Ten organisations have signed an accord establishing a pan sector body.
Opened by newly appointed Rotorua Mayor Tania Tapsell, the charity auction was part of the Fast & Forward Forestry Expo.
Forestry Industry Contractors Association (FICA) chief executive Prue Younger says the auction was to raise funds to further mental health initiatives post a pilot programme with Mates4Life, Hawke’s Bay.
“Mental wellbeing is a topical challenge for any workplace in this crazy world and forestry has not escaped from it,” Younger says.
She says FICA wanted to put funds together to initiate a programme to support the sector.
“The aim is to provide a long-term, sustainable, no barriers suicide awareness and prevention training approach that is specific to the needs of workplaces and communities,” says Younger.
Rotorua Mayor Tania Tapsell opened the evening as keynote speaker.
“Forestry is in our DNA, it is part of our identity, we have a strong history and legacy in forestry and wood processing that we are proud of,” Tapsell told attendees.
“Rotorua as a top destination city has also been impacted by COVID and the ripple effects of the pandemic. But we are also a forward thinking and resilient community and working hard to recover. Events like this help us to do that. As a community we are so pleased to be able to welcome events back to Rotorua.”
She said the charity auction was important for FICA’s goal of setting up a programme to support the mental wellbeing of those working in the sector.
“Mental health doesn’t discriminate and all of us in this room have probably either experienced mental health issues ourselves or watched a friend, relative, or colleague struggle with mental wellbeing. This is a fantastic initiative.”