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FICA E-News - March 2023

Firstly, we acknowledge the recent crisis with Cyclone Gabrielle and extend our thoughts to those families and whanau that have been so devastated by this national civil emergency event. To the contractors that are without work, that do not yet have any idea of a return date or to those with exception that may not go back at all. We are all with you and reach out to provide support in any way we can.

What's ahead for the next few months is a crystal ball prediction. Reading through our recent market report, China appears to be recovering if not slowly, and the rest of the world comes with its own challenges. It's not easy for anyone currently.

Our greatest challenge is to retain our workforce when the production comes onstream in the affected areas and support the process of seeking subsidy funding through the government where we can. It has probably been obvious to you all that forestry has been far from flavour of the month due to the viral debate around slash - what we call woody debris in our sector. Reporters like John Campbell seem to have made it their crusade to crucify forestry 100%.

However, with some factual analysis taking place from the industry groups and the review that was confirmed by the government in Tairawhiti, we hope the tides will become a whole lot more balanced. There has been a change in the chatter even in this last week and more information coming out publicly that indicates that there are some sensible people taking a balanced approach.

Although we have been working away in the civil emergency areas, life in the other regions has been fairly active. In the south, we're looking good for harvesting, planting and a decent summer.

FICA is working away at the projects we set at the start of 2023, to ensure the sector is seen in the best light and seen to be working proactively and professionally.

FICA will be coming back out end of this month to renew memberships and sponsorships. We would have completed our TV commercial campaign (albeit not ideal timing) but results will be shared with you all around viewers and relevant statistics.

Also in light of our conference date being set for June, the Board decided to push it out to September aligning with our AGM which will now be face-to-face (previously virtual) in Russell/Pahia in the far north. Dates are Friday 8 September - Sunday 10 September.

Let's hope in a month we have more positive news to report to the industry, stakeholders and sponsors. It has such ramifications for so many people when we get these hiccups. The supply chain will inevitably be disrupted and the ripples travel far.

We'll keep you all posted as we go. We admire your strength and thank you for your resilience and support around the country from contractors, principles and service providers to others in the industry. 

Be a Mate in Forestry - hei hoe te ngahere