Setting the political issues aside, the logging industry can be viewed in a completely different light.
Whanganui-based Hickford Logging is just an eight-man band at the coalface harvesting a 250-hectare pine forest in the steep hills inland from Maxwell, yet an entire community feasts off their labour.
The expected 30-month harvest began in November last year with Dave Hickford and his crew working in conjunction with the Forest Management New Zealand (FMNZ) team to formulate a harvest plan.
Once up and running the small crew hit top gear felling, stacking and preparing a stockpile of 10-12 truck and trailer loads a day for transport to Port Taranaki in New Plymouth where the logs are shipped to various international markets throughout the world.
But before owners Dave and Debbie Hickford pay themselves, at least $9000 a day in running costs must be forked out to keep the harvest going and alongside that is the myriad of industries hanging off the coat-tails.
“Debbie is a vital part of the business not only paying all the bills and doing the admin work, but she is also a registered nurse so does all the annual health checks and random drug tests,” Mr Hickford said.
FMNZ staff and their families overseeing the operation, the logging truck companies, their drivers and families, the many service industries in town ensuring Hickford Logging’s equipment runs smoothly, the roading contractors maintaining the stretch of road leading up to the forest and the nearby Maxwell Quarry that supplies the material to keep the road open.
For the full story, see the Wanganui Chronicle