Support services coming for forestry businesses in Tairawhiti & Hawke’s Bay valued at $577,000

11 October 2023

A joint package of support services being delivered between October – December 2023 by the Forest Industry Contractors Association (FICA), Safetree and Eastland Wood Council will be available for forestry contractors and kaimahi in Tairawhiti / Gisborne and Hawkes Bay.

Funded by the Ministry for Primary Industry (MPI) North Island Weather Event (NIWE) fund, the package includes a range of support services to help businesses build resilience for the future.

Support services include, access to a specially designed Future Proofing Contractors Workshop and the Be a Mate – Hei Hoa te Naghere mental health programme delivered by FICA, funded Safetree Contractor and Worker Certification offered by Safetree in Gisborne / Tairawhiti, Forestry Whanau Days and an Emergency Readiness and Response plan supported by the Te Kawa a Tāne Alliance in conjunction with Eastland Wood Council.

FICA CEO, Prue Younger, says the support service package has been designed to offer a range of practical assistance where there is need within forestry businesses.

“From a FICA perspective, the aim is to provide contractors with access to experts that can help businesses survive in uncertain times; how to make sure they’re able to ride out the lows and make the most of the highs,” says Prue.

“This includes a segment on understanding markets, value-add, future technologies and future aspirations so that we can all be looking forward.”

Safetree CEO, Joe Akari, says the Safetree package will fund Contractor Certification and Worker Certification to those businesses that are eligible.

“Certification is sometimes the deciding factor in awarding a contract,” says Joe.

“By temporarily funding Contractor and Worker Certification in the Tairawhiti / Gisborne region, we can support contractors to remain competitive while removing some of the financial barrier while they get back on their feet after a tough period in business.”

Eastland Wood Council CEO, Philip Hope, says “Forestry Whanau Days will be delivered in conjunction with Te Kawa a Tāne, taking whanau to the forestry site to show them where their loved ones work and give them a better understanding of the skills and professionalism required for safe forestry harvesting operations.

Whanau Forestry Days are a really positive action that supports the industry after such a challenging year.

He adds, the Emergency Response and Readiness plan project includes setting up the Forestry Sector Coordinating Entity for future weather events with Coordinated Incident Management System (CIMS) training and agreed communications platforms. It will also include readiness training and certification for contractors.

“A Forestry Sector readiness and Response plan was developed through Te Kawa a Tāne Wānanga. This will support the Forestry industry and community to be more prepared for future events.”

FICA CEO, Prue Younger, adds that while each organisation will retain responsibility of their individual project/s, they will work together to coordinate their services.

“We’re coordinating the dates so that we are efficient and realistic about the time commitment required of forestry companies and contractors to take up these support services,” says Prue.

“Eastland Wood Council acknowledges; Iwi, WorkSafe, Police, GDC, MPI-TUR, the forestry sector and other stakeholders for their support,” says Philip. “These organisations have been 100% behind this Kaupapa and they are supporting delivery of the programmes for which funding has been secured.”


The North Island Weather Event (NIWE) support services for Forestry Contractors, delivered by FICA, FISC and Eastland Wood Council.

The package includes:

  • Future Proofing Contractors Workshop Series (FICA)
  • Be a Mate – Hei Hoa te Naghere Mental Health Programme (FICA)
  • Funded Safetree Certification (FISC)
  • Forestry Whanau Days (Eastland Wood Council / Te Kawa Tāne Alliance)
  • Emergency Readiness and Response plan (Eastland Wood Council / Te Kawa a Tāne Alliance)