Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa Go to Te Ao Hou homepage
No. 52 (September 1965)
– 56 –

More Maoris In
Skilled Forestry Work

From the young girl carefully weeding rows of seedling trees in a nursery during school holidays to the office of the Minister of Forests, the Maori people have served in every activity of the Forest Service. In Northland and the Rotorua area in particular, it is doubtful if forestry could have flourished as it has done were it not for the great contribution to the work force by Maori labour.

In the past an inclination to work as one of a group and some reluctance to accept authority has meant that though there were hundreds in the various trades and grades of workmen, there were not very many who had accepted staff status and its accompanying responsibility. But in recent years this position has changed and there have been numerous appointments to staff, so much so that about 10% of the junior field supervisors are now Maori.

Many in Responsible Positions

Amongst those who have done well are Aussie Kirk, a first grade Ranger now at Kaikohe and very well known in the central King Country, especially as the Tuwharetoa Fire Officer; Paki Leach, who came in as a ranger trainee from Rotorua and is now stationed at Hokitika; Toko Te Aho, another trainee from the Wairoa district, now in charge of Karioi Forest; Barry Woods, an appraisal officer stationed in Rotorua; Ereatara Tamepo of Te Puia Springs, a former holder of a Ngarimu scholarship who gained his U.E. exam and is now doing forest work at Kaingaroa; and Tom Cookson, who has worked his way rapidly to the senior position in the Protective Division at Palmerston North.

Scientists Also Needed

There is a great future in forestry, and the Forest Service would like to see still more Maoris applying for appointment as trainees. There have been many good Ranger trainees. but so far there has not been a Maori amongst the 15 young men who each year are chosen to become Forester trainees. Boys chosen to become Foresters are granted a bursary to enable them to study for a university science degree, then study overseas before returning to the Forest Service as scientific and technical advisers.