100 years of forestry

On 24 September 2019, Te Uru Rākau celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the New Zealand State Forest Service. Find out about the special event we held at Parliament in Wellington.  

A wealth of forestry knowledge

On 24 September 2019, Te Uru Rākau celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the New Zealand State Forest Service with an event hosted by Forestry Minister Shane Jones. Other Government representatives included deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Former ministers of forestry, past directors-general of relevant ministries, forestry sector chief executives, and representatives from the forestry industry also attended.

“To have in one room such a wealth of forestry knowledge, and so many people who had significantly contributed to the key milestones that define our forestry heritage, was incredibly special,” said Te Uru Rākau – Forestry New Zealand’s deputy director-general Julie Collins.

“We re-enacted a photo originally taken in 1921 when the State Forest Service leadership team were in Wellington for their inaugural conference, with our present leadership team. The photo was taken on the Parliamentary library steps where the original picture was taken.”


The 2019 forestry leadership team, photographed on the Parliamentary library steps, alongside a photo of the original State Forest Service leadership team which was taken in 1921.
The present leadership team (left), taken in 2019, re-enacting a photograph taken in 1921 when the State Forest Service leadership team were in Wellington for their inaugural conference (right). Both photos were taken on the Parliamentary Library steps.

Forestry awards presented

Three forestry awards were presented at the event.

Forestry Science Award – Bruce Manley

For his dedication to forestry research, leadership in this field, and innovative work on carbon forestry.

Bruce Manley holds his certificate and a carved wooden award.
Bruce Manley.

Dr Bruce Manley is Professor of Forestry at the University of Canterbury and Head of School at the School of Forestry. He holds a PhD from the University of Washington, and is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Forestry. He is a former editor of the New Zealand Journal of Forestry and has been recognised by his colleagues through his election as a fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Forestry and through the award of Forester of the Year in 2007.

Bruce’s research interests include the valuation of plantations, modelling of forest estates to incorporate wood and non-wood benefits, and the relationships between log and wood quality, products, and markets.

Bruce joined the New Zealand Forest Service in 1976 and soon became a highly respected manager. Under his leadership, groups began research into carbon sequestration and the dimensions of commercial forest resource quality. He was also instrumental in the widespread adoption of estate modelling techniques for forest planning.

Bruce maintains an active research programme in forest resource analysis and management. He provides regular advice to government in various policy areas related to his research interests. He is internationally recognised for his research in modelling both quantity and quality of forest resources.

Kaitiakitanga Aotearoa Award – Guy Salmon

For his commitment to the protection of forests, forest ecosystems, and the connection of forests to people.

Guy Salmon holds a carved wooden award.
Guy Salmon.

Guy Salmon is the executive director at the Ecological Foundation, providing advice on environmental policy and strategy. He has previously been a member of the Land and Water Forum, and was a director of the Native Forest Action Council for 14 years. Guy is secretary of the Environmental Non-Government Organisations’ Leaders Forum.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Guy helped lead the fight to protect what remained of New Zealand’s indigenous forests. He was involved in the West Coast Accord which sought to protect large areas of lowland forest while also allowing sustainable management. He has been a champion of allowing for sustainable management of indigenous forest on both public and private land which formed the basis of the Forest Act Reforms in the 1990s. He has been criticised for his role in this, but Guy argues that we must provide for people and communities within a sustainable framework.

Thirty years on, Guy continues to advocate for better environmental outcomes, more sustainable land use, and more inclusive and resilient approaches to policy development.

Lifetime Achievement in Forestry Award – Peter Berg

Peter Berg is regarded as a true champion of forestry within New Zealand and the Commonwealth.

Peter Berg holds his certificate and a carved wooden award.
Peter Berg.

Peter Berg was president of the New Zealand Forest Owners Association for 12 years, as well as president of the New Zealand Institute of Forestry. He has served on the board of SCION and the Auckland Conservation Board. Peter is currently the chair of the New Zealand branch of the Commonwealth Forestry Association, and is a member of the executive committee of the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association.

Peter is involved in many aspects of New Zealand forestry and has jointly written 2 books on New Zealand’s forest history. His achievements span the breadth of forestry including training, research, marketing, indigenous and plantation forestry, and conservation. Peter is an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to forestry, and has received the South East Asia and Pacific Regional Award of Excellence.

The fact that Peter has been appointed and reappointed to key leadership roles shows the respect he has earned, the ethical standards he has followed, and his commitment to the profession and the sector. He is an exceptional and outstanding leader.

Oldest former employee honoured

New Zealand’s forestry heritage was well represented. Former State Forest Service employees and their descendants were among the 120 guests. The oldest former employee was 96-year-old Jim Speirs. He first began working for the Forest Service in 1941.

Three men in suits stand beside each other - on the left is senior heritage advisor for the Department of Conservation Paul Mahoney, the man in the middle is the oldest ex-Forest Service employee at the event, Jim Speirs, and the man on the right is deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters. Mr Speirs is shaking the deputy Prime Minister's hand.
Oldest ex-Forest Service employee at the event, Jim Speirs, 96, with deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters (right) and senior heritage advisor for the Department of Conservation Paul Mahoney.

New Zealand forestry timeline

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Download a copy of the timeline poster

100 years of New Zealand forestry [PDF, 6 MB]

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