Nathan Morshead: From Hunter to Manager – Investing in our Forests

Nathan Morshead

Nathan Morshead has spent a large part of his life in forests, hunting for deer and pigs. Now he’s learning to manage our region’s most valuable green leafed resources.

The 18-year-old former Rotorua Lakes High School prefect is working towards his New Zealand Diploma in Forest Management (Level 6), a task that’s been made easier thanks to the $2500 Toi Ohomai Secondary School Achiever Award he’s picked up along the way.

Nathan has spent some of the scholarship funds on course related costs, like a laptop, and will use the rest to purchase essential gear for the forestry job he’s already lined up for the summer holidays.

Hunting alongside his dad, from a very young age, helped him define his career goals.

“Being out in the fresh air, watching machinery work – this is more of an outdoor job, rather than being in an office, and that’s what appeals to me.”

It’s a tactical career choice too. Forestry is offering decent pay rates and a secure future, both here and overseas, as the sector strives to meet rising domestic and international demand for timber.  

First up though, Nathan wants to get a good qualification behind him and he is enjoying his Toi Ohomai course: “My classmates are good and my tutors are good; there’s lots of one-to-one teaching.”

Nathan says his favourite topic so far has been harvest planning - deciding the best way to extract timber from a variety of terrains while also considering cultural site implications, riparian rights and resource consent requirements. 

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