Having the right people on the team is essential to Forest Enterprises’ ability to deliver returns to our investors.

We are a small team of professionals, specialising in forestry, client services and financial administration. Our forestry team includes New Zealand Institute of Forestry Registered Forestry Consultants, plus, we have three qualified accountants on staff. Forest Enterprises is also one of very few forest investment companies that has legal expertise in-house.

Forest Enterprises is jointly owned and managed full-time by six shareholders who lead the company. Each with a depth of expertise and experience; each equally dedicated to their work and our clients.

Owners & Executive Directors

Bert Hughes
Bert HughesCEO & Forestry Director
CMInstD, NZIF Registered Forestry Consultant, BBS, NZCF
DDI 06 370 6361
Mob. 027 441 0535
Bert joined Forest Enterprises in 2010 to lead the expansion of the company’s forest management capability. Bert brought with him a depth and breadth of expertise from a 30-year forestry career, having held senior management and executive roles across the industry.

Bert is at the helm of Forest Enterprises as Chief Executive Officer, taking over former Managing Director Steve Wilton’s leadership responsibilities from 1 February 2018. As CEO, Bert is responsible for overseeing all Forest Enterprises activities across the two companies – Forest Enterprises Limited the licensed forest investment management company, and its parent Forest Enterprises Growth Limited the land and tree crop management company. Bert is a Chartered Director. He is a shareholder of Forest Enterprises Growth Limited and a director of both companies.

Bert remains Forestry Director and, as such, heads our team of professional foresters. The team is collectively responsible for the entire tree crop cycle from establishment to harvest, including all aspects of harvest operations including log sales and marketing, and all-important contractor management.

Bert’s focus is on understanding the market and getting our investors’ product as close to the buyer as possible.

“Although wood is a commodity product, we add value by understanding what the product is used for and how it is promoted to the end user. Therefore, our relationships with customers and marketing partners are critical to understanding cost and price, and managing risk. Investors must have faith in ultimate transparency of information, and our technical competency to make decisions and put good plans into action.

“My major responsibility as Director is to strike the balance between making our investors better off, the company better off and our land better off. Forestry as an investment has a perpetual value and our role as Manager is to therefore protect the two assets – the cashflow and the residual value of the land.”

Bert is Past President of Marlborough Forest Industry Association and a founding trustee and Treasurer of the Southern North Island Wood Council. He manages his own forest estates on tranches of family land. Bert and his family live in Masterton and he enjoys fishing, hunting, surfing, skiing and the great outdoors.

Graeme Tindall
Graeme TindallManaged Investments Director
CA, BCA (Hons)
DDI +64 6 370 6363
Mob. +64 27 320 2731
In 2017 we celebrated Graeme’s 20-year milestone with Forest Enterprises. He joined us in 1997 as a new Chartered Accountant, became a shareholder and Director in 2012, and has now taken on most of the Managing Director duties previously undertaken by former Managing Director, Steve Wilton. Graeme is a shareholder and director of parent company Forest Enterprises Growth Limited and is also a director of Forest Enterprises Limited, the licensed manager of our forestry managed investment schemes.

As Managed Investments Director, Graeme’s principal responsibility is the management and accountability of our status as a licensed manager of forestry Managed Investments Schemes, and our registered forestry investments. Graeme also provides high-end oversight of the financial management, reporting and compliance for all 71 forest investments we manage and administer, and for our two companies – Forest Enterprises Limited, the licensed forest investment management company, and its parent Forest Enterprises Growth Limited, the land and tree crop management company. He is a professional member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, and an Associate Member of the New Zealand Institute of Forestry.

Graeme is a very keen athlete and sports-person. He has been a Wairarapa representative lawn bowler, and in October 2016, Graeme became the thirteenth New Zealander to compete in 200 marathons!

