Forest grower poll open

5 October 2015

Voting is now open for the person who will represent owners of smaller forests on the Forest Growers Levy Trust Board.

The two candidates are Guy Farman, managing director of Farman Turkington Forestry and Steve Wilton, managing director of Forest Enterprises. Both have strong forestry credentials and are based in the Wairarapa.

Anyone who owns a 'qualifying forest' of between 4 and 1000 hectares, planted before 1 October 2003, may vote in the election that opened on Monday 5 October and closes on Friday 16 October.

The election is the first to have been held since a commodity levy was applied to harvested plantation logs in January 2014. Three of the six elected board members retired this year after only one year in office. In the future, three directors will retire every second year after a four-year term.

All three members who retired this year offered themselves for re-election. The two representing owners of larger forests, Paul Nicholls and Philip Taylor, have been declared to be re-elected as they were the only candidates for the two vacancies. They join sitting directors David Balfour and Bill McCallum on the board as representatives of owners of larger forests.

With two nominations – existing board member Steve Wilton and newcomer Guy Farman – for the one 'small forest' vacancy, an election is needed. This is taking the form of a secret on-line ballot where each forest owner gets one vote.

The successful candidate will join sitting director Ian Jackson of South Canterbury in representing the interests of owners of smaller forests on the board.

Trust chair, Geoff Thompson, says the forest growers levy raised $7.96 million in 2014 for activities that benefit all forest owners, including research, forest health, safety and training.

"In its first 18 months the Trust has funded some excellent work on behalf of all forest owners. But I strongly encourage individual levy payers to take time to inform themselves about this work and to vote for the candidate they believe will best represent their interests," he says.

For more information about the activities of the Trust, visit www.fglt.org.nz. To find out more about the candidates, the voting process and to cast a vote, visit the Forest Voice website, www.forestvoice.org.nz

For more information, contact Geoff Thompson, Tel 027 445 3455