Forest Industry Foundation Skills

  • Level 2
  • 18 weeks - full-time
  • No fees

Programme overview:

Our pine forests aren't just left to grow on their own - they need workers to plant and maintain them by knowing which trees to remove and which ones need to be left to grow.

This nationally recognised qualification provides the foundation skills you need to plant and tend forests. You'll learn mainly out in the bush, where you'll get some real experience working with other forestry professionals.

When you pass this programme, you'll get this qualification:

  • New Zealand Certificate in Forest Industry Foundation Skills Level 2 

You'll learn about:

  • establishing pine forest plantations
  • understanding the use of agrichemicals
  • fertilising plantation trees
  • selecting plantation trees for commercial forestry operations
  • planting plantation trees
  • pruning plantation trees under supervision

You'll be able to:

  • apply knowledge of basic environmental and cultural requirements, including the relationship Māori have with the forest, to all aspects of required forestry work
  • apply basic risk management, emergency procedures, and communication systems, when carrying out work within a forestry operation
  • work safely and effectively as part of a team to meet quality requirements within a forestry operation


The purpose of this qualification is to provide the forest industry with individuals who have skills and knowledge relevant to entry level roles in a forestry operation.

Graduates will have a basic understanding of the industry and the risks involved in the industry. They will be able to work under close supervision to meet quality requirements of an operation while maintaining their own safety.

How you'll study:

This programme consists of 50 credits delivered over 18 weeks. Throughout the programme you'll need to attend:

  • 4 x 4.5 hour classes per week
  • 1 x noho (25 hours)

You'll also need to complete set activities in your own time for:

  • approximately 8 hours per week

Entry criteria:

To enrol in this programme, a potential student must:

  • be at least 16 years of age
  • be a New Zealand citizen (or citizen of Australia, Tokelau, Niue, Cook Islands) or permanent resident
  • reside in New Zealand
  • attend an interview

Where will this take me?

I want to keep studying

You can progress to a level 3 programme in a range of subjects or continue your forestry journey with another institution.

I want to use my qualification

You'll be ready to apply for entry-level forestry work undertaking planting or pruning activities in a commercial forestry operation.

Kōnae Ako (Learning Modules):

Environmental and Health and Safety Commercial Forestry | 15 Credits

The focus of this kōnae ako is for tauira to be able to describe environmental and legal considerations and requirements that impact on commercial forestry and terminology and factors affecting tree quality and processing are covered. Tauira also learn about rules relating to the use and transportation of chainsaws and related equipment, as well as personal safety for chainsaw operators. 

Risk Management for Commercial Forestry | 10 Credits

This kōnae ako focuses on the role of health and safety, and general worksite health and safety and environmental requirements in a forestry operation. Tauira learn about the personal safety and injury prevention in commercial forestry and they will learn how to contribute to health and safety best practice within the workplace. 

Team Work and Quality Requirements for Commercial Forestry | 25 Credits

The focus of this kōnae ako is for tauira to understand the procedures and processes for forest harvesting operations as well as the requirements for both preparing and planting plantation trees. Tauira will also learn about and understand the quality and value factors in logs. There is also a strong focus on factors that can affect the performance of forestry workers, particularly in relation to hydration, diet, stress and fatigue. Tauira will learn the signs and symptoms of how to recognise performance impairment and how to maintain and manage general health and wellbeing of forestry workers.  

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