GE trees may benefit the environment

13 April 2012

Forest owners support the trial of genetically engineered (GE) radiata pine trees at Scion and are deeply disappointed that experimental plantings have been destroyed by vandals.

“GE has the potential to provide environmental and economic benefits over conventionally bred trees,” says Forest Owners Association senior policy analyst Glen Mackie.

“However these potential benefits need to be carefully weighed against the potential hazards. To do this we need to conduct sound research under New Zealand conditions. Then, and only then, will we be in a position to have an informed debate on the subject.

“Issues like this must be decided on the basis of scientific evidence, not fear and ignorance. This is not a time or place for Luddites.

“It is ironical that the trees destroyed in the trial had the potential to reduce the use of persistent herbicides in forest establishment and to eliminate the spread of wilding trees from plantations through the development of trees that don’t produce seeds.”

Mr Mackie says Scion scientists work within guidelines laid down by the Environmental Protection Agency, including strict protocols designed to ensure there is no risk to the environment.
For more information, please contact Glen Mackie, Tel 0274 450 116

Winners of the NZ Wood Timber Design Awards 2010

A visitors’ centre at Waitomo Caves took out three of the top prizes at the NZ Wood Timber Design Awards announced tonight.


Winning both the Commercial Architecture and Commercial Engineering Excellence Awards, the centre also picked up a Clever Solutions award.


Designed and built by a consortium of Dunning Thornton Consultants, Architecture Workshop, Hunters and Hawkins Construction, the judges said the building was a “highly-engineered answer to functional needs, which has been achieved in a structure which is as much high-performance as it is delicate”.


Another of the main prizes went to the new Supreme Court Building in Wellington designed by Warren and Mahoney.


Winning the Interior Fit-out Award, the judges commended the “mesmerising interior, demonstrating the craft of modern digital technology, fabrication and biomimetic design”.


Using silver beech, the courtroom’s panelling mimics the spiral diamond patterns of the native kauri cone.


Another highly commended entry was the “Folding Whare”, a simple, collapsible one room emergency shelter for use in disaster recovery designed by Callum Dowie in his final year at Unitec’s architectural school.


This year’s People’s Choice Award – decided by popular on-line vote–  was won by Ambienti Architects for their Papamoa (Tauranga) based sales pavilion and community centre.


The Scott’s Landing beach residence by Stephenson and Turner Architects won the Residential Architectural Excellence Award for their design of a beach house at Mahurangi Harbour, north of Auckland.


The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry’s multi-purpose building in Wallaceville, Wellington, also designed by Stephenson and Turner Architects, won the Sustainability Award for the architects’ “elegant but ambitious project to create a five green star rating using a refined architectural palette”.


Birkenhead’s library and civic centre designed by Archoffice won the Cladding Building Envelope Award for its “sculptural timber façade”.


The awards were announced at a function at Te Papa, Wellington, on Monday night.


Sponsors included NZ Wood, Carter Holt Harvey Woodproducts, Timberbond, Kop-Coat and the Timber Design Society.


The awards were judged by structural engineer Ross Davison, builder David Brown and architect Elvon Young.


(Details of all winners attached.)



For further information, contact:


Brian Langham

NZ Wood


021 784 626

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