Business North July / August 2021

58 | NWC a collective voice for forestry Richard Loader NWC oversees and funds a road safety programme which is about bringing logging trucks into the schools – to “take a bit of the mystery and fear away that the community can have,” says chairman Andrew Widdowson. “We show them what they need to appreciate about the size of logging trucks and blind spots, but equally that they’re driven by people in their community — their dads, brothers, cousins.” Andrew Widdowson to page 60 FORESTRY Northland Wood Council P romoting forestry as a career of choice, the environment, health & safety and the quality of roading are just some of the big issues that Northland Wood Council (NWC) has taken upon its broad shoulders to champion. Established in 2011, NWC is a regional association representing the larger plantation forest owners and forest managers operating from Cape Reinga to the Bombays and encom- passes 10% of New Zealand’s pine plantation forestry. The NWC works to represent or lobby local and central Government on behalf of its members on a range of areas where common objectives can be better achieved when work- ing as a cohesive group. Chairman Andrew Widdowson says NWC’s focus is on adding value to its members by providing a collaborative effort into projects and work streams that are focused on improv- ing the profile and performance of forestry in Northland. “With health & safety we have an industry working group that engages with the regula- tors and training providers. “We’re there to guide, monitor and improve the performance of health & safety in forestry in our region. “In terms of the environment we have an ac- tive working group in the Northland Regional Council (NRC), which is chaired by one of our members. “That working group meets quarterly and one of their work stream outcomes has been a set of Northland environmental earthworks and harvesting guidelines. “That’s a really good piece of work around best practice and sits along side the Nation- al Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry.” A forestry advisory group has also been established to work with the Auckland Unitary Authority and with significantly more harvest- ing coming on stream in the greater Auckland area there is good opportunity to mirror what has been achieved with the Northland Region- al Council. With a focus on log transportation safe- ty, NWC has developed a memorandum of understanding that sets a standard for logging trucks, and the reporting of incidents and outcomes to enable industry learning. “We also oversee and fund a road safety programme called ‘Share the Road’ which is about bringing logging trucks into schools to engage with the kids, staff and community,” says Andrew. “We show them what they need to appreci- ate about the size of logging trucks and blind spots, but equally that they’re driven by peo- ple in their community — their dads, brothers, cousins. “We try to take a bit of the mystery and fear away that the community can have about logging trucks. “It’s a really useful bridge with the community with a really strong safety focus as well and we get a really good return on investment.” With public mindset of a forester often dwelling on someone holding a chainsaw, NWC promotes forestry as a career of choice and works to dispel the myths around the industry. “The reality is you will go to a number of harvesting crews now and you won’t find a chainsaw. “We run teacher field visits and bus them around a number of forestry operations to allow them to understand the forestry lifecycle and show them the career opportunities that are on offer in the industry - from engineer- ing and planning, forest establishment right though to harvesting. “We also go into schools and participate in career expo days and have a relationship with Whangarei Boys High, which has a Gateway Forestry Programme.” Trimble Forestry Delivering the Connected Forest Logistics systems and services for timber haulage operations