Forest managers expanding in New Zealand
TWO FOREST MANAGEMENT COMPANIES HAVE EXPANDED THEIR respective operations in New Zealand in line with the increase in the national harvest.
Forest Enterprises, the Masterton-based forest investment and management company, has appointed Dan Fraser to take up the role of Regional Manager to boost the management of its 10,000plus hectare forest estate in Gisborne. Dan was previously with Hikurangi Forest Farms.
“Dan’s professional forestry expertise supports our focus on harvesting in Gisborne,” says the Forest Enterprises’ Managing Director, Steve Wilton.
“He will complement the strategic alliance we have with Logic Forest Solutions Limited, our Gisborne forest supervisor. Dan and Logic work from the same office, which is efficient for both companies and effective for our whole Gisborne operation.
“Our forests in the Gisborne region make up half of the total forest estate we manage, so the increased and ongoing harvest up there will be significant for us.
“We’re experiencing this growth in the Wairarapa too and we know from experience that having a senior manager on-site provides all-important continuous local expertise as well as relationship management. Until now, this has been provided in Gisborne by our Masterton-based senior executives travelling regularly.
“This is our first appointment outside of Masterton since the business started in 1972. Dan’s appointment also brings our team up to 17 staff members for the first time, and we’re still growing.”
Forest Enterprises this year expects to double its 2016 harvest volume from its forests in Gisborne. The company began harvesting its East Coast estate in February 2016 with one logging crew and has a third crew about to start. Volume from Forest Enterprises’ Wairarapa harvest operations continue to increase year-on-year since logging started in earnest in 2010, reaching 330,000 tonnes last year.
“We replanted more than 490 hectares of harvested area in the Wairarapa this winter,” says Mr Wilton. “That’s about half a million radiata seedlings. It’s one of the biggest replant programmes in the Wairarapa this season.”
He goes on to say that Mr Fraser’s experience in extensive green fields harvest planning, road construction projects, strategic planning and contract management will add value to the whole Forest Enterprises operation.
“My priority is to ensure that we achieve maximum profitability for our investors from the harvest of their Gisborne forests,” says Mr Fraser. “I will be particularly focussed on attracting and retaining top performing contractors, ensuring they have a robust, sustainable support network around them so they can consistently meet our high environmental and safety goals.
“I’m looking forward to working with our contractors. I’m passionate about building highly successful teams and one of the most rewarding things for me over the years has been helping young keen operators grow into highly successful companies.”
Forest Enterprises manages 59 forests on behalf of its investors and nine for private forest owners. Forest Enterprises’ Wairarapa forests make up 45% of the company’s total estate under management, with 5% in Hawkes Bay.
Meanwhile, down in the South Island, PF Olsen has established a new regional office for South Canterbury in Timaru.
At the opening, Chief Executive Peter Clark said the firm, one of the largest in its sector in Australasia, producing timber from 330,000 hectares across New Zealand and Australia, regards the new regional office as a “local extension” of its international operations.
He says: “We have well established offices in Christchurch and Dunedin, but there is a lot of country and a lot of forestry blocks in between – we need feet on the ground, we need to be close to forests and their owners.”
The new office is close to Timaru’s PrimePort, which is a key part of PF Olsen’s regional set up, according to Mr Clark, adding: “Log exports are important as they provide a market for parts of the tree that most New Zealand sawmillers cannot utilise well, and it underwrites the economic returns that forest owners need to keep planting forests.”
Last year 400,000 tonnes of logs were shipped out from Timaru port and the addition of PF Olsen using the port to export means PrimePort now has four logging exporters
The new PF Olsen Timaru office is one of several satellite offices working under the Canterbury branch in the Northern South Island region.
Dan Fraser is the new Gisborne Regional Manager for Forest Enterprises.