Image

Young apprentice grows new forestry skills

30 July 2023

NZ forestry apprentice Neihana Brewer is a man of few words, preferring to leave it up to others to speak of his attributes, including Graeme Benge, his employer at Fast Harvesting in Tokoroa. Graeme says the 21-year-old is an example of a future forester passionate about the industry.

“Neihana understands that by being adaptable and taking all opportunities that come his way, he shows he has what it takes to be a leader amongst his peers. He’s a valued member of the Fast Harvesting team because he is a good listener, a quick learner and has a positive attitude that has made him respected by his crew.”

Fast Harvesting has 55 staff and six apprentices on its books. Neihana is one of those learners, already a highly skilled machine operator and currently on track to complete his apprenticeship in Forest Harvesting Operations (Manual Tree Faller) (Level 4) qualification this year.

“Earning and learning while gaining experience and qualifications is invaluable, and people don’t end up with debt to repay at the end of their study,” says Graeme. “The opportunity to complete a forestry apprenticeship gives people a sense of achievement, pride and ownership. They’re the future of one of New Zealand’s primary industries.

“Apprenticeships add value to our business as any person at any age can achieve a higher level of education and qualification and have a feeling of self-worth.”

The whānau has certainly played a significant role in Neihana’s career choice. His father worked in forestry, so Neihana “knew a bit”— and his uncle (Cuz Brown), a well-known Competenz Te Pūkenga assessor and career logger in his own right, also encouraged him to look at forestry as a career. “It made it easy, and I also have a couple of good mentors inside and outside the company. Forestry is a good career. Being outside and the tree-felling side of things is the best job. It keeps you young and fit! Fast Harvesting is a good company – everything is done right to keep us safe.”

Competenz Te Pūkenga training advisor Jan Nikora describes Neihana as very mature and willing to learn. “He’s not afraid to ask for help and has a good support system around him within the crew. They allow him to do his assessments during work hours. He has integrated assessments and daily work training note-taking for maximum time management and gets paid for it — can’t get better than that, he reckons!”

Quarterly visits by Jan ensure Neihana is keeping on track and progressing with his training plan. Jan is proud of her relationship with the people at Fast Harvesting.“It’s these relationships that help support Neihana on his learning journey. I’m so privileged to watch these apprentices mature and transform over the time we work together. Neihana has embraced the journey to becoming a well-respected, professional forestry worker.”

Source: Competenz

Read More

30,000 machine milestone

Tigercat Industries is pleased to announce that it has built and shipped its 30,000th machine in January 2024, just over 30 years into its existence. From humble beginnings in 1992 when Tigercat had a single product, very little dealer representation, and produced just a handful of machines, the company has grown steadily, expanding both its production capacity and product breadth. A few quick facts Tigercat debuted the 726 feller buncher in April 1992 at a forestry equipment show in Quitman ...
Read more
Image

One year on – threat from fragile hills grows

One year ago, all hell broke loose in Tairāwhiti when Cyclone Gabrielle propelled 1.4 million tonnes of wood debris down the East Coast’s steep, fragile hillsides into rivers and on to bridges, homes, farms, roads and beaches below. Though the ...
Read more
Image

First unmanned forestry machine tested

A study published in the Journal of Field Robotics assessed the world’s first unmanned machine designed for autonomous forestry operations. Investigators demonstrated that using computer vision, autonomous navigation, and manipulator control algorithms, their newly developed machine can safely, accurately, and ...
Read more
Image

New CEO for Forest Industry Contractors Association

The Forest Industry Contractors Association (FICA) has announced the appointment of Rowan Struthers as its new CEO. An experienced professional who has worked across the forestry sector in various roles including senior leadership and forest management, Rowan will take over ...
Read more
Image

30,000 Machine Milestone

Tigercat Industries is pleased to announce that it has built and shipped its 30,000th machine in January 2024, just over 30 years into its existence. From humble beginnings in 1992 when Tigercat had a single product, very little dealer representation, ...
Read more
Image

Who needs skidders? – elephant logging in Burma

An extract from Ross Lockyer’s book, That’s What Elephants are For appears in the February 2024 issue of NZ Logger. It’s an amazing read – and an amazing story. In mid-1984, Ross Lockyer was offered a consultancy with the Asian ...
Read more