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FICA E-news - April 2023

What a mixed bag the last four weeks have been, with recovery from the Cyclone and supporting the return to work of contractors slowly as infrastructure is cleared and back to working order. Still some contractors have not made it back, time is ticking on and we know financially this is devastating to many. We also know for some they have got their workforce redeployed to other jobs like civil works and recovery clearing of silt which is not ideal but a better option overall.

On top of that the Ministerial Inquiry has started and in a short time frame expected to deliver the report to steer the future of environmental management, land use and immediate recovery for those land based operations, especially forestry. I am pleased to see that balance has made its way into political and public debate arenas and that forestry is not bearing the wrath of all. I was so appreciative that we got the chance to present with the interview panel and I believe they were surprised at how much information the contractors that presented were able to clarify, confirm and offer in solutions.

The final meeting of the ITP Interim Advisory Group was last month and successfully achieved a roadmap for the next stage of governance, with clear guidelines for the appointment of a steering group. More information will be out about this soon. I was privileged to sit with a group of very skilled leaders in our industry and trust the offer of conversation by all results in a very pan-sector collective transformation.

We are horribly conscious about the state of the mental wellbeing toll that all these random events have taken on everyone this year. The give-a-little page has supported the creation of some short informative videos with Pio Terei and A-OK (an organisation providing a range of leading wellbeing support solutions). Watch this space - they will be out soon and be added to our toolbox. Thanks to those that contributed too!

Politically we have seen heads roll this month with our ex-forest minister exiting cabinet. Going to print we don't know who might be taking on that role next, but acting minister Megan Woods has stepped up. However a recent meeting with National's spokesperson Joseph Mooney gave FICA a chance to introduce ourselves, what we are about and what our key challenges are.

I have no idea what the road ahead will bring, but we soldier on and know we have to keep working together to provide that support and resilience we are known for. Importantly, the country as a whole can share the good, the bad and the ugly at the moment, with some regions working at capacity and others not. The market reports most definitely provide a glum picture across the Tasman in Australia, however with a global shortage of logs, China might jump on them sooner than later.

Let's put some positives in like our work on the Hauler Guarding BPG that is progressing well, piloting the Safetree APP, the new package we have been able to offer to our members when re-signing to FICA and looking ahead to our Conference - AGM in Russell, Bay of Islands from 8-10 September.

Until next month, thanks for your strength and support, daylight savings is underway and the easter bunny is here in a few days!

Be a Mate in Forestry - hei hoe te ngahere