HarvestTECH provides an essential and independent platform to showcase new innovations and operating practices suited to local harvesting operations. Over 400 foresters and contractors attended HarvestTECH 2015!

20-21 June 2017, Rotorua, NEW ZEALAND

2017 Event Details

HarvestTECH 2017 – Mark the dates into your diary. The first inaugural harvesting event for local forestry contractors ran two years ago, June 2015. The last event SOLD OUT! It was the largest gathering seen in New Zealand of forestry managers, forest owners, harvest planners and harvesting contractors in one place at one time. In addition to New Zealand contractors, a good contingent of North American and Australian contractors attended.

The focus for the 2015 event (see further details below) was on innovations around steep slope harvesting. With interest shown from North American companies in 2015, steep slope logging has since been expanded to run into Vancouver, Canada in 2016 and it will run again later in April, 2017, in Washington, USA.

Two years on, logging steeper terrain will again be covered in Rotorua in mid-June 2017. A lot has been done in this space by local engineers and contractors in the last two years. The 2017 programme though will be expanded to cover; new technologies and operating practices in small wood lot harvesting, harvest planning, advances in the mechanisation and automation of harvesting operations, issues around attracting the right people into the industry. Those attending will also get an insight into some truly innovative harvesting operations – from the air and from deep under water.

The practical use of data collected from harvesting operations, improving data exchange and communications in more remote locations, eliminating log sorts and landing sizes and international developments in new harvesting equipment are also this time being built into HarvestTECH 2017.

It’s anticipated that site tours and field visits will also this time be built into HarvestTECH 2017. Watch this space for further updates.

This is the largest tech update for wood harvesting operations in New Zealand. Plan to be in Rotorua, New Zealand with your team in mid-June, 2017.

Speaker Interest

We work closely with a wide range of New Zealand and international companies, service suppliers, researchers and government bodies to develop a strong and innovative programme.

We will be If you are interested in being considered as presenter, or would like to recommend an early adopter case study or international expert, please contact us using the form below.

What is Covered?

  • Recent innovations in steep slope and winch assist harvesting – NZ, US and European
  • Getting the best out of existing hauler operations
  • Harvest planning – new systems really making a difference
  • Effective use of collected data from your harvesting operation
  • Options for eliminating log sorts and reducing landing sizes
  • Tools for harvesting greater volumes from smaller woodlots
  • LiDAR and other remote sensing technologies for harvest planning and operations
  • Meeting new environmental and water quality requirements
  • Satellite solutions for improving in-forest communications
  • Increased automation and mechanisation – new R&D
  • Remote control, robotics, virtual reality and automation in the bush
  • Filling the skills gap in harvesting
  • Innovative harvesting operations – underwater and helicopter logging

Who Will Attend?

  • Harvesting contractors
  • Forestry managers
  • Forest owners
  • Harvest planners
  • Wood flow planners
  • Technical foresters
  • Forestry H&S managers
  • Forestry consultants
  • Forestry & harvesting researchers
  • Harvesting equipment engineers
  • Technology, equipment or service suppliers to wood harvesting operations

Latest Updates

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2015 Post Event Summary

Sold Out Event

Well over 400 forestry managers, forest owners, harvest planners and harvesting contractors attended HarvestTECH 2015, this region’s follow-up steep slope harvesting event. As anticipated, the event SOLD OUT – as did the previous steep slope harvesting programme that the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) ran back in November 2013.

The event attracted harvesting specialists from throughout New Zealand. In addition, over 20 percent of those attending came from outside New Zealand. Equipment suppliers, researchers, forestry companies and international contractors from Australia, Canada, the US, Finland, Austria, Germany, Indonesia, and South Africa flew into Rotorua to attend the event.

Why the interest? Harvesting operations in steeper terrain have seen exponential growth in the last few years. Of course with growth comes innovation. Steep slopes have led to purpose-built harvesting systems. New gear has come from the larger equipment suppliers but much of the innovation by necessity is coming from contractors working together with local engineering companies.

The Industry is Changing

Since the 2013 event, major changes had been made – both to the technology and to the operating practices. The move by both forest owners and contractors to increase mechanization on steeper country, the desire to increase productivity and the requirement to improve safety have all lead to significant advances.

Grapple-equipped hauler carriages, enhanced log grapple control systems, tethered “winch assist” machines and new wheeled and tracked self-levelling cab harvesters are all being used by local contractors.

