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Trifecta for Women in Forestry in awards

2 December 2019

They say its woman’s intuition and having that natural ability to relate to tree fallers in the forest that has been a real skill that Kere Elliot from Elliot Logging has and that has gone a long way to backing her win as the Skilled Forestry Professional of the Year for 2019 at the Hawkes Bay Forestry Awards.

Kere has been involved in Pan Pac harvesting operations for many years and is now a well-respected and trusted tree felling and auditing specialist. To achieve this, she has worked her way through all aspects of harvesting operations firstly as a worker and employee, to running a harvesting contracting crew with her husband Grant, as well as providing auditing and training services to our wider contract workforce.

“The tree felling auditing and training that Kere carries out is a key component of ensuring that all our tree fallers are working at the safest and highest possible level in one of the most hazardous tasks to be completed.” confirmed Tim Sandall, General Manager, Forests at Pan Pac, Napier.

It is her vast experience, her vigilance, her care and natural ability to relate to our people on the ground that enables her to be so effective in this area. Kere is a humble recipient with a strong backbone and has a superb talent in communicating with bushmen, with an outstanding reputation. Showing commitment to the industry and to the development of her colleagues, she has likely saved lives under her direction and unwavering resolve to improve standards so that the job is completed safely.

Kere is the third female recipient of the top award for forestry awards this year. Heather Arnold of Nelson Forests took out the top award in the Top of the South Forestry Awards and Michelle Harrison of Wise on Wood took out the top award in the Northland Forestry Awards earlier this year, so it highlights how these three very successful and capable women have deservedly been recognised.

Winners representing a broad selection of forestry companies took the stage, to a sell-out crowd at the Napier Conference Centre, in celebration of the inaugural forestry awards which were managed by master of ceremony and TV celebrity, Pio Terei. The audience was a makeup of very enthusiastic foresters, regional service providers, sponsors and community VIP’s, who see this event as a chance to lift the profile on the industry and those people that work in it.

James Powrie from Redaxe Forestry Intelligence, representing the judges, was very complementary about all nominees and winners and as a judge in this first award campaign was impressed with the calibre across all the fifteen categories making it difficult in some to assign a clear winner.

Keith Dolman, CE for the Hawkes Bay Forestry Group confirms, “Our decision to implement these awards was on the back of the other regional campaigns being such a positive success for the regions and their people. Hawkes Bay is an area for growth in this sector and it’s important that we celebrate our own successes.”

The awards will be reviewed with the concept to run them as an annual event going forward with the objectives to benefit the region’s forest industry by attracting skilled employees to the region as valued forestry industry players, to up skill and lift the standard of the skill base of the forestry workforce and to provide an opportunity for the forestry industry to celebrate its skilled professionals. There has been a strong sense of collaboration and a chance to create a healthy and challenging competition amongst the industry.

A full listing of award winners on the night can be seen here.

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