Tag Archives: employment

Wood is Good ~ Want to know who the STIC is ?

September 13th, 2010

Sustainable construction materials is now a well known factor that many new build owners are considering or even requesting.

Now in light of recent events in Canterbury, seismic qualities are also going to be uppermost in the minds of many people considering a new build in New Zealand.

STIC stands for the Structural Timber Innovation Company.

Ok, so WHO then is the STIC?

STIC is a New Zealand registered company with seven shareholders:

  • Carter Holt Harvey Ltd
  • Nelson Pine Industries Ltd
  • Wesbeam Pty Ltd
  • Building Research Association New Zealand Inc
  • NZ Pine Manufacturers Association
  • Auckland Uniservices Ltd (University of Auckland)
  • University of Canterbury

In addition to these shareholders STIC has two other substantial financial Stakeholders, who are investing in the research and development, alongside the shareholders. They are;

Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) and Foundation for Research Science and Technology (FRST).

The Foundation is matching all industry investments in the programme dollar for dollar.

13-09-2010 STIC

Ok, then WHAT then is STIC?

Here’s what they say on their website;

Structural Timber Innovation Company (STIC) is a research consortium developing and commercialising new technologies that will enable structural timber to compete more effectively in the building and construction market.

Interestingly enough, when I was looking at this site a few months back, I did note the 2~3 short videos that illustrate the different seismic tests.

above menu at bottom left of STIC home page

above menu at bottom left of STIC home page

If you look over the list of consortium partners you might have noticed local major business Nelson Pine Industries Ltd.

As I have mentioned numerous times before our Nelson region has three major industries underpinning our local economy, the so called three “f”s. That’s Forestry, Fruit and Fishing, so it makes plain sense that they are there.

When STIC published their last news letter back in May 2010, it included this;

Test Building Survives Earthquakes!

A 2/3 scale pre-stressed LVL timber building has been designed, specified and constructed at the University of Canterbury. The building has been subjected to rigorous earthquake testing for 9 months and after more than 30 simulated earthquakes it remains structurally undamaged.  This building has demonstrated the many advantages offered by this newly developed rapid-construction type of timber building. To see video clips and more information go to www.stic.co.nz or www.stic.com.au

Listed under a summary of the overall benefits offered through use of the STIC building and construction systems, in the Structural integrity section is this comment:

Building structure able to sustain a major earthquake (Richter scale 7.0 – 7.9) without structural damage and able to return to original position without permanent offset or tilt

The good news is that our very own Nelson Pine Industries, one of the largest single site producers of Medium Density Fibreboard in the world, already make some of this, specifically the LVL (Laminated Veneer Lumber) variety.

”]Nelson Pine Industries - one of the Worlds biggest MDF plantsThis additional NZ$80 million plant was commissioned back in March 2002 with the official production start of the LVL line, where veneers are laminated by hot pressing into a beam form. And to place the factories raw material needs into some perspective, I’ll let them tell you….

The Nelson-Marlborough region is one of New Zealand’s major forestry areas, with about 16% of the productive land area planted in production forests. Harvest predictions are for 2.5 million cubic metres per year by 2005, of which Nelson Pine will use about 1 million cubic metres.

Worth a look I’d suggest just to keep yourself up to play.

SOURCE www.stic.co.nz

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Nelson today, NZ Prime Minister John Key officially opens new $12m Air New Zealand Hangar

August 14th, 2010

Remember this…

Proposed New Hangar

Proposed New Hangar

It was April earlier this year. The 80m x 60m building has only taken 9 months to complete.

Hangar now ready for business (click on photo to enlarge to monster size)

Hangar now ready for business (click on photo to enlarge to monster size)

Well she’s all finished now and today was the official Opening, Official blessing and Public day all rolled into one.

Open Day was today

Open Day was today

Just to complete the picture, a Mt Cook ATR72 showed up too.

Mt Cook Airlines ATR72-212A arriving

Mt Cook Airlines ATR72-212A arriving

These are the planes from Air New Zealand’s Mt Cook Airline division that Air Nelson will now be performing maintenance on, and can only perform work because of the existence of this new hangar.

John Key and party arrives

John Key and party arrives

The official ceremonies got underway when the official party arrived.

Nelson MP Nick Smith arrives late...

Nelson MP Nick Smith arrives late...

Local MP Nick Smith arrives.

the ceremony continues..

the ceremony continues..

The blessing and official welcome continues….

Inside Hangar (click to enlarge / monster size)

Inside Hangar (click to enlarge / monster size)

And this is what its all about…

ATR was popular

ATR was popular

The “not usually sighted in these parts” ATR72-212A was a popular choice for many of the hundreds of sightseers on the day.

ATR72-212A Information

ATR72-212A Information

On account of the new maintenance contract though, these planes will now become a more common sight around Nelson airspace.

Air NZs Q300s lined up on a Sunday morning earlier this year

Air NZ's Q300s lined up on a Sunday morning earlier this year

Alongside Air Nelsons existing 23 x Q300’s, Mt Cooks ATR72’s have now meant Air Nelson could employ up to another 30 aircraft engineers, a great boost for the local economy.

There were many extra exhibitors there too and quite a selection of interested sightseers meant a busy time for all.

