Forest Industry Foundation Skills - Rotorua

  • 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
  • planting plantation trees
  • commercial forestry operations
  • health and safety requirements in forestry
  • factors that affect performance of forestry workers
  • rules relating to chainsaw use
  • plantation forest harvesting

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 is a full-time programme that consists of 50 credits delivered over 18 weeks. This programme combines in-class learning with hands-on experience.

In this delivery option you will be required to attend a total of 150 kaiako-directed learning over 18 weeks, which may consist of:

  • kura whakaako – weekly classes (averaging about 7 hours per week)
  • 1 x noho (26 hours)

Your kaiako will confirm the dates and venues for your classes and noho. You'll also need to complete activities outside of the classroom for:

  • approximately 19 hours per week

Some of the learning activities will need to be completed online. You'll need access to an internet-connected device to complete some learning activities.

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):

Health, Safety and Environmental Requirements for Commercial Forestry | 20 Credits

The focus of this kōnae ako is for tauira to learn the fundamental health, safety environmental and legal considerations and requirements that impact on commercial forestry. 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.

Risk Management for Commercial Forestry | 10 Credits

The core unit standard in this kōnae ako focuses on the principles of commercial forestry and terminology and factors affecting tree quality and processing. The elective unit standards within this kōnae ako focus on 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 learn how to contribute to health and safety best practice within the workplace, including being able to provide first aid.

Forest Harvesting Operations | 20 Credits

The core unit standard in this kōnae ako focuses on all considerations and requirements for preparing to, and planting plantation trees. The elective unit standards in this kōnae ako focus on the procedures and processes for forest harvesting operations, as well as the environmental requirements and factors that affect forest establishment. Tauira will also learn about the rules relating to the use and transportation of chainsaws, and related equipment, as well as personal safety for chainsaw operators.

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