Scholarship programme seeds success

11 Apr 18


Nelson’s Christoph Riedel has a long-standing passion for trees, the timber they produce, and the way they look. To some extent it runs in the family; one of his great-great-grandfathers worked as a forester in Germany and one of his great-grandfathers was a sawmiller in Zimbabwe.

“I’m just learning as much as I can about everything. I’m focusing on whatever’s in front of me.”

Christoph wasn’t seeking a career in forestry at first, but his enthusiasm for biology, nurtured by Nelson College’s Johnnie Fraser, (whom Christoph describes as one of his top teachers), his passion for woodworking and a love of being outdoors all seemed to point in its direction.

“I had decided I wasn’t going to go and study and that university wasn’t really for me. I took a year out after college and went and did some shearing, worked in some sawmills, did some tree planting and decided that I wanted to do a different type of work. I thoroughly enjoy manual work, but I’d rather be out there doing less labour-intensive work
so I have more energy after work to go mountain biking and hunting.

“I also worked for Ruth McConnochie for a little bit and I really liked her job. Ruth contracts to Nelson Management Ltd (the management company for Nelson Forests) and a number of other companies doing tree trials, breeding and testing. When I stared studying I thought I would like to do her job. Ruth and my dad encouraged me to apply for a scholarship with NML.”

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OneFortyOne acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their deep connections to land, water, and community. We pay our respect to Elders past and present and extend that respect to all First Nations people today.

In Aotearoa New Zealand, Māori communities have a strong spiritual connection between people and the land – the wellbeing of one sustains the wellbeing of the other. We strive to build meaningful relationships with iwi as tangata whenua (people of the land/region), to be responsible intergenerational kaitiaki (stewards/guardians) of the land where our forests grow.