Winner of Northland Forestry Award leads by example

By Mike Barrington

Associate Primary Industries Minister Louise Upston awards the 2017 Northland Forestry Skilled Professional of the Year trophy to Shayne Maxwell, health and safety manager and company trainer for Kohurau Contracting at Kaikohe.
Associate Primary Industries Minister Louise Upston awards the 2017 Northland Forestry Skilled Professional of the Year trophy to Shayne Maxwell, health and safety manager and company trainer for Kohurau Contracting at Kaikohe.

A man who leads by example to the highest of standards has been crowned the Northland Forestry Skilled Professional of the Year.

Shayne Maxwell was presented with the title and a trophy by Associate Minister for Primary Industries Louise Upston during the second annual Northland Forestry Awards in the ASB Stadium at Whangarei on Friday.

He was nominated for three categories - for health and safety, felling and harvesting, and en route to the supreme award took out the Individual Harvesting Excellence Award, and was joint winner of the Outstanding Health and Safety Management Award.

Mr Maxwell works as a health and safety manager and company trainer for Kohurau Contracting, based at Kaikohe, but still keeps his hand in as a faller, breaker out and hauler driver.

He grew up in the central North Island, starting his forestry career in ground base and hauler logging before moving his family to Northland, where they now live at Whangarei.
He's known for his integrity, morals, character and values, which he integrates into his work days.

Mr Maxwell is part way through a bachelor's degree in psychology, which he is already putting to good use out in the forests. He works on mindfulness and other platforms to motivate people to maintain safe practice.

His employers say he brings mana to their company and as an expert hauler faller can truly walk in the shoes of others he works with.

"Shayne has shown he has the qualities to become a legend of our industry."

Mr Maxwell developed the health and safety systems, with a particular focus on falling and breaking out, for Kohurau Contracting. He pioneered the use of video and photographs for the company, recording faller behaviour and techniques and using them to teach crews.

He has also helped develop the company's use of scanning technology and smartphones to record and share vital information. His peers say the much-improved safety record of the company is a huge credit to Mr Maxwell.

Judge Jacqui Coyne-Apiata says Maxwell was a standout winner among a very competitive field.

"Shayne has shown he has the qualities to become a legend of our industry," said Ms Coyne-Apiata, who judged alongside Brett Jobe and Mike Goodison.

"He is someone we felt could stand before the industry and be celebrated. He has a high level of discipline and wisdom and is continually developing himself so he has more to offer."

Andrew Widdowson, chairman of the awards organising committee and spokesman for the Northland Wood Council, said the forestry awards were important for the industry in Northland because they provided a chance to role model professionals in the industry and continue the development of safety culture in the region.

"The Northland Forestry Awards provide us with an occasion to celebrate the industry and the positive impact it has for the region, the fantastic people we have working on the ground and the opportunities if offers," he said.

Awards were:
Training excellence: Trainee of the Year, Michelle Harrison - Wise on Wood; Training company/contractor, Northpine.
Skilled professionals: Forestry excellence, Jonathan Tukaki - Silviculture Contractors; Roading excellence, Bill Ringrose - JSB Construction; Harvesting excellence, Shayne Maxwell - Kohurau Contracting; Distribution excellence, Frances Leslie - C3; Wood processing excellence, Nathan Jacoby - Northpine; Breaker Out excellence, Dwaine Chaise - Skipps Logging; Faller excellence, Buck Reihana - Kohurau Contracting.
Industry Development Awards: Forestry Family of the Year, Charles Logging; Contractor of the Year, Stokes Logging; Outstanding health and safety management, Joint winners Rosewarne Cable Loggers and Shayne Maxwell, Kohurau Contracting; Outstanding environmental, Rosewarne Cable Loggers.
Northland Forestry Skilled Professional of the Year 2017: Shayne Maxwell - Kohurau Contracting

- Northern Advocate

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