Changes to our site - 30th Jan 2012

There has been some subtle but important changes to the thoughtplanters and Horttaining websites.

Firstly, thoughtplanters have completed the union with Horttraining NZ Ltd. Staff and systems have been integrated and the phasing out of Horttraining the training entity has begun. The most noticeable thing will be ‘web’ traffic going to the Horttraining site. The site is a holding page with a re-direction notice and link through to this site.

Changes to this site include the creation of a ‘staff portal’ where teaching and training staff will be able to access training guides, teaching information and assessment material.

We have also added a sub-page to the ‘training info’ called Plant ID (Unit 17150).  This page is primarily for students and trainees working towards NZQA Unit Standard 17150: Identify trees used in arboriculture.  It contains information about the creation and requirements the plant collection section (Element 2) of this unit standard. There are also ten sample plant ID tests of ten plants each. This is to assist in Element 3 of this unit standard with students or trainees needing to correctly identify 100 plants.

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Thoughtplanters becomes a Brand Partner - 20th Jan 2012

Thoughtplanters becomes a Brand Partner with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) is the New Zealand Government’s national economic development agency.

NZTE supports businesses to grow internationally with a range of services, programmes and information and with online guides and information. In order to generate the greatest benefits for New Zealand, NZTE works most intensively with businesses that are most likely to succeed.

Thoughtplanters applied for and went under the rigorous assessment process to gain access to NZTE Beachheads programme.

Beachheads is a global, public-private partnership of independent Advisors and NZTE personnel that helps businesses accelerate international growth. Beachheads gives businesses access to the advice of private sector Advisors to help develop and execute their international growth strategy.

As part of our acceptance onto the NZTE Beachheads programme, thoughtplanters has become a NZTE Brand Partner and is now able to include the ‘Fern Mark’ on our marketing material. Being able to use the New Zealand Fern Mark shows that you have reached a standard of excellence, produce quality products and maintain high standards. Only selected New Zealand companies that do business internationally are eligible to become Brand Partners and use the New Zealand Fern Mark.

It’s a privilege to be supported by NZTE and to be able to use the New Zealand Fern Mark, its humbling and exciting all at the same time” thoughtplanters Business Development Manager, Richard Wanhill said.

Moving up in the world - 1st Dec 2011

Moving up in the world The thoughtplanters Dunedin office is moving up town and up a few floors.

The new office is located on the 3rd floor of 2 Dowling St. It is easy to find, situated across the road from Queen’s Gardens. 2 Dowling St originally housed the Otago Daily Times from 1879 to 1928, the building has a plenty of history and character.

At this stage all the contact details will remain the same, its just the location that has changed (see - google maps).

Rescue training in the park - 8th Sep 2011

Thoughtplanters put on three days of Aerial Rescue and Advanced Climbing for the climbers of Dunedin.

The first day was a day of Aerial Rescue filming in conjunction with the Otago Polytechnic’s Arboriculture and film studies departments. Several hours of footage was shot from various angles and soon will be edited into a series short training videos.

The day went very well and was enjoyed by all except Mark Roberts, who was playing the part of the victim; ‘it’s very uncomfortable hanging around awaiting to be rescued, I strongly recommend that no one does it… in a film or in a real life situation’.

The second two days were mainly industry training as requested by the NZ horticulture Industry Training Organisation. With the new NZQA Unit Standards in Advanced Climbing and Advanced Rigging many work place assessors have found themselves half a step behind the training requirements and this course was designed to help bring them up to speed.

Andy Neverman, in keeping with the training culture of thoughtplanters demonstrated various techniques and additional uses of common items of equipment. ‘If you have something, it is better to use it to its full potential than to go out and buy something else to do the same job’.

Single Rope Techniques (SRT) were also discussed in detail including rescue scenarios off single and double rope configurations. The general consensus is that with so many variations and configurations SRT is not something that inexperienced climbers should rush into, and even experienced climbers need to know exactly what they are doing before the start accessing trees using SRT.

International training goes down a treat - 10th Aug 2011

Andy Neverman (thoughtplanters NZ) and Brett Moir (thoughtplanters Singapore) presented at the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) 2011 annual conference and trade show in Sydney, Australia.

The conference, ‘Trees Down Under’ showcased trees from Australia and the Southern Hemisphere and attracted people from all over the world. Andy and Brett gave a presentation on maximising the use of climbing equipment. They demonstrated that by changing the configuration of commonly used items of climbing equipment they could not only improve the efficiency of climbing but potentially save large sums of money too. Needless to say the presentation was very well received.

