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    ABSTRACT

New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2017) 62(1): 40
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Letter to the Editor
Radiata pine plantings - independent audits essential

Robin Trewin *,1

1 New Zealand Forest Research Institute (retired) Email: robin.trewin@clear.net.nz
*Corresponding author.

Abstract: Introduction Dr Sutton is to be thanked for his letter in the February 2017 issue of the Journal of Forestry (61(1): 39- 40) promoting the use of quality assurance indicator plots (QA plots) for the control of planting operations. The importance of the industry adopting QA plots as the standard post-establishment check for bare-rooted and container plantings is also stressed in the current and past editions of the NZIF Forestry Handbook (Section 5.14 Establishment). The use of QA plots is not new. When we began planting forests in New Zealand, the large tropical plantings like rubber and tea with thousands of workers had been using QA plots for years. Bad planting could bankrupt a company, so they had developed a foolproof quality assurance system. Their supervisors followed close behind the planters, putting in QA plots and recalling bad planters for immediate re-work. Superimposed on this system were independent industry auditors who would visit at a day’s notice for random planting quality checks. These auditors would also check growth in (GPS) recorded two, three and four-year-old QA plots to spot weaknesses.
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