2024 Eastland Forestry Awards

2024 Eastland Forestry Awards

2024 Eastland Forestry Awards

Forestry industry reflects on the past, as it celebrates its colleagues at Awards evening

Challenges the East Coast have faced in the past 18 months were reflected on, at an event acknowledging the forestry workforce.

The Eastland Forestry Awards took place in Gisborne on Friday 24 May, with 500 colleagues coming together. The audience were there to celebrate the nominees and winners put forward by their peers and their companies.

Taking out the top gong was Curtis Hawkes, Hawkes Logging. Curtis came to the region from Northland with his family and leads his crew on the extreme terrain of the East Coast.

MP Dana Kirkpatrick who presented the top award says: “Curtis is described as having shown nothing but a high level of professionalism and work ethic, in all aspects of the job. He was recognised as a true leader by example, not asking anything of anyone that they themselves will not do.”

Curtis took away the Skilled Professional of the Year 2024 trophy as well as Harvesting Excellence, Crew of the Year and Outstanding Health & Safety awards.

Total nominations for the Eastland Forestry Awards stood at 66, a record high for this region. In several categories, there were close runners up.

“There was a true sense of camaraderie and compassion amongst those that attended, but also a lot of reflection. It has been a difficult period for the industry, through Cyclones Hale and Gabrielle, so it was nice to come together to acknowledge our colleagues who have worked tirelessly and resiliently throughout this time,” Warren Rance Chair of EWC says.

Those in attendance also reflected on the support given to workers and their communities, voting on the GOOD DEED award on the night. This was eventually awarded to Pourau Incorporation & Kuru Contracting, joint winners. Pourau Incorporation (owned by the Potae family) and Kuru Contracting worked together to meet the needs of the coastal community as well as primary industry by building a bypass road between Hikuwai One and Hikuwai Three Bridge to reconnect the state highway following the loss of Hikuwai One Bridge after Cyclone Gabrielle.

Tania Gibb, Ra Whakapono Logging took out the top prize for Woman in Forestry. Tania’s passion for ensuring the rights and safety of workers was described as truly inspiring in her nomination, and her significant impact on the local forestry community was acknowledged.

CEO for the Eastland Wood Council (EWC), Philip Hope was acknowledged for his unrelenting advocacy across the region with local and national government during his tenure at the helm.

“The Eastland Forestry Awards evening was a true testament to outstanding role models and innovative initiatives and services that have seen the industry continue to operate and survive the last few years.

“We are grateful for our workforce who have continued throughout significant adversity this past 18 months, and we look forward to our future together as we continue to work hard for our East Coast community,” Rance adds.


  • Skilled Professional of the Year (sponsored by Eastland Wood Council): Curtis Hawkes (Hawkes Logging)
  • Emerging Leader (sponsored by Ernslaw): Rowena Marshall (Summit Forest)
  • Logistics Excellence (sponsored by Qube): Roger Callow (ISO Ltd)
  • Woman in Forestry (sponsored by Blackstump Logging): Tania Gibb (Ra Whakapono Logging)
  • Outstanding Health and Safety (sponsored by ISO): Curtis Hawkes (Hawkes Logging)
  • Industry Support Services: Krissy Mackintosh (Hear 4 U)
  • Forestry and Establishment Excellence (sponsored by Competenz): Samuela Donu (Vailea Silviculture)
  • Faller Mechanised Excellence (sponsored by Forest Enterprises): Levi Gibson-Parks (Forest Enterprises)
  • Faller Manual Excellence (sponsored by Araru Forests): Ben Hohepa (Tairāwhiti Timber Training)
  • Harvesting Excellence (sponsored by Summit): Curtis Hawkes (Hawkes Logging)
  • Wood Processing & Manufacturing Excellence (sponsored by Aratu Forests): David Rameka (Kiwi Lumber Gisborne Ltd)
  • Cartage Excellence (sponsored by MITO): Rodel Calipes (Pacific Haulage Ltd
  • Crew of the Year (sponsored by UDC): Curtis Hawkes (Hawkes Logging)
  • Environmental Initiative Management (sponsored by TDX): Eastside Logging
  • Roading Civil Excellence (sponsored by Eastland Port): Val Milham (Kuru Contracting Ltd)
  • Outstanding Innovation Excellence (sponsored by JNL): Ace of Spades Contracting Ltd



ISO Limited, JNL, Ernslaw One Ltd, UDC, TDX, Aratu Forests Ltd, Eastland Wood Council, Tait/Colvins Communications.


Competenz, Eastland Port, Summit, MITO, Forest Enterprises, WIDE Trust, Qube, Te Uru Rakau – NZ Forest Service, Blackstump Logging, Safetree.


Deals on Wheels, The Gisborne Herald, Bain & Sheppard Chartered Accountants, FICA, Trimble, NZME, NZ Safety Blackwoods, PF Olsen, Workable, Finance NZ, AP Plant & Machinery.