Forestry Sector Action Plan 2010-13
Appendix 1 - Sector Overview
Forestry is New Zealand's third largest export earner (NZ$3.9 billion) and contributes around 2.9% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Over the past year, around 23.5 million cubic metres of timber was harvested, an increase of 18% over the previous year and largely driven by the large increase in demand for logs from China. The potential wood availability from the existing estate will exceed 37 million cubic metres (NZ$14 billion) a year by 2025 - almost 60% more than current harvest levels.
Today New Zealand is amongst the top 20 global wood suppliers; by 2025 it will be one of the top five. 98% of New Zealand's commercial wood needs are met from sustainably managed plantation forests.
In June 2004 the forestry sector employed 8,620 people, the largest concentrations of employment being in the Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Gisborne/Hawkes Bay regions. By June 2009 the number of employees decreased by 30% to approximately 6000. The reduction has been attributed to reduced silviculture activity (planting, thinning and pruning) and increased mechanisation of harvesting. Due to increased wood demand it is estimated that the sector will employ approximately 9,000 people by 2014.
The forestry workforce is mostly male (approximately 85% as at 2006 census) and has a higher than average proportion of Maori workers - 32.6% compared to the average for all industries of 12.2%.
As at June 2009, 16% of the employees in forestry were aged 18 - 24 years. The proportion of workers over the age of 55 was 11.9%, lower than the average for all industries of 18.4%.
Forestry work is labour-intensive, and over 50% of the workforce report that they work more than 40 hours a week. Over 9% of forestry workers worked more than 60 hours a week (all industry average 6.9%).
A quarter of the forestry workforce is self-employed. 62% of employees in forestry are employed by a small to medium enterprise (<20 employees). Nearly 45% of workers change jobs within 12 months. The proportion of workers with no qualifications is nearly 15% higher than the average for all industries at 34.7%. High turnover of staff and low levels of literacy and numeracy may be contributing factors to sector injuries and fatalities.
FITEC's focus is on improving education in the forestry sector. It has worked in conjunction with the Horticultural and Agricultural ITOs to launch the New Zealand Trades Academy. The Academy provides opportunities for senior secondary students to experience working in the primary industries. It combines senior secondary classroom study with on the job learning and the National Certificate credits count towards NCEA.
As at December 2010 52% (4,630) of FITEC trainees and apprentices were forestry workers, the majority being from the Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Gisborne/Hawkes Bay regions. Just over half of the trainees and apprentices were European, 32% Maori and 5% Pasifika. FITEC are expecting 1510 forestry graduates in 2011.
Labour productivity in the forestry sector has increased at an average of 3.8% per annum between 1978 and 2009. The greatest productivity growth occurring between 2006 and 2009 (see Table 1). This growth is attributed to increased investment in capital such as technology and machinery. This may explain the downward trend of fatalities that occurred during the same period that log harvests have increased (see figure 2).
Table 1: Labour productivity by industry.
|1978 - 2009||1996 - 2009||2006 - 2009|
|Forestry and Fishing||3.8||2.8||4.7|
|Electricity, Gas and Water Supply||3.6||1||-3.1|
|Accommodation, Cafes, and Restaurants||-1.2||-0.5||-1.4|
|Transport and Storage||3.4||0.8||-0.02|
|Finance and Insurance||3.5||5.1||3.8|
|Cultural and Recreational Services*||...||-2.2||-1.4|
|Personal and Other Community Services*||...||1.7||-2.1|
*Data available only from 1996
Symbol ... not applicable
1.2 Key stakeholders
The forestry sector is highly organised with about 8 large players in the market. These large players control the activities of the contracting market and set the standard for health and safety within industry. All 8 companies are represented on the NZFOA's Health, Safety and Training Committee. The committee is very active and their achievements include an injury database for the sector, a safety culture project, a simplification of compliance project, a comprehensive long term health and safety strategy for the sector, and industry leadership on the detection of drugs and alcohol in the workplace.
1.2.1 New Zealand Forest Owners Association represents the owners of New Zealand's commercial plantation forests. It was set up in 1926 and is now one of the country's most influential primary sector organisations. Its members own or manage more than 80 per cent of the country's 1.79 million hectares of plantation forests.
1.2.2 New Zealand Farm Forestry Association represents the interests of the small tree grower with 3000 members in 29 branches throughout New Zealand.
1.2.3 Forest Industry Contractors Association was formed in 2002 by a nationwide group of forestry contractors, with the support of the NZFOA. The association exists to promote business growth and efficiency for the benefit of New Zealand's forestry contracting industry. They produce a weekly e-newsletter called WoodWeek which is full of global and national industry news as well as the latest jobs, tenders, equipment for sale and new safety alerts.
1.2.4 Forest Industries Training and Education Council is the sector's Industry Training Organisation. Its responsibilities include designing national qualifications and setting (and quality assuring) national standards.Using these national qualifications, FITEC works with individual companies to develop training plans for their employees, and then arranges the delivery of the training and assessment to achieve them. In addition, FITEC provides leadership within the industry on matters relating to skill and training needs, which currently includes developing a careers information service and launching a Trades Academy. In 2009, there were 5100 workers actively training within the forestry sector, of whom 1230 completed national qualifications and 320 completed Limited Credit Programmes.
1.2.5 Scion is a Crown Research Institute dedicated to research covering the entire forestry value chain and related areas of biomaterials science. It has a human factors group operating under the brand COHFE (Centre for Human Factors and Ergonomics). For over 10 years, Scion has provided ergonomics research, teaching and consultancy services for the forestry sector.
 www.insights.co.nz from the Forest Owners Association website