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FICA E-news - December 2022

What a busy last month it has been in terms of events! We successfully initiated and managed the Fast & Foward Forestry Expo in Rotorua. We held our FICA AGM and also had a chance to celebrate our 20 year anniversary with our members and sponsors. It was fabulous and humbling given I have only been in this organisation for 5 years. We extend our gratitude to the many that went before me.

We also acknowledged two further Lifetime Members - Ross Davis (Bay of Plenty) and Ross Wood (Nelson). Plus we congratulate the changing of the guard at FICA, with Ross Davis stepping down as Chair. Ross will continue to sit on the Board as a Executive Director while Robert Stubbs is stepping up to the role of Chair.

The National Fieldays also took place last week, with the Forestry Hub there for the first time. It was a big affair, giving industry representation with timber products, education on social aspects of the industry and career pathway building.

We are just 3 weeks away from Christmas too. It's a chance to take a breath, reflect and plan for 2023. Funnily the last few months have been fairly busy with the speeding up of activities, meetings and tasks as the end of the year has crept up quickly!

It has certainly been a mixed bag this year. Coming out of CoVID at the beginning, but with restrictions like masks until mid-year. Travel has been swinging back into action and the industry has been working as much as possible with export markets slowing down in response to our largest market player China. Again that dependancy on one major client comes with signficant risk.

Into play comes the Forestry Industry Transformational Plan and the launch of the final plan last week at the National Fieldays by Minister Nash will now see an interim implementation group start to instigate some of the goals set. FICA has fortunately received a seat at that table and will best represent the workforce and engage collaboratively to seek opinions and comments when necessary. Our aim is to ensure that the skills and requirements of the workforce are well heard and communicated.

We have also put a new section into this newsletter as more and more work is being done through the FRAG - Forestry ROVE Advisory Group and Muka Tangata (our Workforce Development Council) so in 2023 we will make this a regular feature.

So from me and the FICA Board it's a sign off in the next 2 weeks to take some time off. Wishing you, your families, whanau and crew mates all the the very best. Have a very Merry Christmas and here's to a positive light shining on us all, to guide us through the next 12 months ensuring we "Be a Mate" in Forestry and watch out for each other.