2010 Young Horticulturist of the Year - 21st Aug 2010

Young Horticulturist of the Year - Arboriculture sector competition

Saturday August 21 saw the Arboriculture sector competition of the 2010 Young Horticulturist of the Year. The competition was held in Wellington with 5 keen young arborists vying for the top spot. Each contestant had to demonstrate a broad range of horticultural skills through practical activities, knowledge tests and a short speech.

The competition was close hinging on the final task of the day; the speech. The topic, which the contestants only had for an hour before they were required to speak was being fore or against the removal of wilding pines. Marc Higgie managed to keep his nerve winning by 4 points over Mat Miller, ended the day as the 2010 Arboriculture sector winner.

Marc will go forward to represent the arboriculture sector in the grand final against the other sector winners in Auckland on Wednesday 3rd November with the awards dinner the following evening.

Congratulations to Marc and all the other contestants. Many thanks to the Wellington City Council, Harbour City Tree Care for their assistance on the day. Thanks also to NZ Horticulture Industry Training Organisation, FMG, Turners & Growers, AGMARDT, Fruitfed Supplies as the key sponsors of this years event.

Thoughtplanters (Singapore) PTE Ltd - 19th Aug 2010

Thoughtplanters starts subsidiary company

On 17th August 2010 our first subsidiary company was incorporated in Singapore; Thoughtplanters (Singapore) PTE Ltd

We are very proud that our first client is CUGE (Center for Urban Greenery & Ecology) and we are delighted to be working alongside such an excellent organisation. This year we will carry out a pilot delivery of the Higher & Advanced Certificate in Arboriculture for CUGE's first in-take of Arboriculture students.

Later in the year we are planning to deliver some training in Thailand as sub-contractor to another Singapore Company, Arboriculture Ltd.

Very exiting times ahead for us at Thoughtplanters as we venture into new territory!

Pilot Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) begins - 18th Aug 2010

Richard Wanhill has arrived in Singapore to prepare for the delivery of the pilot courses for the Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) Higher Certificate in Arboriculture and Advanced Certificate in Arboriculture.

The training of the Arboriculture Higher and Advanced Certificate begins on Monday 23rd August. “This is an exciting time for Thoughtplanters and our Singapore industry partner the Centre for Urban Greenery and Ecology (CUGE)” explains Richard. Thoughtplanters and CUGE have been working together for a number of years now. Beginning with tree climbing and chainsaw training.

After running a series of practical training courses in Singapore, Thoughtplanters tendered for and were successful in winning the WSQ curriculum development contract to Develop the Higher Certificate, Advanced Certificate and Diploma in Arboriculture.

The training beginning on the 23rd August will see all of the “behind the scenes, hard work, done by Mark Roberts and his curriculum development team, come to fruition” says Richard.

Richard will stay in Singapore for about a month, teaching with Andy Neverman. They will then be joined by fellow NZ climber Drew Bristow and will attend the Singapore Tree Climbing Competition.

Richard will then head off to Thailand for a week of training. The Thailand training is the start of another exciting new training programme for Thoughtplanters Southeast Asia development.

Thoughtplanters team take part in a photo shoot - 3rd Aug 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010 saw three of the Thoughtplanters team take part in a photo shoot. The photos are to be used in training resources we are developing for the New Zealand Horticulture Industry Training Organisation.

Mike Heydon of Jet Photography, was the man behind the camera and the quality of this award winning photographer can clearly been seen when looking at the finished product.

It was nice to see that some of the respect worked both ways with Mike noting his experience on his blog: http://www.mikeheydon.blogspot.com/ (Tuesday, August 3, 2010. Hanging about in trees

Back from ISA meetings and conference - 31st Jul 2010

Mark Roberts returned today after seven days in Chicago attending the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Board of Directors meetings and 2010 annual conference.

The July meeting saw the first full combined convening of the ISA under its new governance structure. The 15 person board (where Mark serves as the vice president) along with the 45 person Council (the Council of Representatives or COR).

It was an interesting and productive set of meetings on a number of levels. There was considerable time involved in working out the logistics of how these new entities will function, their roles, responsibilities and authorities. The strategic plan was reviewed, updated and committees were put into place to progress the aims and objectives that accompany the strategic plan.

The annual conference started on the 25th and went through to the 28th. It involved presentations and demonstrations form some of the finest minds in arboriculture today.

Trees Code Parts 1&2 review - 22nd Jun 2010

A collection of industry representatives were invited to Wellington to review and progress the two Approved Codes of Practice in Arboriculture.

Trevor Gardiner and David James attended the trees code part two meeting on the Monday, while Richard Wanhill and Mark Roberts were part of Tuesday’s trees code part one meeting.

The meetings were productive and positive, resulting in draft versions that should soon be available for public comment, via the Department of Labour website:
and / or the New Zealand Arboricultural Association’s site:

International trade delegation - 17th Jun 2010

Thoughtplanters Business Development Manager Richard Wanhill was a member of and Australian – New Zealand trade delegation that visited Cambodia on 15th -17th June. With the backing of their respective governments, the delegation was in Cambodia to assess development projects in the areas of infrastructure and Vocational Education and Training and to meet with potential business clients.

The delegation of 12 companies also attended a showcase seminar where Cambodian government officials and business representatives provided a snapshot of the Kingdom’s current operating environment, economic situation and future infrastructure and education development projects.

ISA bound - 14th Jun 2010

Mark Roberts, as Vice President of the International Society of Arboriculture leaves NZ to attend the fist full meeting of the newly formed Executive Committee. The meeting are to be held in Champaign, Illinois (the head office of the ISA) and are expected to finish around mid-day on the 18th

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