Gordon Wong
Gordon WongLegal Services Director
LLM (Hons), Barrister and Solicitor
DDI 06 370 6915
Mob. 021 198 1558
Gordon became Forest Enterprises’ in-house lawyer in 2014, providing the expertise we required to respond to the new financial markets regime under the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013. Gordon is one of New Zealand’s most experienced lawyers in the forestry industry. He is also a specialist in financial markets law, legal risk management and the Emissions Trading Scheme. Gordon is a shareholder and director of parent company Forest Enterprises Growth Limited and is also a director of Forest Enterprises Limited, the licensed manager of our forestry managed investment schemes.

Gordon had been a partner in private practice acting as Forest Enterprises’ lawyer for 22 years, and was part of every major legal milestone of our company. He notes it was a natural transition to join Forest Enterprises.

“I’m closer to the business, and to the investments themselves, than ever before. I have been a Forest Enterprises investor for 20 years so I can see things from the investor’s perspective. Building up strong knowledge of the forestry operation from within the company means that my legal advice is even more relevant, and it results in better quality documentation and advice for our investments.”

Gordon has a dual role. He is our in-house legal counsel, advising Forest Enterprises on the regulatory environment and the many statutes that we must comply with; and he provides legal advice to the investments, as he used to do in private practice.

“To the extent that we can liaise directly with the regulators, we do – as a licensed Manager it’s important to ensure we have full legal representation for ourselves and also for our MIS Schemes. This area of the law is very complex and our investors expect robust compliance.”

Gordon lives in Greytown during the week to be closer to our Masterton Office, rejoining his family in Wellington city on weekends. In his spare time he enjoys the gym, travel and the arts. Gordon is a licensed marriage celebrant.

Malte Coulmann
Malte CoulmannSouthern North Island Regional Manager
NZIF Registered Forestry Consultant, BForSc (Hons)
DDI 06 370 6362
Mob. 027 510 6601

Malte has been in the business since 2011 and became a shareholder in April 2016. Malte is a shareholder and director of parent company Forest Enterprises Growth Limited.

Malte’s responsibility is to maximise the value of the tree crop. This is achieved by ensuring that forest operations, such as pruning and thinning, happen at the right time and to the highest standard. Malte and his team also manage the technical side of forestry which includes mapping, database management, inventory and modelling. The collection and management of quality data is essential to making the right decisions.

Malte grew up in the Wellington region but an early passion for forestry took him to the School of Forestry at the University of Canterbury. Operational roles in Canterbury and Southland followed, before returning to the North Island and taking up his position at Forest Enterprises.

In 2015, Malte joined the Board of the Wairarapa Rural Fire District and recently oversaw its transition under the new regime of Fire & Emergency New Zealand. Malte hunts, dives and fishes as often as he can, and lives in Masterton with his wife Nikki.

Dan Fraser
Dan FraserGisborne Regional Manager
Mob. 021 867 900

Dan joined us in August 2017 in this new senior executive role based in Gisborne. The major harvest programme of our 10,000ha Gisborne estate commenced early 2016, and as our harvest volumes continue to grow, having a Regional Manager available on site in Gisborne enhances the support and management of our estate locally. Dan joined our shareholder group from 1 April 2018 – he is a shareholder and director of parent company Forest Enterprises Growth Limited.

Dan is responsible for ensuring our investors’ forests in Gisborne are harvest-ready, for managing their harvest, and that our forestry and harvesting operations are coordinated and optimised across our Gisborne estate. Dan’s priority is implementing mechanised harvesting practices to improve health & safety and environmental outcomes from harvest. He is on the Forest Growers’ Research Technical Steering Team for Automation & Robotics.

Dan has a 28-year professional forestry career and has extensive knowledge of the harvesting industry. For the last 15 years, Dan worked for a local corporate forest owner where he managed their harvest planning, harvesting and engineering teams, and together built their harvest from zero to 800,000 tonne per annum, from ‘stump to port’. He has extensive experience managing FSC certified forestry estates at a senior level.

Dan and his wife have a lifestyle block on the fertile Gisborne flats where, in their spare time, they enjoy developing the property and growing avocados. They maintain common interests with their adult children and together are frequently hunting, tramping, camping and generally enjoying the great outdoors.

Dan is based at Enterprises’ Gisborne office with Georgia, Allan and Pierre at 241 Stanley Road, Awapuni, Gisborne 4010.

