Abstract:This paper is about the purpose of Wood Councils in the New Zealand forest sector and the activities and projects of the Southern North Island Wood Council.Build goodwill before negative events occur We certainly have had a busy year in the media for forestry. There have been some events that have highlighted areas of our industry not previously seen or understood by the public in New Zealand. The rain event and flooding damage caused in Gisborne was nothing new in forestry circles. However, as it was so public and quickly grasped by the media it did emphasise a main weakness in our industry - the ability to quickly react and with empathy to a forestry crisis in the media and in a community. What has become evident to many of our members is that it is almost too late once these situations have arisen to count on public cooperation. Also, what forestry as a sector needs to achieve is some goodwill in advance, to have some clarification around what forestry activities are, and to create understanding through education. So, this is where the Wood Councils can come in. The recent NZIF Conference highlighted the fact that many in our industry do not seem to know that Wood Councils exist. And if they do know, then they do not understand what our purpose could be. Some of our Australian friends even mentioned in their presentations the necessity for community-based programmes and organisations to build goodwill before these negative events ever occur, and the requirement for more education about our land-based activities. (no keywords)
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