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NZ Arb: Meeting In Person and Meeting Member Needs during 2020

Queensland Arboricultural Association: Delivering Excellence in Arboriculture

NZ Arb: Meeting In Person and Meeting Member Needs during 2020

Nicki van Ash, NZ Arb association executive

Given the current global COVID-19 pandemic, it is hard to believe that over 200 members of the New Zealand chapter spent four days together in Queenstown at the NZ ARB annual industry conference (7-10 November) and NZ ARB Husqvarna National Tree Climbing Competition. The New Zealand government's pandemic plan has kept community outbreaks isolated since the initial six‐week lockdown in April; however, the uncertainties and the ever‐changing situation meant the planning of this event was far from seamless. There was an international speaker programme that had to be reprogrammed, schedules that got rescheduled, contingency plans that had their own contingency plans. And there was more hand sanitiser than anyone knew what to do with! But we got there in the end, and the simple pleasure of being in the same room and running our national tree climbing championship was undoubtedly a highlight in the 2020 industry diary.

Despite the successful conference, uncertainty has been the singular theme of 2020. On 25 March, a New Zealand State of Emergency was declared and almost overnight New Zealand went into a Level Four Lockdown. The NZ ARB executive team focused on consistency across core services and on delivering value to members where it mattered most, as government guidelines and social expectations evolved. I am proud to be able to say that as an association, not only have we maintained our member numbers during this particularly difficult year, but increased membership by three percent.

Lockdown was a difficult time for many, and NZ ARB worked to ensure members of our community felt connected, informed and engaged. A popular “Virtual Couch” series dropped into living rooms around the country each day with topics discussing everything from how to build a series of minimum industry standards to what it’s like to travel the world as a working arborist. NZ ARB provided guidelines for operating in changing Alert Levels, shared online learning opportunities, up‐to‐date government information, resources, events, and provided opportunities for members to share thoughts on arboriculture and business topics.

We pivoted our magazine publication “Tree Matters” from print to digital, ensuring the magazine could reach more members than ever while we were apart. We then used the savings to sign up every member of NZ ARB with a buying network programme, helping our business‐owners reduce operating costs and reward hard‐working staff members at no extra cost to their business.

Despite everything going on, the Executive Committee and sub‐committees achieved a huge amount this year, including four successful regional tree climbing competitions and the national championship, new Approved Contractor members, the development of a proposed new membership structure, membership increases, submissions on NZ qualifications frameworks, a reform of vocational education project, and the signing of three new sponsors.

NZ ARB signed an agreement with Arboriculture Australia to join in partnership on the Minimum Industry Standards project. We also signed an agreement with the NZ Horticulture competition that will see arboriculture compete alongside other horticultural codes in the high‐profile Young Horticulturalist of the Year competition. NZ ARB also partnered with both the New Zealand Rural Games and New Zealand Forest & Bird in public outreach projects such as a week‐long Be with a Tree campaign.

Looking ahead, the Executive Committee will meet in‐person in February 2021 to review the chapter’s strategic direction and put together a roadmap for the Association’s future.

Queensland Arboricultural Association: Delivering Excellence in Arboriculture

Bec Dalton, QAA component executive

QAA’s New Mission, Values and Maxim

Wasn’t COVID-19 an interesting curve ball this year? It challenged each of us and our businesses in ways we never thought possible. While our Executive Committee was focusing on protecting their own businesses, regrettably, Queensland Arboricultural Association (QAA) took a bit of a back seat. We would have liked to do more to support the community.

COVID-19 was just the most recent industry hurdle, but over the years the Association has become like a tree in senescence, we needed to retrench the things that were holding us back from becoming vigorous and healthy.  So, we grasped this opportunity to review and improve many aspects of the Association.

Attendees at AGM 2020 heard all about our new mission statement, values, and maxim. This is our vow to the industry, how we do what we do, and how we plan to be a better Association.

Our Mission Statement 

As our industry learns to adapt and grow it is QAA’s responsibility to lead by example. Our mission is to provide support and guidance to the arborist industry and our members. We can do this by: 

  1. Finding new educational topics and methods,  
  1. Taking part in safety and standards conversations,  
  1. Providing new opportunities for our community to interact and evolve; and  
  1. Finding new ways to give back to our community.  

We have developed our new values and maxim to guide How We Do What We Do. 

Our Values 

We want to make a fresh start in 2021 by delivering on our commitment to re-engage with our Members and actively foster a supportive community. As such, we have reimagined our values to more clearly show HOW we will add value to our Members and to the industry. We will be: 

Industry Leaders 

We adapt, we learn, and we grow to lead by example. We support our Members and the Industry by proactively identifying gaps and challenges in safety, best practice, legislation and unprecedent events. 


We strive for excellence in everything we do, everything we manage and everything we deliver.  


We deliver our promises with integrity, honesty, and ethicality. Our operations are strictly governed by the Constitution, our Code of Ethics, and the needs of our Members. 


We constantly evaluate our environmental impact, how we can reduce our footprint and areas of improvement. We are committed to providing 30 more years of industry support and guidance.