Liz Brown
Liz BrownGroup Finance Manager
DDI 06 370 6910

Liz joined Forest Enterprises in April 2016, and recently become a shareholder and director of Forest Enterprises Growth Limited. Liz is a member of the executive, and leads the accounting and administration team.

Liz manages the day-to-day accounting functions and tax obligations for our two companies, Forest Enterprises Growth Limited (FEG) and Forest Enterprises Limited (FEL). In addition, Liz prepares the cash flows, budgets and treecrop valuations for the forestry investments which contribute to their annual Financial Statements, and is responsible for their day-to-day accounting and tax obligations.

Liz started her accounting career with the IRD. She later moved to a Big 4 firm and then to a Christchurch boutique accounting firm, before assisting her husband to establish his own business from home. Liz and her family relocated to Carterton in 2011.

Independent Chair

John Sexton
John SextonIndependent Chair, Forest Enterprises Limited
John Sexton is the Independent Chair of the Board for Forest Enterprises Limited (FEL), the licensed manager of forestry MIS Schemes.

The board of FEL is the oversight body in respect of FEL’s compliance with its obligations as a market services licensee. The key position from the perspective of these responsibilities is that of the Independent Chair. The Chair’s role is to provide leadership to the Board in support of its strategic and governance oversight of FEL. He also ensures the Executive Directors maintain their high performance standards in the best interests of the investors.

Being independent means that John has no shareholding in either FEL or its parent company Forest Enterprises Growth Limited, nor is he a company executive. This enables him to discharge his fiduciary responsibilities as Chair without bias. He has been the Independent Chair of FEL since 2008.

John’s business, Sexton Business Builders Limited, is a boutique chartered accountancy practice focused on governance, business advice, planning and financing for SMEs. He is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand, and a professional member of New Zealand Institute of Directors and New Zealand Institute of Management.

John received an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire, Civil Division) in 1993 for services to the disabled, having been involved with CCS Disability Action from 1971-1992 (and National Chair 1988-92). He lives in Masterton and is actively involved in governance and business advisory roles in the region.

Client Services & Investment Administration

Sean Roberts
Sean RobertsCustomer Services Manager
DDI +64 6 370 6368
Mob. +64 21 822 802
Sean joined us as Customer Services Manager after more than 18 years at Trustees Executors Limited, the Supervisor for our managed forest investments. Having been our relationship manager for 17 years, Sean has a deep understanding of our investments and our clients, and of the financial services regulatory environment. Many clients would have met Sean at forest visits and investor meetings over the years.

Sean manages our investor relations which includes client communications and compliance. As part of his role, he facilitates the sale and transfer of established Forest Enterprises forestry investments for new and existing clients. Sean recognises that our accountability as Investment Manager is first and foremost to our clients, and that he has the important responsibility of providing exceptional customer service to Forest Enterprises’ 6,600+ individual investors.

While at Trustees Executors, Sean worked with Forest Enterprises on key changes such as the transition from LAQCs to Limited Partnerships, and through the recent financial markets regime change. “Working with Forest Enterprises was a large part of my role and I enjoyed working with their people. They are a very customer focused company which aligns with my values.”

His new role brings Sean closer to the investors he was an advocate for as the Supervisor. “The opportunity to join Forest Enterprises was a no-brainer. It’s an opportunity to work more closely with investors, and directly with the business owners who are a great close-knit team committed to a long-term strategy. I believe in their product and am looking forward to the second generation of forestry investments.”

Sean and his partner Vicki live in Carterton with their two dogs. Sean has an active interest in the outdoors and will often be seen in the Tararua Ranges, the river or the beach on weekends. Failing that, you’ll find Sean with Vicki at one of the region’s many restaurants and cafes. Sean is Treasurer of the local Deerstalkers’ Association.

Julie-Anne Simmonds
Julie-Anne SimmondsExecutive Administrator
DDI 06 370 6912
Julie-Anne works across our business in the key role of Executive Assistant. Julie-Anne supports all Forest Enterprises staff to maintain our high standards of record keeping, document presentation and detail integral to our role and responsibility as a licensed investment manager. She joined Forest Enterprises in 2012.

