2024 NZ Farm Forestry Association Annual Conference

Experts set to enlighten all at April's New Zealand Farm Forestry Association Annual Conference 2024


If ever there was a year that called on resilience, it was this one, so it’s only fitting the theme of the 2024 New Zealand Farm Forestry Association Annual Conference is resilient landscapes.

Around 300 farm foresters are expected to converge in April at Hawke’s Bay for the 66th annual gathering, which also includes the NZFF Awards Dinner where the Farm Forester of the Year crowns for both the North and South Islands will be presented, alongside the Michael Hay Memorial Award for a younger member of NZFF who’s planting or establishing trees, and the New Zealand Landcare Trust Award for innovation in sustainable farm forestry.

Mark Mitchell

One of the highlights of the conference is the top-flight speakers, including Julia Jones, former head of analytics at NZX and previously KPMG farm enterprise specialist, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council principal advisor biodiversity Mark Mitchell, speciality tree species expert David Cranwell, RedAxe Forestry Intelligence’s James Powrie, New Zealand Drylands Forest Innovation research manager Paul Millen, Peter Davies-Colley a specialist on landowner-friendly forests harvesting, Pan Pac Forest Products forests operations manager, Graham West on land use solutions, and Hawke’s Bay regional coordinator for New Zealand Landcare Trust Nathan Burkepile.

Graham West

There are species group meetings covering action groups from the likes of eucalyptus, cypress, sequoia, oak, indigenous forestry, acacia, poplar, and willow, and information on the various timbers.

The tours are always popular and this year conference attendees have the opportunity to visit the likes of Napier Port, Pan Pac, Plant Hawke’s Bay, Tuki Tuki, Elsthorpe, Otane, and Cape Sanctuary at Cape Kidnappers among others.

It will be a chance for those from outside the Hawke’s Bay region to see first-hand the damage from Cyclone Gabrielle. Tim Forde, chair of the Hawke’s Bay branch of the association, says his team are looking forward to hosting the event.

James Powrie

"While it was hard to settle on a theme that realistically depicted the Hawke’s Bay region after the devastation of Cyclone Gabrielle, resilient landscapes sort of sums it up," he says.

"This conference provides us with an opportunity to demonstrate just how we are recovering after Cyclone Gabrielle."

There had been many learnings from the adverse weather, including how certain species of trees had assisted the different types of landscapes.

David Cranwell

"There is still much to learn post-cyclone," says Tim.

The annual general meeting is part of the conference and a chance for forestry members to have their say. During the week, delegates will hear about the changes affecting the industry, including forestry legislation. The New Zealand Farm Forestry Association was created in 1957 and represents the smaller forest-owning and growing community. There are 1500 members across 25 branches with eight special interest groups under its umbrella.
The New Zealand Farm Forestry Association 66th Annual Conference takes place from 9 to 13 April 2024 at Napier War Memorial Conference Centre.


For more info, visit nzffa.org.nz and for online registration, visit bit.ly/NZFFARegistration.  

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