HarvestTECH provides an essential platform for showcasing new technologies and innovations best suited to our forest harvesting operations.

FIEA is well known for its regular world class technology programmes for the forestry and wood processing industries. FIEA’s key series include WoodTECH, ForestTECH, HarvestTECH, ForestSAFETY and Wood Innovations.

24-25 June 2015

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.

Who Attended?

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

What was Covered?

  • Recent innovations in steep slope harvesting – NZ, US and European
  • Getting the best out of existing hauler operations
  • Harvest planning – new systems really making a difference
  • 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
  • Mobile technologies to improve worker safety
  • Remote control, robotics and automation in the bush
  • Contractor certification and national planning for improved safety

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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. A Wood Flow Logistics event is being planned for 2016 and a follow-up to this event, in 2017.

A full calendar of other technology related events for forestry and wood products companies in both countries has been planned for 2015-2017. Further details can be found on www.fiea.org.nz Updates will also be provided regularly through the region’s most widely read e-newsletters, www.fridayoffcuts.com and www.woodweek.com.

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

2015 Premium Sponsors

2015 Event Sponsors

FIEA Event Partners

Event Supporters

Media Partners



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 1383
  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 1383

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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