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Nelson rate lowest in New Zealand

August 9th 2010

One subject no one really likes to talk about, or rather hear about today – is the subject of unemployment.

Usually when the topic comes up, its in a non-positive way.

6-08-2010 9-45-20 p.m.

Figures just out Friday from Statistics NZ tell the story that we still haven’t turned the corner yet, and in fact as a country, unemployment is rising.

It would suggest that there isn’t a bright light shining on the horizon just yet…..and in their own words…

…… indicates a period of volatility in the labour market.

Statistics NZ manager of Labour Market Statistics, Peter Gardiner, cautions;

“These movements indicate that the labour market is still adjusting to the changing economic climate.”

Undoubtedly there would have been a high component of seasonal labour out of work, however the facts are that in the June 2010 quarter, the number of people unemployed jumped up by 19,000 to 159,000. 79% of this increase was made up of unemployed males,  while the number of unemployed females rose by 4,000 (6.4 percent) to 74,000.

So where does Nelson figure in this.

I think you get the picture from the photo above.

To view and read the full article from the Nelson Mail, head over here.

Fish ~ Can you have too much of a good thing?

Down under in the antipodes we are fortunate enough to have a couple of things in common with the other island across the ditch, something that our northern hemisphere cousins, perhaps don’t.

Perhaps its those wide open blue spaces, with so much ocean space only interrupted by mountainous wind swept terrain either side.

Oceans ...abound....

Oceans ...abound....

Oceans abound – to the west, in a direct line of sight from Nelson, it’s about 107km west, and to the east something like 66km. Literally that’s the furtherest we are from the sea in these latitudes.

Regular readers of my blog site will know we live on the doorstep of Tasman Bay in the Top of the South of the South Island in NZ, and furthermore that Nelson is the largest fishing port in Australasia.

So it figures that all local residents are very cognizant of the importance of the sea in the local scheme of things.

Cue the “Blessing of the Fleet” a few weeks back to hint at this. We are also fortunate enough to live in a part of the world that is not dominated by Coal fired Power Stations, or other such CO2 friendly things.

In the sort of words that only a pro wordsmith can write;

New Zealand’s Regal Salmon has hooked another prestigious international award. Hot on the heels of its success at the iTQi awards in Belgium, Regal Smoked Salmon Pastrami has landed the meat and smallgoods award at the 6th annual Food Magazine Challenge Awards in Australia.

So it seems local seafood suppliers are definitely doing something right.

Papers over the last month have talked about the new “thoroughly debatable” ease of access Kiwis have to fish at a supposed “reasonable price”, as long as it’s a not caught in NZ waters fish. Let me tell you if I was to find out that my local fish & chippo was supplementing this stuff for locally sourced off-shore Kiwi stuff, I would be pretty cranky & I don’t think I am alone in saying that, NZ Fish & Chip takeaway shop owners should apply caution here.

too much of a good thing......

too much of a good thing......

Anyway I digress…..the news today (as pictured above) is that our success in Nelson has now resulted in a bit of a fail!


New Zealand King Salmon, transport the sprat (I should mention here that the reason they are bred over the hill, is that it means they are bred in the clearest water in the whole world – don’t worry Guinness can confirm that) from Takaka to the Marlborough Sounds….whereupon the finished product is brought back from Marlborough to Nelson.

NZ King Salmon have told the local paper – The Nelson Mail, that they are currently turning away 25 tons (yes you read that right 25,000kgs of Salmon!) of orders a WEEK! Don’t know about you but last time I was down at the river mouth my catch didn’t quite equate to 0.01% percent of that.

With 267 people being born and approx. 108 dying every minute on this planet, and combining this with the rocketing population of places like the sub-continent and other zones, there is no doubt that food will really become an issue in the future.

In fact hinting at this supply and demand equation, Chief of NZ King Salmon, Mr Rosewarne told the Nelson Mail reporter this week that;

It was having to tell some long-standing export customers it could no longer meet their orders because others were prepared to pay more for the limited supply.

To enable the quality of food to continue, I suspect that some suppliers will be able to charge premiums to the market, and Salmon may unfortunately, just get more unaffordable.

Want to start a Business in New Zealand?

July 29th, 2010

Launch of new-look government business website

As if a gentle reminder was needed, BNZ Chief Economist Tony Alexander reinforced it for all in the audience this morning in Nelson, we lead Australia in the numbers of small businesses operating when directly compared to them.

Site Re-Launch today
Site Re-Launch today

So its good news to see a further initiative from the government for this sector.

According to Small Business Minister Maurice Williamson, a new-look government website was launched today. Per the news release, the portal was originally created in 2007 and has now been updated.

IRD Tool for Business

IRD Tool for Business

Referring to the new www.business.govt.nz site, Mr Williamson is reported as saying, its been redeveloped to be a first-stop-shop for businesses in New Zealand……………..

Get a Business Health Checkup

Get a Business Health Checkup

…….and its aim………to help save small business owners time and money.

“The portal will be a single repository for all the information a business person would need to start, manage and grow their business,” he says.

Mr Williamson believes “We have listened to what small business owners told us about interacting with government departments. They told us we had great tools and great information, but nobody knew where to find it.”

SITE – http://www.business.govt.nz/