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FICA Enewsletter - May 2023

These mixed bag situations keep coming and if it's not the weather keeping us on our toes, it's the people. The month has seen a new Minister of Forestry appointed, Hon. Peeni Henare and we look forward to meeting him this week along with other key industry organisations.

This changing of the guard continues on into the month of June as we farewell Glen Mackie, Technical Manager from NZFOA, a real asset that will be missed. We will then farewell David Rhodes, Chief Executive in the following month of July. We await the appointment of the Deputy Director General at Te Uru Rakau - NZ Forest Service with Sam Keenan currently acting in that role.

Just a reminder as we're conscious the planting is about to kick off (in fact, in some places it may have already started). There is a project on the table to establish a Code of Conduct for those taking on migrant labour with expectations around protocols to educate, manage and care for them as expected with immigration visa conditions. This will be published once the draft has been approved by the Labour Inspectorate and Immigration NZ. I also want to make you aware that the Labour Inspectorate is entitled to carry out random inspections and can rescind accreditation status if they experience exploitation activities or non-compliance of employment legislation by contractors.

We are gathering up more important information this week which will give us a picture of the state of the nation. Albeit the weather crisis that has occurred, the industry is up against very hard export market pricing. It is always hard to gauge the impact on contractors and forest owners so we have rolled out a six question survey that will give us some hard evidence to rationalise support as required. This is not just for FICA members but the industry as a whole, so we encourage people to take the 5 minutes to complete it.

Next week a survey will go out to all members and also through to NZFOA, that has been developed by Scion as part of a Forest Growers Research project. SCION are partnering with FICA to complement the current work with our network of harvesting contractors. Our objective is to better understand what can be done to make it easier to adopt new technologies for those harvesting contractors who wish to do so. Once SCION compile the information, collectively we will send you a summary of the results of the survey. It will contain:

•Perceptions on the balance between benefits and risks of new technologies amongst industry players

•The main barriers to adoption and what can be done about it

•Further steps in the project

At our Board Meeting last week in Nelson, we also got the green light to go ahead with the next Fast & Forward Forestry EXPO in 2025. More information to come on this.

Winter is just around the corner, but one is never too sure these days, with a patch of late summer in some regions and tornadoes in others. It's a crazy world we're living in. However, long live King Charles as we celebrate our new Kings Birthday Weekend in three weeks' time.

Be a Mate in Forestry - hei hoe te ngahere