Troy Mason, Danny Mason and Quintin Trass of KTM Silviculture. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED
A Masterton family forestry business walked away with the Supreme Winner Award at the Southern North Island Wood Council Training Awards dinner last week.
Troy Mason and his team at KTM Silviculture also won the best training company of the year prize.
The supreme award is given to forestry businesses that are leaders in their area and demonstrate excellence across all facets of the operation.
KTM, owned by Troy and Kelly Mason, impressed the judges with their strong commitment to training workers with a focus on health, safety, and the environment. Troy is known as a leader who cares about his team doing a good job safely.
Troy said winning both awards was a big surprise. He was not in the room when the announcement was made.
“My daughter rang me and said ‘Dad, you’ve won the Supreme Award’. I was proud. I was really proud of our younger guys that have put the hard work in finally had recognition.”
Troy and Kelly’s company have put 12 trainees through a NZQA Level 3 silviculture qualification in thinning, planting, tree selection, health and safety and other modules in the past 12 months.
“Once they’ve finished, they can do any part of the job,” Kelly said.
“They also learn the effects of drug and alcohol abuse through the health and nutrition modules. They learn about environmental considerations and endangered species that we have,” Troy said.
The company has strong Maori roots and connection to the whenua, particularly local iwi and hapu. There is a strong commitment to upskilling and caring for the well-being of the forestry staff.
“We have a real family atmosphere,” Troy said.
Masterton forestry manager Hannah Harvey won the award for outstanding environmental management.
Harvey, a geologist, is environmental and risk manager at Forest Enterprises.
She was nominated for the award for her role in helping manage the introduction of an environmental certification framework.
This was a complicated task involving preparation for, and management of, an environmental audit, which the company passed with distinction.
This involved considering the entire forest, including soil, natural fauna and flora, water and other aspects.
The award came out of the blue to her as well.
“I didn’t know I was nominated. I was pretty excited,” she said.
“I was very proud. I love working for Forest Enterprises. It was an honour.
Morris Fisher was recognised for his outstanding lifetime of commitment to the forestry industry. In a career spanning more than 50 decades he has planted over four million trees and managed the silviculture through to maturity. He has also set up areas of native bush for the Queen Elizabeth Trust and planted native riparian and wetland areas.
Awards were presented across the industry – from apprentices to wood processing excellence, trainees to contractors and more.
“These awards are a chance for us to recognise and celebrate excellence among the skilled forestry workforce in our region,” SNI Wood Council chief executive Erica Kinder said.
It was the fourth year the awards have been held.
The awards dinner was held at the Awapuni Function Centre in Palmerston North and cover the area from Taranaki to Whanganui and Manawatu to Wairarapa, Tararua, and Wellington.
Forestry employs more than 1000 people across a range of jobs generating about $187 million of log sales revenue.
The big winners at the forestry training awards
Special award for Exemplary Forestry Innovation [sponsored by John Turkington Forestry]: Kylie Boyd [CentrePort]
Harvesting Excellence [sponsored by Finance NZ]: Samuel Keenan [Keenan Forestry Ltd]; Runner-up: Hamish Thompson [Mangoihe Logging Company Ltd]
Wood Processing Excellence [sponsored by China Forest Group Corporation NZ]: Shannon Gillam [Kiwi Lumber Masterton]
Outstanding Health and Safety Management [sponsored by New Forests]: Dale Ewers [Moutere Logging Ltd]
Forestry Excellence [sponsored by Forest 360]: Josiah Whenuaroa [Whenuaroa Forestry]
Modern Apprentice of the Year [sponsored by McCarthy Transport]: Glen Etherington [Gillard Logging Ltd]; Runner-up: Sam McPeak [Keenan Forestry Ltd]
Trainee of the Year [sponsored by Competenz]: Charles Wipaki [Moutere Logging Ltd]; Runner-up: Stevie Wilson [Foxpine]
Emerging Talent of the Year [sponsored by Forest Enterprises]: Taine Rona [R&S Dreaver Shelter Trimmers Ltd]
Training Company/Contractor of the Year [sponsored by JNL]: Troy Mason [KTM Silviculture Ltd]
Contractor of the Year [sponsored by NZ Forestry]: Bryan McCarthy [Mangoihe Logging Company Ltd]
Outstanding Environmental Management [sponsored by FORME Consulting]: Hannah Harvey [Forest Enterprises]; Runner-up: Josh Blazek [Farman Turkington Forestry]
Distribution Excellence [sponsored by Ernslaw One Ltd]: Tony Groome [John Turkington Ltd]