Best Practice Guideline for Arboriculture - 15th Nov 2010

CoP becomes BPG at AGM

The members of the New Zealand Arboricultural Association voted in favour of progressing the Code of Practice (CoP) as a Best Practice Guideline (BPG) at their Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Auckland, November 12.

This decision was based on the absence of a current workable industry document that reflected best working practice in New Zealand arboriculture.

The existing CoP [the Approved Code of Practice for Safety and Health in Tree Work Part One: Arboriculture] was published in 1994 and no longer reflects current industry practice.

The BPG which is available on the NZAA website is currently a working document. The BPG has taken directly from a draft document created and reviewed by a panel of industry experts and stakeholder representatives.

The BPG is not designed to replace the 16 year old CoP but serve as a current and industry relevant document until such time the review is complete and a new CoP can be published.

NZ 2010 National Tree Climbing Championship - 13th Nov 2010

Matt Glen – putting a ‘Super Effort’ The STIHL / NZAA National Tree Climbing Championships were held at the Ellerslie Racecourse in Auckland, November 12 & 13.

Marlies Laser, the event Co-ordinator held the event over two days around the very relaxed but not necessarily tranquil ‘dress circle’ of the Ellerslie Racecourse.

The contestants yet again managed to take the level of climbing up another notch, demonstrating skills and attitudes that will tie in our climbers at the top of the international tree.

Congratulations to those that made it through to the Masters competition. The final places were;

Men’s Masters
1 – Scott Forrest
2 – Ross Kite
3 – Tumai Laybourn
4 – Jawand Ngau Chun

Women’s Masters
1 – Chrissy Spence
2 – Nicky Ward-Allen

Other Awards
Best Rookie Award: Tumai Laybourn (first time NTCC and in the Masters)
Award for Spirit: Zane Wedding (best ever cheerleader)
Contribution Award: Tony Wilson (started working on from Wednesday!)
Helping Hand Award: Kiah Martin (NZ’s favourite Australian)

Thanks needs also to go out to all the judges and technicians, sponsors, climbers and all those that came along to take part in the 2010 event.

(photo: Matt Glen putting in a 'Super Effort')

Dunedin Arboriculture Festival - 23rd Oct 2010

Dunedin Arboriculture Festival

Having fun and sharing knowledge


The 2010 Dunedin Arboriculture festival was held over the Labor Day long weekend. The festival involved an informal climbing competition, including [possibly] NZ’s first ‘head-to-head’ secure footlocking competition, the Arborist Ball and a splicing workshop.

The intention of the event was to have some fun and share some knowledge – which is succeeded in doing.

Thanks needs to go out to  the Otago Polytechnic and Elena O’Neill of the Dunedin City Council for organizing the event. Photos and more information can be viewed on the Treetools site.

Thoughtplanters sponsored the Aerial Rescue event as it has done at every regional climbing competition this year.

Trees, UFB and the Transport Corridor - 22nd Sep 2010

Arborists involved early on national deployment of Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) initiative

Downer and Electrix facilitated a seminar and workshop concerning the rollout and deployment of UFB throughout New Zealand. The event took place at the Museum of New Zealand - Te Papa Tongarewa and saw nearly 100 City Planners, Government Officials, Project Planners and Asset Managers take part.

Stacy Colyer (Greenscene Ltd), Chris Loughborough (North Shore City Council) and Mark Roberts (Thoughtplanters) lead a panel discussion about trees, and how to work with them on this project.

‘It was a great opportunity sow the seed early, to get the right people thinking about trees and incorporate that mindset into the start of the project’ Stacy Colyer said.

The UFB initiative is part of the Government's $1.5 billion investment in Ultra-Fast Broadband infrastructure. The Government's objective is to have UFB to 75 percent of New Zealanders over ten years, concentrating in the first six years on priority users such as businesses, schools and health services.

The presentation by the three tree people was well received. Several of the delegates commented that they were indifferent before the session but felt they had a better understanding of tree management and role of arborists.

‘Its really a statement on how our industry is viewed’ Mark Roberts said. We are no longer considered tree huggers in homespun jumpers, but serious professionals contributing to the economic growth and development of this country.

Community planting for Conservation Week - 17th Sep 2010

Tree manoeuvring with the help of the Otago Polytechnic

Thoughtplanters take part in Conservation Week 2010


2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity and this week [September, 12-19] is Conservation Week here in New Zealand. Thoughtplanters marked the event by planting a Southern Rata (Metrosideros umbellate) in a Dunedin park.

It was a relatively large tree and required the help of several students from the Otago Polytechnic Arboricultural course to help manoeuvre it into place.

The small suburban park has several other native trees and plants growing in it and it is hoped that it may become a urban ‘stepping stone’ for many of the native birds in the near by Orokonui Ecosanctuary.

“The planting is part of our community involvement and commitment to the environment,” said Mark Roberts of thoughtplanters.

Andrew Neverman at NTCC event - 11th Sep 2010

Andrew (Andy) Neverman wins the NZAA/STIHL Regional Tree Climbing Competition
Waikato / Bay of Plenty event

Andy, a full time practical trainer for Horttraining and thoughtplanters, won the Waikato / Bay of Plenty Regional Tree Climbing Competition for the second year in a row. The event is one of four regional tree-climbing competitions put on by the New Zealand Arboricultural Association (NZAA).

This years competition was held at the Hamilton Lake Domain, Hamilton and although forecast the rain never eventuated. More information about Andy’s win and the Waikato / Bay of Plenty Tree Climbing Competition can be seen at the Tree Tools web blog.

Andy, along with the top five place getters from each of the other four regional events will compete in the finals on November 13. The winner of that event winner go on to represent New Zealand in the International Tree Climbing Competition.

Kiwis win at Green Thumbs - 5th Sep 2010

Green Thumbs is an annual contest for landscape workers held in Singapore. This year’s event saw over 150 practitioners from all aspects of the green industry taking part.

The premier event for practical arboriculture was the Singapore Tree Climbing Championship.

Brett Moir a Telford Diploma graduate and Singapore based New Zealander won the Singapore section with Drew Bristow a New Zealand based climber winning the international section.

The Singapore Tree Climbing followed the same rules and format as the international competition and saw climbers pit their skills in tasks such as Work Climb, Aerial Rescue, Throwline, Belayed Speed Climb and Secured Footlock. Organisers were pleased with the success of the event as it will pave the way for Singapore to host the Asia Pacific Tree Climbing Championship in June 2011.

The two Kiwi’s competed against climbers from Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore to win their respective sections. It was a great opportunity to demonstrate the quality and skills of our trainers and establish yet again that the New Zealand climbers are world leaders.

Drew also met with the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Singapore Mr Teo Chee Hean, and was able to discuss and demonstrate various tree access techniques.



Train the trainer pilot programme - 31st Aug 2010

Mark Roberts attends ISA train-the-trainer pilot programme in Chicago

Academic Director, Mark Roberts was one of twenty top educators from around the world to take part in the International Society of Arboriculture’s (ISA) train-the-trainer pilot programme in Chicago, USA.

The train-the-trainer course is a programme being developed by the ISA to ensure consistency and quality of training. The two day programme brought together some of the biggest names in arboriculture. ‘Being invited to work on a project such as this with so many high-profile and influential people was an amazing opportunity’, Mark said.

Once fully developed, it is expected that anyone wishing to deliver ISA Certification or ISA training will first need to successfully complete the train-the-trainer course.

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