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Awards return with accolades to industry winners

7 February 2023
Good things take time and two and a half years since the inaugural event in 2019, the Hawke’s Bay Forestry Group celebrated with the local sector community the second forestry awards on Friday 2 December at the Napier War Memorial Conference Centre. MC and comedian Jeremy Corbett entertained and managed a great night of celebration and accolades for the local heroes of the industry at the Awards Dinner sponsored by Pan Pac Forest Products.

A sell – out crowd was there alongside Minister Stuart Nash and Deputy Mayor Annette Brosnan to acknowledge all the category and trophy winners for the second Hawke’s Bay Forestry Awards 2022.

Minister Nash commented on the work by the Future Foresters in promoting forestry out to schools and attendance at expos with a lot of mentoring for those interested in forestry. He also made it very explicit the important role the workforce sector would play in being part of the latest Industry Transformational Plan (ITP) for Forestry and was looking forward to the goals set in the plan being implemented.

Minister Nash ended the night with the presentation of the overall Skilled Forestry Professional of the Year to Terence (Pnut) Ross (pictured) who also took out the Roading category sponsored by ATS Logging. It was a great salutation to a forest “go to” and respected person in the industry. Unfortunately, Pnut was not able to make the event, but the award was highly fitting as Pnut is looking to retire later in the year.

ATS Logging did extremely well on the night and their other employees, Tane Lee took out the Harvesting Excellence category while Hayden Mullins was awarded the Outstanding Health & Safety Management Trophy. To top that off, Director of ATS Logging, Amy Satherley was runner up in the Woman in Forestry which was awarded to Chrystal Edmonds co-owner of Stirling Logging having recently relocated to the Hawke’s Bay from Gisborne.

Other outstanding recipients included D G Glenn Logging, stalwarts of the industry who took out the top award for Training Company/Contractor of the Year and Torben Hunt (Turbo) also won the Tree Faller Excellence category. This role has been increasingly under pressure from continuity of work as the role is replaced across the country with technology and mechanised fallers.

Chair of the Hawke’s Bay Forestry Group Damon Wise commented that the “The Hawke’s Bay Forest industry is in excellent health proven tonight by the calibre of nominations and quality of the Awards recipients. It’s important we don’t underestimate the commitment every individual makes every day to get the trees established, tendered, harvested, transported, and processed here in our region.” He continued to confirm, “The critical path to our future success is training and development and it’s pleasing to see this year’s judges have recognised the significant investment several businesses are making in this space.

He aha te mea nui o te ao. What is the most important thing in the world? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata. It is the people, it is the people, it is the people!”

Nominations had been received throughout the last 2 years and the Forestry Group were very proud of the region to hang out hope this event would finally take place. A special award at the discretion of the judges each year, awarded a standout recipient that had done mahi above the expectations of their day-to-day work. This award went to GPFS and Ground UP Forestry company owners Kevin and Belinda Humphreys.

For over 25 years they have supported an array of individual contractors and contracting businesses to provide forestry, fire and agricultural services through the Hawkes Bay region and an array of local Private Woodlots and landowners. Kevin and Belinda are both passionate about the growth of the forestry sector in the Hawkes Bay region and take great pride to provide safe practices, quality operational services and effectiveness by fostering this culture into developing trained forestry workers, already within and new to our industry.

The training extends to life coaching and mentoring, health monitoring, chiropractic care, successful rehabilitation services for their staff and First Aid qualifications to name a few. In joint ownership this couple carry out significant work around engaging youth that at times are at a loose end, until they find a new place, and new opportunities in this industry.

For full details about the Hawkes Bay Forestry Awards and winners, check out the website at: www.hbforestryawards.co.nz.

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