Brian paves his road for forestry suc­cess

New Zealand Logger - - Forest Talk -

BRIAN DEAM WAS A POP­U­LAR WIN­NER OF THE EAST­LAND Wood Coun­cil Skilled Pro­fes­sional of the Year at the 2017 awards.

The 61-year-old, who works for Gis­borne’s Big Bark Log­ging, has been in­volved in cre­at­ing for­est roads and in­fra­struc­ture for around 40 years and never ex­pected his ef­forts to be recog­nised by an award.

Brian, who also won the East­land Port Road­ing Ex­cel­lence Award, says it is “very special” to be recog­nised in this way.

He’s well known in the re­gion, hav­ing started out in Hiku­rangi For­est Farms de­vel­op­ing Kopua Sta­tion. Brian also worked for Doug Hood, be­com­ing a trainer as­ses­sor for the com­pany’s quar­ry­ing and min­ing op­er­a­tions, be­fore re­turn­ing to road­ing, first in Tau­maranui and then back to Gis­borne.

Last year, his ca­reer turned full cir­cle when he was back road­lin­ing in Hiku­rangi forests and will be there again shortly to con­tinue the work.

His boss, BBL’s Tony Shana­han, de­scribes Brian as a “very valu­able part of our op­er­a­tion and a key as­set to us”.

Brian en­joys his work so much he says there are no plans to re­tire any time soon.

His award was the high­light of the pre­sen­ta­tion evening, held in front of nearly 500 peo­ple packed Show­grounds Event Cen­tre.

It is the eighth year of the awards and chief judge, Ju­lian Kohn, says that while the re­gion faces chal­lenges around in­fra­struc­ture, the in­dus­try was in very good health from a com­mer­cial point of view.

“We are mov­ing into a very strong growth phase from a har­vest­ing per­spec­tive,” he says. “A lot of the plant­ings from the early to late 1990s are now com­ing up to a har­vestable age and when you look at that in con­junc­tion with strong devel­op­ment in the Chi­nese mar­ket, and to a lesser ex­tent, the In­dian and do­mes­tic on­shore mar­kets, it augers well for the fu­ture.

“We face is­sues around in­fra­struc­ture and specif­i­cally skilled labour for lo­cal road­ing. There is a se­ri­ous con­straint on the size of the port and ca­pac­ity, which means the costs are par­tic­u­larly high. How­ever, the in­dus­try is work­ing hard along­side the port, as it has done for some years, to im­prove the ef­fi­ciency there.”

Mr Kohn also high­lighted the chal­lenge of find­ing good skilled labour, ad­ding: “The per­cep­tion of forestry as an em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­nity for a lot of young New Zealan­ders is not a pos­i­tive one, so it is a harder task to at­tract peo­ple into a labour force com­pet­ing against other in­dus­tries that also faced labour short­ages.”

But he says the op­por­tu­ni­ties for those in the forestry are huge, with jobs span­ning ad­min­is­tra­tion to har­vest­ing, plan­ning, plot­ting, en­gi­neer­ing, man­age­ment, plant­ing and more.

“We have been at a crit­i­cal point for labour for three or four years al­ready, but some­how the logs are still go­ing out over the wharf and we find the peo­ple,” says Mr Kohn. “Seven or eight years ago when we were do­ing 700,000 tonnes a year we were hav­ing the same con­ver­sa­tions.”

Now, the district pro­duces around 2.8 mil­lion tonnes an­nu­ally, and over the next five years – sub­ject to mar­ket and in­fra­struc­ture ca­pac­ity – he ex­pects that to be “north of 3.7 mil­lion tonnes”.

So­cial Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter and lo­cal MP, Anne Tol­ley, present Brian Deam, of Big Bark Log­ging, with the East­land Wood Coun­cil Skilled Forestry Pro­fes­sional of the Year award.

The award win­ners are:

Train­ing Ex­cel­lence

• NZ Ap­pren­tice of the Year: An­gus Fraser – Black­s­tump Log­ging, • Trainee of the Year: Kevin Leop­ard – Down n Out Log­ging • Train­ing Com­pany/Con­trac­tor of the Year: Ian & Mar­cella Di­ack –

Di­ack Con­trac­tors.

Skilled Pro­fes­sion­als

• Forestry Ex­cel­lence: Jesse Kapene – TKT Lim­ited,

• Road­ing Ex­cel­lence: Brian Deam – Big Bark Log­ging,

• Har­vest­ing Ex­cel­lence: Matthew MacIn­tosh – Big Bark Log­ging, • Dis­tri­bu­tion Ex­cel­lence: Richard Bron­lund – STS Trans­port, • Wood Pro­cess­ing Ex­cel­lence: No award,

• Breaker Out Ex­cel­lence: Tom Wehi – Black­s­tump Log­ging,

• Faller Ex­cel­lence: Steve May­nard – Black­s­tump Log­ging, • Ex­trac­tion & Skid­work: Phillip Coss­grove – Raywood Con­tract­ing.

Ex­cel­lence – In­dus­try Devel­op­ment Awards

• Con­trac­tor of the Year: Black­s­tump Log­ging,

• Out­stand­ing H&S Man­age­ment: Ed­die Te Kahika – Kim­berly


• Out­stand­ing En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment: Pa­trick Bethel &

Wayne Traf­ford – Hiku­rangi For­est Farms

• Out­stand­ing Re­gional Ser­vice: Tu­ranga Ara­rau.


• East­land Wood Coun­cil Skilled Forestry Pro­fes­sional of the Year: Brian Deam – Big Bark Load­ing.


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