98% of New Zealand’s wood comes from sustainably managed forests making this the ideal industry for the future

Nukumai Jansen

Nukumai Jansen

The value of upskilling

Nukumai Jansen is one happy man. After 23 years in forestry, the father of three has just received the Forestry Trainee of the Year award. ‘To have that recognition after so many years of working hard - it’s really a privilege,’ says Nuk. ‘Each national certificate is a big achievement but to achieve this at a national level is an amazing feeling.’

Being at the awards function in Rotorua with his wife, meeting the other nominees and celebrating his personal success, was a highlight for Nuk, who also got to see his employer, Raywood Contracting, take out the award for the best Health & Safety Initiative.

‘As the crew’s health and safety champion, I’ve got to set a good example,’ says Nuk, who was recently appointed foreman. ‘Logging is an industry where you don’t get a second chance. What keeps me motivated is seeing the guys achieve to a level where they’re going to be safe at work and I don’t have to worry about them getting home each night.’

Drawing on his years of experience in silviculture and logging, Nuk has a lot to offer others. To that end, he will soon complete his training to become a Competenz assessor. ‘I love the industry and I’ve always enjoyed passing on my knowledge to the new ones coming through.’ 

That’s not to say that his own days of training are over. ‘Training has been an on-going thing – learning different things, different machines, different systems.’ Next on the schedule is completing his digger module, a waratah module, and training on a new feller buncher, which will improve his crew’s safety and productivity.

‘To up-skill is always going to improve your worth, your take home pay. I’ve got a mortgage now, something I never had, I just couldn’t afford it. Upskilling allows your value to be recognised. It’s definitely worthwhile.’