JPA Logging recently harvested a 60-hectare block over nine months on Haupouri Station, part of Cape Sanctuary. The crew were able to complete the harvest and achieve their number-one goal of no kiwi deaths.
Logging boss Justin Andersen can call himself a good Kiwi after his work harvesting pine at Haupouri Station.
The JPA Logging owner found it wasn’t a typical forestry block, with the additional consideration of New Zealand’s national emblem living on the property, which sits next to Cape Sanctuary.
Andersen said normal logging operation protocol was to “get the logs out as fast as you can”, but the 60-hectare block came with small, fluffy, long-beaked hazards.
The kiwi had special transmitters attached to their legs so he could use telemetry equipment to “beep” and locate any of the endemic birds that might beat risk from the machines, and relocate them.
Andersen checked the location every morning for the nocturnal “problem kiwi”, which he said were very territorial so would often appear again after the relocation.
“Not all of them had trackers. I caught one on our skid one morning when I came in and it had no tracker, it was a kiwi that they had never seen before,” he said.
“I didn’t care how long it took and how much downtime there was because I enjoyed it, making sure they were safe and working out where they were and how they behaved.”
He said with regular forestry blocks, there is nothing to protect other than structures but, with this job, they needed to consider the kiwi, gates and of course the extreme weather brought on by Cyclone Gabrielle.
The remote area of Haupouri Station is surrounded by a predator fence from Ocean Beach to Clifton, and forestry workers and logging trucks had to open and close the gate each time they went through.
Landowner Jono Berry said the gate was at the windiest point on the farm, and he was impressed at how well everyone accepted it and made sure it was always closed.
Berry said the kiwi are an important consideration in his farming practices and they coexist nicely with each other.
“I think the beauty of our block was they could go into the gullies and scrub and get out of the pine trees.”
Michaela Gower joined Hawke’s Bay Today in 2023 and is based out of the Hastings newsroom. She covers Dannevirke and Hawke’s Bay news and has a love for sharing stories about farming and rural communities.