Julie-Anne provides executive support to our Directors and the Executive Committee, and works most closely with Steve. As the keeper of our collective ‘body of knowledge’, Julie-Anne is responsible for our physical and digital record keeping, maintaining our internal contracts register, register of insurances and renewal scheduling, all Companies Office administration (for our own companies plus all investments), and administering our important compliance documentation.

As an extension of the client services team, Julie-Anne is responsible for the production and coordination of all client correspondence, and supports Merv with routine client enquiries. She is also a vital administrative resource for our forestry team.

Julie-Anne completed a Legal Executive Diploma prior to having her two children (now school age) and is 9 subjects into a Bachelor of Business extramurally through the Open Polytechnic. In her ‘spare time’, Julie-Anne is a tireless Scout Leader at Lansdowne Scout Group in Masterton. She enjoys spending time with her children and extended family, fishing, reading, camping, tramping and playing sport.

Nikki Coulmann
Nikki CoulmannMarketing Manager
Mob. +64 27 55 44 325
Nikki joined Forest Enterprises in July 2015 to support the company to revitalise its marketing programme.

Nikki has implemented Forest Enterprises’ brand refresh and replacement website. She works closely with Sean in the ongoing development of investor communications in service of our existing client base. Nikki is also responsible for the promotion of Forest Enterprises’ new issue second rotation forestry investments as they are released to the next generation of forestry investors.

“Forest Enterprises has a remarkable product and remarkable people, both treated with professionalism, integrity and open communication. The focus of staff here is truly on the investor and the care taken when managing client affairs is something other companies can only aspire to. This is the legacy that Steve Wilton has carved out for our current and future leaders. It’s an exciting time here.”

Nikki has held marketing and business development roles in a range of industries including big four accounting firms, regional economic development, hospitality and tourism. Nikki and her husband Malte live in Masterton with their two dogs.

Mark Allan
Mark AllanCompliance & Systems Manager
CA, BCom
DDI 06 370 6917
Mark manages Forest Enterprises Limited’s (FEL) compliance programme. He joined us in 2016 to take on this important role.

The focus of Mark’s role is on that of our investment management business. He develops and oversees robust systems and processes for protecting our clients’ investments, and for ensuring they comply with legal and regulatory requirements. Mark is also a member of the Executive, working with the shareholders on the performance of both FEL and its parent company Forest Enterprises Growth Limited.

“Forest Enterprises’ track record for providing investors with exposure to high-quality managed forestry investments is second to none. Investors can rely on Forest Enterprises’ commitment to quality, and be assured by the controls and processes in place to protect investor interest. Forest Enterprises’ east coast forestry investments are a compelling land-based investment due to fast tree growth rates, and short land transport distances to ports.”

Mark is a Chartered Accountant. His career started as an auditor, and he went on to work in large, multinational financial services corporations while in London. Mark is a businessman in his own right, living on a small working vineyard on the outskirts of Masterton with his three school-aged children.

Todd Priest
Todd PriestAccountant
DDI 06 370 6866

More about Todd to come…

Trudy O'Dowd
Trudy O'DowdAccountant
BBus, AT

More about Trudy to come…

Fiona Smith
Fiona SmithAccounts Administrator
DDI 06 370 6862

Fiona works closely with Liz in our finance and administration team.

More about Fiona to come…

Tracey Hare
Tracey HareAccounts Clerk
DDI 06 370 6919

Tracey has recently joined our finance and administration team and works closely with Liz.

More about Tracey to come…

Forest Management

Stuart Harvey
Stuart HarveyGIS Manager
DDI 06 370 6913
Mob. 021 847 701
Stu joined Forest Enterprises in April 2017. As GIS Manager, Stu is responsible for building and maintaining the integrity of our digital database of geospatial data (ArcGIS), and produces the mobile maps relied upon by field staff and contractors, plus those required by Forest Enterprises’ investors. Stu is our drone operator.

