The programme had been revised, speakers lined up and promotions were about to get underway. Exhibitors and sponsors likewise were ready to actually meet up with sawmillers and saw-doctors’ after several years of being unable to meet up face-to-face. Unfortunately, it has been decided after speaking to a cross section of sawmills within New Zealand, that it’s in everyone’s best interests, to cancel this year’s event, WoodTECH 2022.
Why? This time it isn’t Covid getting in the way. Instead, it’s a perfect storm of unprecedented demand for building materials across both New Zealand and Australia. This has meant all mills are working extra hours and shifts to try and get timber out the gate. Adding to this are the upgrades and projects now underway to try and boost mill production and the critical shortages currently being experienced in finding workers just to keep the mills running.
The usual very high turnouts of delegates to the WoodTECH event under these conditions just can’t be assured. This has been reinforced by recent discussions with mills in New Zealand. The organisers, the Forest Industry Engineering Association, felt that it would be unfair on speakers, exhibitors and the mills who will be unable to spare staff or workers at the moment, to proceed as we had all planned.
FIEA together with local sawmillers and equipment suppliers will be reviewing options at a later date to see if the wood processing tech updates to New Zealand and Australian sawmillers can be reintroduced in 2023.