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MARCH 2023 - ISSUE 55
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Dear FICA Members, Sponsors & Industry

Firstly, we acknowledge the recent crisis with Cyclone Gabrielle and extend our thoughts to those families and whanau that have been so devastated by this national civil emergency event. To the contractors that are without work, that do not yet have any idea of a return date or to those with exception that may not go back at all. We are all with you and reach out to provide support in any way we can.

What's ahead for the next few months is a crystal ball prediction. Reading through our recent market report, China appears to be recovering if not slowly, and the rest of the world comes with its own challenges. It's not easy for anyone currently.

Our greatest challenge is to retain our workforce when the production comes onstream in the affected areas and support the process of seeking subsidy funding through the government where we can. It has probably been obvious to you all that forestry has been far from flavour of the month due to the viral debate around slash - what we call woody debris in our sector. Reporters like John Campbell seem to have made it their crusade to crucify forestry 100%.

However, with some factual analysis taking place from the industry groups and the review that was confirmed by the government in Tairawhiti, we hope the tides will become a whole lot more balanced. There has been a change in the chatter even in this last week and more information coming out publicly that indicates that there are some sensible people taking a balanced approach.

Although we have been working away in the civil emergency areas, life in the other regions has been fairly active. In the south, we're looking good for harvesting, planting and a decent summer.

FICA is working away at the projects we set at the start of 2023, to ensure the sector is seen in the best light and seen to be working proactively and professionally.

FICA will be coming back out end of this month to renew memberships and sponsorships. We would have completed our TV commercial campaign (albeit not ideal timing) but results will be shared with you all around viewers and relevant statistics.

Also in light of our conference date being set for June, the Board decided to push it out to September aligning with our AGM which will now be face-to-face (previously virtual) in Russell/Pahia in the far north. Dates are Friday 8 September - Sunday 10 September.

Let's hope in a month we have more positive news to report to the industry, stakeholders and sponsors. It has such ramifications for so many people when we get these hiccups. The supply chain will inevitably be disrupted and the ripples travel far.

We'll keep you all posted as we go. We admire your strength and thank you for your resilience and support around the country from contractors, principles and service providers to others in the industry. 

Be a Mate in Forestry - hei hoe te ngahere
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Your Voice - New FICA Website

New forestry apprenticeship underway

Competenz Te Pūkenga is set to launch a new forestry programme — New Zealand Apprenticeship in Silviculture in the second quarter of 2023.
The purpose of this programme is to equip the forestry industry with individuals who have the skills and knowledge required to be employed in a commercial forestry operation in a silviculture role, and contribute to operational planning. They will have decision-making abilities in silviculture.
Graduates will be able to work autonomously and be responsible for the safe and efficient operation of forestry employees, plant and equipment. Graduates will also be capable of maintaining productivity within the operation.
This apprenticeship programme is made up of the following two qualifications:
  1. New Zealand Certificate in Forestry Operations (Level 3) with a strand in Thin to Waste
  2. New Zealand Certificate in Forest Industry Operations (Planning and Monitoring) (Level 4) with a strand in Silviculture.
The launch would be subject to the following:
  • Approval of a business case supporting the development of the qualification
  • Fulfilling new requirements of programme development with Te Pūkenga and with Muka Tangata.
 FICA want to make you aware that:
* If the employee is already earning credits in this space they will be eligible to be carried over into the apprenticeship
* Credits from prior learning can be included in the apprenticeship programme as long as the employee has not already achieved either of the following qualifications –
  1. New Zealand Certificate in Forestry Operations (Level 3) with a strand in Thin to Waste
  2. New Zealand Certificate in Forest Industry Operations (Planning and Monitoring) (Level 4) with a strand in Silviculture.

Relocation of crews and contractors

As a body representing our people at the frontline of forestry, FICA is reaching out to support relocation and employment of crews and contractors.

We know some are challenged to start work in any short term timeframe in the major impacted regions due to Cyclone Gabrielle on top of prior weather events.

We offer the facilitation of moving our people and matching up available work. Mandie Skipps will be working on behalf of FICA to manage this role.

We have already received information on 22 different opportunities that companies and contractors have to offer up work but we have not received the quantum of contractors looking for work. We hope that you have heard about this initiative and encourage you to contact Mandie.

That also applies if you have work available, even if it is not Forestry centric or if you are interested in getting more information or lodging your interest.

*This is not just available to FICA members at this time - the whole of industry is our concern.

Have work or looking for work? Contact Mandie Skipps


The minimum wage is increasing - is your business ready?

Minimum wage rates will increase on Saturday, 1 April 2023.
  • The adult minimum wage will go up from $21.20 to $22.70 per hour.
  • The starting-out and training minimum wage will go up from $16.96 to $18.16 per hour.
If you’re a business owner or manager and you’ve not yet talked to your accountant, payroll provider or your finance/HR teams, now is the time. It’s also an opportunity to check that your employment records, processes and systems are current. 

Be in to win $2,000 RRP worth of STIHL gear when you complete their five minute (max) professional user survey.

STIHL we want to ensure they are communicating with their current and potential professional customers in the best way possible. This survey is designed to help them figure out what that is.

Just click the link below, complete the survey and you’re in the draw.


Do you know someone who has been in the industry for years, a crew member with a great story or a forestry partner doing something worth celebrating? Falcon Forestry Equipment is looking for Logging Legends Nominations. If you know of someone, you can let them know and they'll help share their story and celebrate their success.


CNIWC and Timberlands Ltd Partner for new Generation Programme

A partnership Generation Programme with Central North Island Wood Council (CNIWC) and 'Timberlands Ltd' is starting on Monday 13 March at the Toi Ohomai Institute NZ Waipa campus in Rotorua. CNIWC is keen to hear from anyone that wants to get involved in the programme. 

Raising Funds for Resilience and Care Tools for Forestry Contractors

This is your chance to offer support, in an unprecendented event to contractors and their crews in areas ravaged by Cyclone Gabrielle.


In this unprecendented event which has hit 30% of our forestry industry, the contractors and their crews are likely to lose staff, lose their earnings for a time and in some cases lose their liveihoods.

We as an advocacy organisation think we are best to support the industry in providing them tools to support the realisation of the magnitude of this event, the emotions and grief that will follow.

Your contribution to your fellow contractors, the workforce sector will be used to develop up a series of short, sharp, effective videos with celebrity Pio Terei who knows out industry so well and A-OK a provider of quality, internationally recognised training that equips people to be able to have life-supporting conversations.

They are going to be made available mid March and will be then available for the whole of industry to share and use. We know that these events are not about if they occur again but when! If you would like to give a little now is an ideal time - with thanks, FICA.

Preparing for Additional Risks and Windthrow

An Update from Safetree Certification:

While parts of the country are still in clean-up mode, some areas are back at work. It’s important to be mindful of the additional risks Gabrielle might have left behind. On top of potentially unstable land and roads, and damaged equipment, this includes the risk of windthrow trees.

We are very concerned about the rush to start windthrow work with workers lacking in the proper training and experience. Old timers talk of two deaths in windthrow trees after Cyclone Bola in 1988.

Access windthrow resources and training

You can register your interest with Safetree in receiving windthrow training or information VIA THIS ONLINE FORM HERE

Safetree is developing some windthrow resources on the SAFETREE WEBSITE HERE 

If you have any resources or expertise to share please EMAIL or CALL 0800 723 312

Have something to add?

We are always looking for stories. Feel free to contact me with new initaitives, challenges and topics you want to delve into more! We want this to be of value to the sector and our FICA members. Email
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Our mailing address is:
P O Box 12017, Ahuriri, Napier 4144

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