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.”