Robotics, automation and remote controlled mechanical tree felling are also being developed, the idea being to keep the operators out of harm’s way, with operational trials with a local contractor (a world first) already well underway. Some of the European technology often thought of as been too light for local conditions, viewed with recent tours of New Zealand contractors to Austria and Italy is now also been employed in local forests for the first time this year.

Because of the speed of change and the range of new innovations developed over the last couple of years, HarvestTECH 2015 was run for forestry companies and contractors working in steeper terrain. In addition to local innovations, the very latest developments coming out the US, Canada, Chile, Brazil and Europe were covered in the two-day event, HarvestTECH 2015.

Dinner Presentation

Wayne (Buck) Shelford, former All Black rugby captain, coach and motivational speaker was the after-dinner presenter at this year’s HarvestTECH 2015 dinner in Rotorua. Like the HarvestTECH 2015 two-day conference, the dinner was SOLD OUT early and over 320 attended the entertaining night.

As evidenced by the popularity of this part of the event and noise generated by delegates during the pre-dinner drinks and dinner, the evening proved to be an invaluable networking opportunity for those attending.

Premium Sponsor

Event Sponsors

FIEA Partners

Sponsorship Opportunities

HarvestTECH 2015 offered a tremendous opportunity for a large number of local and international companies involved in forest harvesting and safety technologies to maximize their exposure to this industry. Record numbers of suppliers were involved in HarvestTECH 2015 – as can be seen from the images above and companies represented with logos in the Sponsorship section of the website. Feedback from all those participating has been overwhelmingly positive with a significant amount of business being done over the two days.

It was the largest ever gathering seen of harvesting contractors and forestry companies at one place in New Zealand. Exhibition spaces for this event were at a premium. Details for HarvestTECH 2017 are being fleshed out at the moment and an announcement on sponsorship, exhibition and speaking opportunities are expected to follow in the last quarter of 2016. For further information on this event or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Gordon Thomson.

FIEA has a well-deserved reputation of providing both sponsors and exhibitors with a unique platform for promoting their products and services to the industry in BOTH New Zealand and Australia. For a full range of event sponsorship options, partnership arrangements and advertising opportunities, please complete the web form or contact;

Gordon Thomson, Sponsorship Manager, (+64) 7 921 1384 or (+64) 27 275 8022, gordon.thomson@fiea.org.nz

Media Partners


Distinction Rotorua Hotel, NEW ZEALAND

390 Fenton Street, Rotorua, New Zealand

With its beautiful garden setting and located just minutes from the city centre, Distinction Rotorua Hotel is the perfect place to relax and unwind after a big day at the conference. After the event, this hotel is also a great base to enjoy the wealth of attractions and activities Rotorua has to offer.

Free car parking is available at the venue, however spaces are limited and hotel guests take priority.

Special accommodation rates are available to delegates for a limited time:

  • $160 Superior Room
  • $180 Deluxe Room
  • $240 Hotel Suites

All rates include GST and are per room per night, based on single or double share occupancy.

Please book accommodation directly with the Distinction Rotorua Hotel via the online booking button below. If you have difficulties in using the online booking, you can call 0800 654 789, (+64) 7 349 5200 or email reservations@distinctionrotorua.co.nz.

Book NZ Accommodation

Bayview Eden Melbourne, AUSTRALIA

6 Queens Road, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Perfectly positioned for business and pleasure. Bayview Eden Melbourne is located adjacent to the beautiful Albert Park Lake & Golf Course and close to all Melbourne has to offer.

Special accommodation room rates will be available soon.



Since 1998 the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA), a division of Innovatek Ltd, has run an extensive series of technology related events for Australasian forest products companies. Over 200 conferences, trade shows and exhibitions have been run for local companies.

FIEA’s objective is to improve the performance and productive capability of forestry and wood products companies in the region. It is now recognized as one of the most effective information providers for the Australasian forestry & wood products industries.

FIEA Contact Details

  (+64) 7 921 1382
  1800 126 398 (from Australia)

Rotorua Office

Forest Industry Engineering Association
Building X91, Sala Street,
Rotorua 3010, New Zealand

PO Box 1230,
Rotorua 3040, New Zealand

Ph (+64) 7 921 1382

Dunedin Office

Forest Industry Engineering Association
c/o Distinction Dunedin Hotel,
6 Liverpool Street,
Dunedin 9016, New Zealand

PO Box 904,
Dunedin 9054, New Zealand

Ph (+64) 3 470 1902

Forest Industry Engineering Association: A division of Innovatek Ltd

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