The Ministry of Primary Industries and forestry company volunteers have combined to present the Wood is Good (WiG) forestry safety and engagement programme, which tours schools to introduce children to New Zealand’s third› biggest export earner.
WiG rolled into Balclutha Primary School last Wednesday, accompanied by industry experts who educated pupils and teachers on aspects of the sector from machinery and timber use to silviculture, conservation and land management.
An important element was safety, particularly around the massive transport units navigating the main roads from back country trails to bustling cities.
‘‘We have incidents and near misses virtually every day,’’ Balclutha class 5 trucker of 23 years Johnny Maxwell said.
‘‘Passing lanes and roundabouts are the worst and we just have to develop a lot of patience and forbearance for other road users.
‘‘An emergency stop at just 50kmh takes a truck like this 23m to stop.’’
WiG national co›ordinator Vickie Humphries said her organisation found the inside knowledge and safety advice made its way home to family and adults, and Balclutha Primary School principal Vicki Neave was pleased WiG had offered the programme.
‘‘Forestry is a big industry locally, so it’s clearly a good idea for our children to gain some deeper knowledge as well as practical safety,’’ Ms Neave said.