacity ASB Stadium at Kensington Park in Whangarei.

Northland Forestry Awards details

WHEN: 7 July 2017

WHERE: ASB Stadium at Kensington Park, Whangarei

For more information, visit northlandwoodcouncil.co.nz.

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