TOTS Winners 2019

TOTS Winners 2019

TOTS Winners 2019

Arnold takes Inaugural Top Award at TOTS

The inaugural Top of the South Forestry Awards marked the start of something quite special for an industry that is so key to the region and look set to become an annual fixture in years to come. It was a true celebration of forestry and all of those involved whether they be from Nelson or Marlborough and everywhere in between.

Industry heroes were awarded across 15 categories with the ultimate trophy going to Heather Arnold of Nelson Forests Limited who won the Skilled Forestry Professional of the Year for 2019. Arnold also took out the Woman in Forestry Excellence category. The category attracted a high standard of entries coming from abroad sweep of the industry including environmental, accountancy, truck driving, and even those who are responsible for calculating the carbon footprint of the industry.

However, Arnold was a standout through her very high standard of work, how she engages with staff and contractors, and provides leadership within the industry – all of which was reiterated by her manager Andrew Karaulus from Nelson Management Limited.

Arnold’s strong passion for environmental management systems has seen her influence the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF). She continues to have sway across a wide spectrum in the industry – from frontline workers through to government politicians. Arnold continues to strengthen her role by seeking out opportunities for training through public speaking, the facilitation of workshops and being part of working groups with a key eye to identifying risks to the business.

Being awarded the 2019 Skilled Forestry Professional of the Year trophy acknowledged she had made a difference both regionally and nationally, through being involved in one of New Zealand’s greatest assets – the environment. Without question judges felt Arnold is an expert in her field, and one who has an enormous understanding of what’s involved in forestry.

Other key companies in the winning line-up included Reed Contracting, Taylors Contracting Company and Moutere Logging.

Also recognised by the judges with a special award was Les Bak, from Nelson Forest Ltd for the significant role the company plays in health and safety which has led to good outcomes for people’s own development alongside improved overall productivity for the business.

Fronting the show was master of ceremonies Paul Ego, TV celebrity and comedian with more than 540 people attending, including VIPs, mayors and politicians from across the region who left a very enjoyable evening with plenty of willingness to make the awards an annual event. The awards emulate a series of forestry awards run around the country and provide a platform to shine a positive light on the many people who work in the industry, including sponsors and forest entities.


Skilled Professional of the Year Award (trophy) – sponsored by Top of the South Forestry Awards:
Heather Arnold, Nelson Forests Ltd

NZ Apprentice of the Year (certificate) – sponsored by Taylors Contracting Co Ltd:
Rob Mesman, Bryant Logging

Trainee of the Year (certificate) – sponsored by Competenz:
Luke Harris, Moutere Logging

Training Company/Contractor of the Year (certificate) – sponsored by Waratah:
Wood Contracting Nelson

Forestry Excellence Award (certificate) – sponsored by Tasman Pine Forests Ltd:
Tony Dell, Action Forest Management

Roading Excellence Award (certificate) – sponsored by Nelson Forests Ltd:
Pete Ross, Taylors Contracting Company

Harvesting Excellence Award (certificate) – sponsored by Stuart Drummond Transport:
Kim Carter, Kelly Logging

Distribution Excellence Award (certificate) – sponsored by Nelson Forests Ltd:
Murray Newport, Borlase Transport

Wood Processing Excellence Award (certificate) – sponsored by Crediflex:
Daniel Rowe, SouthPine Nelson

Tree Faller Excellence Award – mechanised (certificate)– sponsored by EMS:
Ryan Fisher, Reed Contracting

Tree Faller Excellence Award – manual (certificate) – sponsored by Brent Searle Forest Services Ltd:
Mark Brown, Marlborough Harvesting Ltd

Woman in Forestry (certificate) – sponsored by Oil Intel:
Joan Lang (Nigel Bryant Logging).

Log Truck Driver Excellence Award (certificate) – sponsored by NPD:
Heather Arnold, Nelson Forests Ltd

Crew of the Year Award (trophy) – sponsored by FICA:
Reed Contracting

Outstanding H&S Management Award (trophy) – sponsored by DC Equipment:
Moutere Logging

Outstanding Environmental Management – sponsored by Tasman District Council:
Taylors Contracting Company

Outstanding Regional Service Performance – sponsored by Waimea Contract Carriers:
Brady Clements, Forest Safety Management

Special Award: Outstanding Contribution to the Industry – sponsored by Borlase Transport:
Les Bak, Nelson Forests Ltd

2019 Sponsors


Waimea Contract Carriers, DC Equipment, FICA (Forest Industry Contractors Association), Gough Cat, Nelson Forests, Port of Nelson, Finance New Zealand, Tasman District Council


Competenz, Taylors Contracting Co., Waratah, Tasman Pine Ltd, Stuart Drummond Transport, CrediFlex, Brent Searle Ltd, EMS, Oil Intel, NZME, Gale Contracting, LubeNZ – Vertex


Trimble Forest, PF Olsen, MS Motors, Robinson Forest Management, Komastu Forest, Borlase Transport, Ernslaw One Ltd, The Loggers Shop, Mechanised Cable Harvesting, IFS Growth

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