A new forestry science and education partnership has been created with the establishment of a new chair of Sustainable Forestry at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology.
Creation of the role is a collaboration between Toi Ohomai and Rotorua-based Crown research institute Scion.
The chair will be based at both the Toi Ohomai and Scion campuses.
Toi Ohomai academy leader for primary industries, science and the environment, Professor Linton Winder said a key purpose of the role was leading the development of a Centre of Excellence for Forestry for the region and New Zealand as a whole.
"The opportunity for Toi Ohomai to work with Scion to meet the needs of our region is fantastic. Scion is a global leader in forestry and wood technology, and we look forward to building a stronger relationship with them to meet the needs of our industry," he said.
For Scion the partnership between the two institutes will strengthen its linkages with relevant tertiary institutions throughout New Zealand and cement Scion's position as a key player in the Bay of Connections economic development plan.
The first appointment is Scion's Dr Tim Payn, principal scientist and research leader economics, ecosystems and climate.
Dr Payn took up his role as Professor of Sustainable Forestry on August 1 for a term of three years.
In addition to championing a new Centre of Excellence for Forestry, Professor Payn will facilitate collaborative student-based research projects between the two institutes, continue to conduct his internationally recognised research, and contribute to teaching programmes at Toi Ohomai.
Professor Payn said he was looking forward to making links between Toi Ohomai's student programmes and Scion's scientists and technologists.
"This is an exciting opportunity to get some of the really new advances in forestry in front of the next generation of foresters and help future-proof the sector both regionally and nationally."
Professor Payn has a background in soil science and has specialised in research on sustainable forest management more recently. He is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Forestry and is heavily involved in global efforts to support sustainable forest management.
He chairs the 12 Country Montreal Process Technical Advisory Committee which supports policy aimed at defining and measuring sustainable practice and is also vice-chairman of the Engagement Committee of Future Earth, a global sustainability initiative.