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Forestry Line Retrieval Unit Standards Review

Muka Tangata – People, Food and Fibre Workforce Development Council (WDC) has revised three forestry line retrieval unit standards, to ensure line retrieval activities are appropriately taught and assessed in forestry workplace training.

Approval for the changes was granted by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) on 19 October 2022. The new versions of the unit standards will be published on the NZQA website in November.  

Following recommendations from an inquest by the Coroner into a fatality in a cable yarding operation in 2016, we convened a working group of industry experts, including representatives from Mahi Haumaru Aotearoa – Worksafe NZ. The group made recommendations to ensure line retrieval activities were appropriately taught and assessed in forestry workplace training. 

The amended units are:   

1258 Coordinate breaking-out for a cable harvesting operation (Level 4, 15 credits)  

24567 Plan and carry out breaking out and assist in line shifts for a cable harvesting operation (Level 3, 10 credits)  

6920 Demonstrate knowledge of cable harvesting operations (Level 3, Credits 10)   

Muka Tangata extends our sincerest condolences to the victim’s whānau and their forestry colleagues. These changes to forestry unit standards are designed to support ongoing efforts to improve health, safety and wellbeing in the industry. 

Consultation Timeline    

26 July - Muka Tangata met with Worksafe (Mark Preece, Engagement Lead) to discuss Coroner’s recommendations and establish a group of industry experts.  

4 August - Working group reviewed recommendations, considered several unit standards for amendment, narrowed the focus to three unit standards and made the relevant unit standards for wider consultation.   

10 August - Working group sent amended unit standards for wider industry feedback.  

19 August - Forestry Industry Contractors Association sent recommendations and final unit standards to Muka Tangata.    

16 September - Muka Tangata submitted unit standards to NZQA for evaluation.  

31st October - Muka Tangata received NZQA Outcome Letter that the application was granted.