Com­mu­nity ben­e­fits from Nel­son Forests sale

New Zealand Logger - - Forest Talk -

THE NEW OWNER OF NEL­SON FORESTS, ONEFORTYONE (OFO), has marked the set­tle­ment of its pur­chase with the an­nounce­ment of two sig­nif­i­cant new ini­tia­tives to ben­e­fit the com­mu­nity.

It will es­tab­lish a sub­stan­tial fund for sed­i­men­ta­tion re­search to help keep lo­cal rivers clean and set up a school leaver pro­gramme that will pro­vide trade ap­pren­tice­ships at Nel­son Forests’ Kaituna Sawmill near Blen­heim.

Nel­son Forests has com­mit­ted $500,000 to its new sed­i­men­ta­tion re­search fund and has al­ready en­gaged with re­searchers at Cawthron In­sti­tute and Land­care Re­search, al­though it ex­pects to de­velop col­lab­o­ra­tions with re­searchers at other or­gan­i­sa­tions over time.

Lees Sey­mour, Manag­ing Di­rec­tor of Nel­son Man­age­ment Ltd, the man­age­ment com­pany for Nel­son Forests, says that sed­i­men­ta­tion re­search will take place in Marl­bor­ough and Nel­son/Tas­man and will build on work the com­pany has al­ready un­der­taken on the is­sue.

“We re­alise there is a high level of in­ter­est in forestry’s role in sed­i­men­ta­tion and that our com­mu­nity is look­ing to us to proac­tively ad­dress this is­sue. Re­search is cru­cial and will help us pre­vent, man­age, and mit­i­gate sed­i­men­ta­tion,” he says.

Tim King, Chair of the Tas­man District Coun­cil En­vi­ron­ment and Plan­ning Com­mit­tee, strongly sup­ported the com­pany for es­tab­lish­ing the new fund, say­ing: “It is ex­cel­lent to see Nel­son Forests en­gag­ing with re­searchers and the com­mu­nity on the is­sue of sed­i­men­ta­tion. This is ex­actly the kind of thing we want to see from forestry com­pa­nies.”

Nel­son Forests’ new school leaver ap­pren­tice­ship pro­gramme for stu­dents from Marl­bor­ough Girls Col­lege and Marl­bor­ough Boys Col­lege was also warmly wel­comed. The pro­gramme is be­ing set up to as­sist school leavers to make the tran­si­tion to an ap­pren­tice­ship pro­gramme.

The Prin­ci­pal of Marl­bor­ough Girls Col­lege, Mary-Jeanne Lynch, says that there would be strong in­ter­est in trade ap­pren­tice­ships at Kaituna Sawmill amongst her stu­dents.

She says: “There are great ca­reers avail­able for women in forestry and it’s re­ally heart­en­ing to see that Nel­son Forests has 33% of all man­age­rial roles be­ing filled by women. We are ex­cited to see our stu­dents be­ing con­sid­ered for these ap­pren­tice­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

The As­sis­tant Prin­ci­pal of Marl­bor­ough Boys Col­lege, James Ryan, was sim­i­larly en­thu­si­as­tic, adding: “Not all stu­dents want to go into ter­tiary study and it is so im­por­tant that all our stu­dents have mean­ing­ful path­ways ahead of them.”

Start­ing from next year, Nel­son Forests ex­pects to of­fer up to four trade ap­pren­tice­ships at one time at its Kaituna Sawmill in a di­verse range of vo­ca­tions in­clud­ing fit­ter turner, elec­tri­cian, saw doc­tor, tim­ber pro­ces­sor, boiler op­er­a­tor and tim­ber ma­chin­ist.

The new Nel­son Forests ini­tia­tives were an­nounced at two spe­cial func­tions in Nel­son and Blen­heim held to cel­e­brate the set­tle­ment of OFO’s pur­chase.

CEO of OFO, Linda Sewell says: “We are de­lighted to mark the set­tle­ment day in this way.

“Nel­son Forests has a strong rep­u­ta­tion for en­vi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship and en­cour­ag­ing young peo­ple into forestry and these new ini­tia­tives sup­port the com­pany’s ex­ist­ing val­ues. Those val­ues are also very im­por­tant to OFO and we look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to con­trib­ute to the Marl­bor­ough and Nel­son Tas­man com­mu­ni­ties.”

Mean­while, OFO has also an­nounced plans to pur­chase the Manuka Is­land for­est es­tate in the Wairau Val­ley near Blen­heim, cur­rently be­ing re­viewed by the Over­seas In­vest­ment Of­fice.

The Manuka Is­land es­tate com­prises around 2000 hectares and is cur­rently owned by Mer­rill and Ring. OFO says it will be in­te­grated and man­aged as one for­est es­tate by Nel­son Man­age­ment Ltd, the man­age­ment com­pany for Nel­son Forests.


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