New Zealand’s first forestry expo event, the Fast & Forward Forestry Expo, was held in Rotorua 18-19 November with an estimated 5000 visitors through the gates over the two-day event.
Brought together by the Forest Industry Contractors Association (FICA), CEO Prue Younger says the industry put on a great show for visitors, with an estimated 5000 visitors to the Expo over the two days.
“Our industry came together and put on an awesome event. We had more than 100 heavy machines brought to site ranging from one tonne to 60 tonne, with sold-out trade stands, hospitality, kids entertainment a hot saw competition and static displays” she says.
“A sold-out industry charity auction dinner with Jeremy Corbett as MC and keynote speaker newly appointed Rotorua Mayor Tania Tapsell raised more than $40,000 for a mental health and wellbeing initiative.”
“International visitors came over specially to attend the event and all the feedback received from sponsors, exhibitors and guests indicates it has been a great success.”
The Fast and Forward Forestry Expo is all about showcasing where forestry is today and where it’s heading in the future. MPI states that Forestry contributes an annual gross income of around $6.7 billion which makes up about 1.6% of New Zealand's GDP (Gross Domestic Product). It employs around 40,000 people in wood production, processing, and the commercial sector and wood products are New Zealand's third-largest export earner, behind dairy and meat.
“We’re proud of where forestry has got to today with mechanisation and technology, so it’s been great to showcase that, while also looking at future development opportunities and getting the industry together for a catch up.”
“With the feedback to date, the event will definitely be scheduled again in the future in the next 2-3 years (yet to be decided). The event would be even bigger, with those realising they had missed out on the inaugural event in 2022.”