The 2011 International Tree Climbing Championship (ITCC) was held as part of the conference where NZ climbers were able to take out the top male, top female and top team. Congratulations to Scott Forrest and Chrissy Spence.

Utility Arborist accreditation gained - 20th Jul 2011

Thoughtplanters has gained the final NZQA accreditations needed to deliver the new Vegetation Control qualification; National Certificate in Electricity Supply (Utility Arborist) with an optional strand in Insulated Tool Work

“We believe that we are the first and only Private Training Provider (PTE) that has gained the necessary approval from the Electricity Supply Industry Training Organisation and accreditation form the NZ Qualifications Authority” said thoughtplanters Academic Director, Mark Roberts .

This national certificate is awarded to people who have demonstrated competence in the skills and knowledge required for employment in the electricity supply industry as a utility arborist undertaking vegetation control.

This qualification is intended for qualified arborists with sufficient arboriculture work experience to undertake vegetation control in the proximity of electricity supply lines.

Arborists holding this qualification will have sufficient knowledge of electricity systems, health and safety, and electricity industry safety statutes and codes to work safely in the proximity of electricity supply lines. They will also be able to operate elevating work platforms to prune trees around electrical lines, and measure trees and lines for vegetation control around electrical lines.

Arborists who wish to work in close proximity to electrical lines are required to use insulated tools. Holders of this qualification who also have the Insulated Tool Work Optional Strand will have the knowledge and skills required to work with insulated tools.

Advanced Certificate in Arboriculture now running in Singapore - 1st Jul 2011

Advanced Certificate in Arboriculture now running in Singapore Thoughtplanters is continuing its expansion of training courses in Singapore with the recent completion of the inaugural Advanced Certificate in Arboriculture (ACA).

The course, designed for aspiring supervisors in the landscape / arboriculture sector, is an intensive three-week block. The syllabus covers a range of key tree care principles - providing students with a comprehensive insight into maintenance and management issues.

The course has been established in partnership with Singapore's Centre for Urban Greening and Ecology (CUGE) and is endorsed by the government's Workforce Development Agency (WDA). Both CUGE and WDA see the ACA as a crucial qualification for those supervisors and managers involved in caring for Singapore's trees.

Singapore is world-renowned as a garden city - where extensive lush vegetation is the norm. Singapore is expanding its green natural infrastructure - and this is evident in it's current multi-billion dollar investments in greening programmes and the construction of new parkland and tree-lined landscapes. Since 1986 Singapore has increased its urban tree cover and vegetation by over 12% - an amazing feat for a small island of only 700 square kilometres with a population in excess of 5 million.

Bryan Gould, Horttraining's senior lecturer, presented the Advanced Certificate to a small keen group - the first to step up for the newly-established qualification. "The student's level of interest and enthusiasm was really high" he said. "They finished the block without problems and were looking forward to applying their new-found knowledge and awareness in their workplaces".

Thoughtplanters will be conducting the ACA in Singapore on a regular basis - with plans for a diploma qualification to be announced shortly.

thoughtplanters join Southeast Asia Beachheads programme - 7th Jun 2011

thoughtplanters are pleased to announce that they have been accepted into the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) Southeast Asia (SEA) Beachheads programme.

Beachheads is a programme designed for high-growth New Zealand companies looking to improve their international connections.

The programme will connect thoughtplanters to a network of advisors. With experience ranging across industries and skills, the advisors can provide valuable insights and advice into doing business in specific international markets. They can also plug thoughtplanters into the right partners and potential customers.

thoughtplanters involvement in the beachheads programme automatically entitles it to be Brand Partners with NZTE and use the New Zealand Fern Mark.

The Brand New Zealand Fern Mark is a unique and identifiable sign of success. The Fern Mark is a powerful marketing asset. It tells the world that the products and services are of the highest quality and come from New Zealand companies aligned with the values of the New Zealand brand.

“ We are very excited about being accepted into the Beachheads Southeast Asia (SEA) programme and the Brand New Zealand Fern Mark Partnering programme. Having a team of advisors in SEA with their level of business experience and knowledge will be invaluable. Carrying the Fern Mark Brand next to the thoughtplanters brand will be amazing. It will add strength to our brand and clearly define us as a New Zealand business.” Said thoughtplanters Business Development Manager, Richard Wanhill.

For more information on NZTE’s and the Beachheads Programme click

For more information on NZTE’s Brand Partner Programme click

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