Tree Risk Assessment Qualification - 12th Jan 2015

Tree Risk Assessment Qualification

TRAQ course in Auckland, 24-26 February 2015

With Worksafe NZ moving away from Hazard Assessment and into Risk Assessment the ISA’s Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ) is a must for arborists and/or those working with trees.

TRAQ is an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) qualification program that trains arborists how to use Best Management Practices methodologies for Tree Risk Assessment. This qualification promotes the safety of people and property by providing a standardised and systematic process for assessing tree risk. The results of a tree risk assessment can provide tree owners and risk managers with the information to make informed decisions to enhance tree benefits, health, and longevity.

The program is an obvious way to manage your risk when dealing with trees and will improve your knowledge of risk assessment.

The New Zealand Arboricultural Association is running a TRAQ course in Auckland, 24-26 February 2015 with current ISA President Mark Roberts as the presenter. Numbers are limited and pre enrollment is required, so if you are interested then email; and/or David James ( as quick as you can.

  • For more information about the NZ Arboricultural Association TRAQ course click here; NZAA - TRAQ
  • For more information about TRAQ click here; ISA - TRAQ

H&S Reform Bill & PCBUs - 15th Dec 2014

H&S Reform Bill & PCBUs

A Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU)

The Working Safer reform package announced by the Government in 2013 and is currently before parliament. The new select committee has a report back due 30 March 2015 and then the Bill will continue its progression through the parliamentary process. It is likely that the Bill will come into force in the second half of 2015. There will be a few month ('adequate time') from when the Bill is passed and when it comes into force to make sure duty holders are aware of their new responsibilities under the law.

One of the big changes involves the concept of a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking, known as a PCBU. According to Worksafe NZ, a PCBU is a broad concept that reflects modern working arrangements, it recognises that a business or undertaking has an influence over the health and safety of workers, even where those workers may not be its direct employees.

Despite its name, a PCBU will usually be a business entity, such as a company, rather than an individual person (a person might be a PCBU if they are a sole trader or a self-employed person) – but it does mean that someone or a group of someone’s, somewhere in the company structure will be ultimately responsibility for health and safety

Take a look at the pdf H&S REFORM BILL: Update 3 [here] to see the flowchart and more.

Consultation on Horticulture Qualifications - 11th Aug 2014

After receiving the approval to develop in late 2013, qualification developers at Primary ITO have been working extensively with Horticulture industry stakeholders to advance the proposed suite of Horticulture qualifications for listing on NZQF.

Consultation on Horticulture Qualifications

The Primary ITO are consulting with all stakeholders to seek feedback on details in the new Horticulture qualifications. The deadline for submitting your feedback and comments using an online survey is Friday 29 August 2014.

You can access the survey at:

By launching an online consultation, the Primary ITO is endeavouing to make the process accessible and easy. Your feedback and comments are important for the future of the qualification(s) - please make some time for this.

President of the ISA - 30th Jul 2014

Mark Roberts - President of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)

12 years in the making

Thoughtplanters' very own Mark Roberts will become the President of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) on August 6 in Milwaukee Wisconsin.  He will be the first president of the Society from New Zealand.

Mark has been on the Board of the ISA for the past 12 years, initially as the New Zealand Chapter representative, before being elected onto the Executive committee five years ago.

The ISA was founded in 1924. It is an international non-profit organisation with its headquartered in just out of Chicago in Champaign Illinois. It has over 22,000 members with chapters and affiliates across America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK, Asia, South America. The ISA also runs ISA Certification programme with over 30,000 ISA credential holders.

The mission statement of the ISA is; ‘Through research, technology, and education promote the professional practice of arboriculture and foster a greater public awareness of the benefits of trees.’

Thoughtplanters wish Mark well and are confident in his abilities in representing the society on the international stage.

NZ Operations Manager - 6th Jun 2014

Thoughtplanters is pleased to announce the appointed Kent Thwaites as our New Zealand Operations Manager.

Kent has been with Thoughtplanters for some time now managing the Foundation Certificate in Arboriculture programme. He has taken this programme nationally, owned it and made it very successfulness.
Kent’s passion for quality training improving industry standards makes him an ideal fit in this new role.

Once his feet have hit the ground I am sure he will be contacting you to talk about how you are going to work together going forward as part of the Thoughtplanters team of trainers.

Kent will take over responsibility for the following New Zealand operations:

  • Telford [Lincoln] training
  • Primary ITO training
  • Asplundh training
  • Contract trainers management & co-ordination
He will be based out of the Auckland office, working closely alongside Sam Bright and Trevor Gardiner

He can be contacted on:
P: +64 9 552 8711
M: +64 21 403 255

WorkSafe NZ? - 10th Mar 2014

WorkSafe NZ?
There seems to be a bit of confusion about WorkSafe NZ;  who are they, where did they come from and what do they do?

WorkSafe NZ is a child of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).   MBIE is a collective Ministry created through bringing together the existing functions of the Ministry of Science and Innovation, Ministry of Economic Development, Department of Labour and Department of Building and Housing.

WorkSafe NZ is a Crown regulatory agency with the objective of promoting and contributing to securing the health and safety of workers and workplaces.  The agency was launched in December of 2013.

The Government established WorkSafe NZ as a stand-alone workplace regulatory agency in direct response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy in 2012 and the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety.  The agency provides a single point of accountability and seeks to play a leadership role in improving New Zealand’s health and safety performance.  The intention is to work collaboratively with employers and employees to embed and promote good workplace health and safety practice, and enforces workplace health and safety regulations.

WorkSafe NZ run many of the health and safety functions that were administered through Occupational Safety and Health (OSH), which was part of the Department of Labour (DoL). Its worth noting that DoL stopped using the OSH name back in 2005 – so WorkSafe NZ isn’t OSH rebranded.

For more information about WorkSafe NZ go to:

Tree Risk Assessment Qualification Training - 20th Jan 2014

Tree Risk Assessment Qualification Course (Christchurch, New Zealand)

The New Zealand Arboriculture Association is running a Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ) course in Christchurch, New Zealand; 31 March, 1, 2 April, 2014

TRAQ is an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) program created to provide an opportunity for professionals in the arboriculture industry to expand their knowledge through education and training in the fundamentals of tree risk assessment. This qualification promotes the safety of people and property by providing a standardized and systematic process for assessing tree risk. The results of a tree risk assessment can provide tree owners and risk managers with the information to make informed decisions to enhance tree benefits, health, and longevity.

For more information about TRAQ and the entry requirements click here

New Zealand’s own Mark Roberts, ISA President Elect will be presenting this course. Numbers are limited and the course is expected to fill – so be quick. To register your interest email David James:

Tree Anatomy Workshop - 10th Jan 2014

Tree Anatomy Workshop (Melbourne, Australia)

Arboriculture Australia Ltd is running a specialist 3 Day Scientific Workshop on Tree Anatomy; Thursday 6 February to Saturday 8 February, 2014.

This workshop will be held in Melbourne, Australia

This Arboriculture Australia workshop, presented by Mark Hartley and Robert Stavrou will help to show you the inner majesty, complexity and beauty of trees, from the inside. The workshop is based on the program used by Dr Alex Shigo, to educate and inspire many of our current leaders in arboriculture. Tree anatomy is about studying, and understanding, the various types of cells, and structures that make up trees. As we understand the different types of cells, and how they interact to form the various structures of a tree, we get a clearer understanding of how trees function.

If you diagnose tree problems, assess development impact on trees, or prune trees; understanding their inner workings will help you to make better decisions.

For more information click here. Register online at:

PO Box 132183, Sylvia Park, Auckland 1644
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