Ed­i­to­rial

New Zealand Logger - - Contents -

THE LAST IS­SUE OF NZ LOGGER IN­VOLVED SOME ‘BLUE sky’ think­ing about the fu­ture of forestry, so we’re back down on earth this month, in a special fea­ture that looks at in­no­va­tion and tech­nol­ogy which is about to be­come avail­able or it’s here now.

Who’d have thought we would see a felling car­riage on a sky­line that is not far from go­ing into pro­duc­tion? Or tele-op­er­ated tech­nol­ogy (oth­er­wise known as re­mote con­trol) just weeks away from be­ing ready to em­ploy in to­day’s machines?

We used to mar­vel at winch-as­sisted har­vesters work­ing on steep slopes but they are com­mon­place to­day.

The pace of change that is tak­ing place in New Zealand forestry is noth­ing short of amaz­ing and what strikes me is that it is be­ing sparked by peo­ple on the ground, not boffins or well-re­sourced man­u­fac­tur­ers. That was il­lus­trated per­fectly by the num­ber of home­grown in­no­va­tions on show at last month’s Har­vest TECH 2017 con­fer­ence.

Sure, it may re­quire qual­i­fied tech­ni­cians to put some of the ideas into prac­tice, but the mo­men­tum is com­ing from or­di­nary folk.

In this day and age, any­one can be an in­no­va­tor. Es­pe­cially in forestry. We’ve stopped ac­cept­ing that yes­ter­day’s so­lu­tions are the only op­tions avail­able. We’re ques­tion­ing whether we can do the job bet­ter, safer, more ef­fi­ciently and with more re­spect for the en­vi­ron­ment. And more im­por­tantly, we’re act­ing on it.

I grew up in more rigid, reg­i­mented times, when you had to ac­cept what your peers said and just do as you were told.

It’s great that we’ve bro­ken free from those shack­les. There is much more ac­cep­tance now for fresh think­ing. Just as long as we don’t turn our backs on all the good things that have worked bloody well. A mix of the two makes a great com­bi­na­tion.

And we can do more to fos­ter in­no­va­tion by en­cour­ag­ing ev­ery­one within our or­gan­i­sa­tion, large or small, to think about what they are do­ing and make sug­ges­tions if they be­lieve there is a bet­ter way.

Not all ideas will be good ones, but should be en­cour­aged nev­er­the­less. New Zealan­ders used to be known for our Num­ber 8 Wire ap­proach. We’re now tak­ing that to another level with our Grass Roots In­no­va­tion in the for­est. Cel­e­brate it. Fos­ter it.

NZL

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