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Forest Growing Research Conference

With the introduction of the forest growing levy earlier this year the organisation of forest growing research has come under the oversight of a joint FOA/FFA forest research committee. The first Forest Growing Research Conference was held in Rotorua in late October to explain the changes and to outline the research programmes that are being funded by the new levy, why they are important to the industry, what they will deliver and an update on progress. Over 100 people attended the two and a half days which included a field trip to Kaingaroa. It is intended that this will be an annual event in September/October and the tentative venue for the 2015 event is Nelson.

Science Awards

The annual science awards, originally introduced by Future Forests Research in 2011 to recognise innovation in the forest growing sector, were presented at the conference. Our industry has been built on the basis of good science and innovation yet we as an industry were not recognising these achievements. The awards have been continued following the recent changes to the organisation and funding of industry research and FOA are committed to promoting and supporting the critical role that research plays in underpinning the success of our industry.

The 2014 awards were presented to:

  • Carol Rolando from Scion for Communication and Industry Engagement. This award was for the weed management programme led by Carol. This programme has been looking at ways to maintain the industry's licence to operate in the face of increasing pressure from FSC and others to reduce herbicide use.
  • Hamish Marshall from InterPine Forestry Ltd for Innovation that Enhances Sector Value. This award was for the development of the FFR HarvestNav on board machine navigation application for a tablet computer to improve the capability of machinery to work on steep terrain.
  • Nari Williams from Scion for Science of International Quality. This award was for research work leading to two key research papers describing the pathogenicity of Phytophthora pluvialis on radiata pine and the inability of the pathogen to contaminate or colonise logs. If the science had not been of international quality and the papers rejected for publication the case for "safe trade" would have been in jeopardy.
  • Nari Williams from Scion for Contribution to a Science team. This award was for leadership of the Healthy Trees, Healthy Future programme aimed at making our plantation forests and kauri stands resilient to Phytophthora diseases.

Award Recipients

Award Recipients - Nari Williams (left) Research Award for Contribution to a Science Team – and Research Award for Science of International Quality – Nari Williams & Phytophthora Team, Carol Rolando (centre) Research Award for Communication and Sector Engagement, and Hamish Marshall (right) Research Award for Innovation that Enhances Sector Value