Stu processes and analyses data gathered in the field, including forestry activity that is GPS tracked (such as helicopter spraying operations and road and landing construction) and our drone imagery. One of his primary projects is to streamline our GIS enterprise by coding automated processes for accessing and using the available information.

This mapping is a key part of the forest management services we provide to our investors and private forest owners. Access to accurate geospatial information and estate maps supports decision making around our silvicultural, inventory, harvest planning, harvesting and other land management activities. Strategic and operational planning such as crew deployment, stand management, road and landing selection, environmental management and cost analysis can be efficiently implemented and communicated with confidence.

Geospatial data also forms part of our overall monitoring and reporting obligations to the Ministry for Primary Industries and to regional and territorial authorities, as well as to neighbours and strategic partners.

Stu spent 13 years in GIS roles in the defence industry. He is a Wairarapa local and lives in Carterton with wife and two young children who keep Stu busy when he’s not practicing Judo. Stu is an Associate Member of the New Zealand Institute of Forestry.

Tom Otterson
Tom OttersonHarvest Operations Manager
BE (Hons)
Mob. 027 282 1697
More about Tom to come…
Silvia Sze
Silvia SzeDistribution Manager
BEng (Hons), BSc (Hons)
DDI 06 370 6366
Mob. 027 475 3756

Silvia joined our team in November 2017 as Distribution & Roading Manager, a new role providing rigour to the critical planning and management of the harvest road network and of log supply during harvest.

Silvia is responsible for the smooth operation and quality control of the log flow in the supply chain, and achieving optimum log value recovery – from the harvest site in the forest and transport to storage and delivery to the buyer/agent. This requires a great deal of project management, sound decision making, and a good working relationship with our contractors.

Silvia’s background is as a sub-sea pipeline engineer in the oil and gas industry. Originally from Hong Kong, Silvia lived and worked in Perth, Western Australia for 20 years before emigrating to New Zealand in 2016. Prior to her move to Forest Enterprises, she was a Business Analyst at Victoria University of Wellington. Silvia is a member of The Institution of Engineers Australia, and is an Associate Member of the New Zealand Institute of Forestry.

Silvia lives in Carterton, from where she explores Wairarapa and New Zealand through a passion for hiking.

Tracey Apiata
Tracey ApiataManagement Accountant
DDI 06 370 6365
In the five years that Tracey has been with Forest Enterprises, her role has expanded significantly to include responsibility for managing our Head Office in Masterton as well as for harvest related accounting and administration.

Tracey works closely with Bert on running the harvest logistics information system, and the preparation of the monthly harvest financial reporting and analyses for our investments and the forestry team. This requires the compilation, accounting and reconciliation of a high volume of harvest related data and transactions that ultimately determine harvest returns. Tracey is in regular contact with our logging and cartage contractors plus our log export and marketing partners.

As Office Manager, Tracey is responsible for the smooth operation of our work environment. Importantly, Tracey is the liaison with our IT services provider around system performance and security.

Tracey joined Forest Enterprises in 2012 after having her young family, and her earlier work experience involved 9 years with a Chartered Accounting firm in Masterton. Three school aged children keep Tracey on her toes. Outside of work and family, Tracey’s interests include hockey, golf, tennis and outdoor pursuits in general where the social aspect is as fierce as the competition.

Steve Croskery
Steve CroskeryTechnical Services Manager
BForSc, DipAcc
DDI 06 370 6860
Mob. 021 193 8893

Steve re-joined Forest Enterprises in 2018 as Forestry Projects Manager, having previously been on the team 1997-2000 as Senior Forester.

In his current role, Steve contributes to the planning activities associated with forest investment and management. He ensures that the necessary resource consents and notifications are in place for timely commencement and completion of road and landing construction in preparation for harvesting, and the subsequent harvesting and replanting activity. Steve also analyses and reports on forest inventories, and undertakes Forest Estate Modelling, in support of combined harvest and second rotation investment.

Steve’s working background is almost entirely in forestry. Steve began his career with the New Zealand Forest Service working in Taupo, Napier and Wairarapa, then its successor entities in Wellington and Rotorua. Through the New Zealand Institute of Forestry (NZIF), Steve contributed to the development of valuation and financial reporting standards for forestry assets.

