Woodfest 2013 Round Up

Date published: September 18, 2013 at 9:48 am | Comments

On Saturday 14th September 2013 Kawerau awoke to the unwelcome sight of rain falling out of the sky but this didn’t stop the organisers of Kawerau Woodfest and National Woodskills Competition delivering another amazing annual celebration of the forestry industry and all things wood.

New Zealand’s premier event focussed on the industrial base in the Kawerau District had some of the most unique attractions in the world, especially in the form of extreme woodchip shovelling.

A survey completed by the Nova Energy Woodfest volunteers has demonstrated once again the high value this event has for the region:

  • 45% surveyed were from outside of the Kawerau District
  • 99% surveyed considered Kawerau Woodfest to be of benefit to the community
  • 98% surveyed stated events are very and extremely important to Kawerau
  • The Wood Chopper Comp, KFL Chainsaw Races and The AIE Pacific Toyota Big Dig were the top 3 attractions in 2013
  • 94% surveyed considered Kawerau Woodfest & National Woodskills Competition to be Good (40%) or Excellent (54%)

The lucky winner of a $250 grocery voucher for completing the survey was Te Mauniko Davis of Kawerau and the winner of the $300 civil defence emergency household kit was won by John Marks of River Road, Kawerau.

The KFL Pro Logger Races were won by Chris Taia (defending Champion) representing KFL with the other finalists, Asher Boyer, Clint Robinson and Oliver Logan representing other forestry contractors.  Check the October edition of NZ Logger for photos and a full competition report.

The Pacific Toyota Diddy Dig demonstrated fantastic support from the hundreds of screaming tamariki and whanau members and it was once again Kawerau South School taking out the honours with South Invaders proving to be the top diggers in 2013.  This Kawerau Youth Council organised competition demonstrated how this event offers a pathway for youth leadership.

The Wood Chopper Comp included Kyle Lemon (Rotorua Axemen) from the NZ Stihl timber sports team but his presence didn’t do enough to stop North Harbour winning the team races on what was the most popular attraction on Saturday.

The new WoodBugs carving symposium produced some of the best pieces of work ever in Kawerau with Joe Kemps Pin Oak seat creating plenty of bids but falling short of the reserve, leaving this stunning piece of work still looking for a home at the right price.  Other unsold pieces will hopefully be on display for others to view in the near future at the Jive Café gallery for a limited time only.  Interested buyers can contact Kawerau District Council for more information.

The AIE Pacific Toyota 2nd Big Dig World Champs produced an absolutely incredible final with the undisputed all time champions – Riteway Diggerz being out dug by the new world champions – The Razorbacks (Hubbard Contracting) in what was a thrilling 2 second time separation.  The Razorbacks were deserved winners on a day that posted the fastest time of 3:39. In third place was the representive team from one of the principal sponsors, AIE.

The Truck Pull was taking out by K-Fit in 26 seconds who also provided some excellent lunch time ‘cross fit’ demonstrations in the main arena.  Other highlights were the Te Wananga O Aotearoa and their Block, Strop and Strawline Challenge and ALFA contractors demonstrating the fine skill of arborism.  The specially constructed bike trials course hosted another superb trial comp with NZ’s best on display.

Lee Barton Woodfest Director commented “Despite a wet start to the main day the crowds came out in force and with the crowds came the sun.  Kawerau once again demonstrated its fine community spirit and celebrated its roots back to the forestry industry; it was especially spectacular when the classic trucks rolled into town.”

“Over the full 3 days we estimated around 8000 people would have enjoyed the various activities which took place.  All of which were only possible through our funders, sponsors and all of the volunteers and it is all of those I would like to thank for contributing towards this fine celebration in Kawerau” Mr Barton said.

Next year’s event timing will be confirmed in the near future with the likely dates falling on 12-14 September 2014.

Source: Kawerau District Council