This post was prompted by the news yesterday morning of yet another death in the forest industry, the ninth for this year and the second this week! New Zealand’s safety record in this sector is abysmal by international standards. But what was it like in the “good old days”? I found myself thinking of a very memorable day spent in the Kinleith Forest 35 years ago.
The New Zealand Institute of Forestry had announced a photographic competition. I felt that a candid shot of the people that work in the forest might make a change from the many beautiful landscapes that would be entered. So I arranged to take a day’s leave and tag along with a logging gang.
The previous post in this series was all about humour, something which helped to keep us sane. I have another example here. Unfortunately, it needs a bit of introduction so please bear with me.
At one point in my career, when I was Technical Manager at the NZFP Kinleith mill, I actually had two bosses. One was Jack Henry, joint managing director of the whole company and the resident director running the Kinleith mill, while the other, Ron Hall, General Manager of the Technical Division, was up in head office in Auckland. It made life quite complicated at times.
The big pulp and paper mills worked seven days a week, 24 hours a day. At Kinleith, on 361 days of the year there was a production meeting (the exceptions were Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and the next day). It started at 0930 and was always finished by 1000, usually 0940. It was super efficient, to find exactly what had happened in the previous 24 hours and ensure that events in the next 24 hours would be well coordinated.