Steve joined Finnish forestry company, Pöyry as Senior Consultant in 2000. Since then, Steve’s focus has been on forest assessment, forest investment analysis and forest estate modelling for strategic planning and valuation. He has undertaken consulting projects in Australia, South Africa, Asia, South America, Fiji and New Zealand. In 2008, Steve moved with Pöyry to Shanghai, China for six years where he was Principal Consultant. Steve returned to Masterton in 2014 and has since been an independent consultant.

Steve lives in Carterton. Two of his four children live in the Wairarapa, plus four grandchildren. Steve’s interests are hunting and trout fishing, Asian cooking and wool spinning.

Hannah Harvey
Hannah HarveyEnvironmental Manager
DDI 06 370 6848

More about Hannah to come…

Nathan Diamond
Nathan DiamondHarvest Operations
Mob. 027 444 1442

More to come…

Chris Hawthorn
Chris HawthornForest Operations Manager
Mob. 027 444 2298

More about Chris to come

Georgia Paulson
Georgia PaulsonHarvest Forester - Gisborne

Mob. 027 524 0007

Georgia joined our expanding Gisborne based team in early 2019, as Harvest Forester. She undertakes daily supervision of harvesting operations, with particular emphasis on safety, environmental compliance and value recovery of logs to our domestic and export customers.

Growing up in Gisborne, Georgia spent time at work with her forester father, eventually spending her school holidays and later full-time employment working in logging crews. During this time, she achieved an apprenticeship in Machine Operations (Hauler and Loader), and specialised in health & safety plus value recovery.

Georgia won the Competenz NZ Apprentice of the Year Award in 2018 and has since been awarded scholarships from the Eastland Wood Council. She studied whilst working full time and achieved the New Zealand Diploma in Forest Management. Georgia features in a leaving school guide to study and career options – read more.

Pierre Bellé
Pierre BelléTechnical Forester - Gisborne
PhD (Forest Engineering)

Mob. 027 218 6641

More about Pierre to come

Jess Littlejohn
Jess LittlejohnForester

Mob. 027 786 0431

More about Jess to come…
Max Saathof
Max SaathofGraduate Forester
Mob. 027 444 1653

More about Max to come…

Allan Howard
Allan HowardHarvest Planner - Gisborne
Mob. 027 444 2089

Allan is Forest Enterprises’ Harvest Planner based in our Gisborne office. Allan joined Forest Enterprises in 2019 and undertakes the roading supervision plus harvest planning.

Allan is a 35-year veteran of forest road building spanning the length of the Gisborne East Coast region, managing a large scale roading company for 9 years in the central north, plus 5 years contracting to Matariki supervising their highly sensitive Bay of Plenty coastal forests.

Boglarka Nemeth
Boglarka NemethForestry Analyst
PhD (Earth Science), MSc
DDI 06 370 6860

More about Bogi to come…

Bryn Townend
Bryn TownendGIS Analyst

More about Bryn to come

Jo Wildman
Jo WildmanHarvest Administrator
DDI 06 370 6364
In March 2017, Jo joined Forest Enterprises’ expanding accounts and administration team in support of our growing harvest business.

Jo’s role is to process the transactional documentation produced by the harvest of our Investors’ forests, from the moment harvesting activity commences to when a log leaves the port. This important data is a record of everything that goes in and comes out of the forest, and enables the forestry team to track ‘product’ at any given time. It is detailed work, and Forest Enterprises’ harvest reporting relies on this information being accurate and timely in order to determine the financial return from our Investors’ forests.

Jo works closely with Tracey on harvesting administration and monthly accounts, and also undertakes some general office duties.

Prior to joining Forest Enterprises, Jo worked for a Masterton-based professional services firm for 15 years. Jo is Wairarapa born and bred, and grew up in a horticulture family in Greytown. She lives in Greytown, now with her own family.

Gavin Wright
Gavin WrightHawke's Bay Operations Manager
Mob. 021 900 162

More about Gavin to come…

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