Remote Sensing

Inventory Management

Forest Establishment & Silviculture

18-19 Nov 2020 | Distinction Hotel, Rotorua, NEW ZEALAND | In-Person + Virtual Online Event
ForestTECH is Australasia’s premier technology series. It’s run annually for Australasia’s forest resource managers, planners, GIS and remote sensing specialists and inventory foresters.
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ForestTECH 2020 | Event Details

ForestTECH – What is it?

Forestry resource managers, remote sensing, GIS and mapping specialists, inventory foresters, researchers and key technology suppliers attend ForestTECH each year. The annual forest technology series has been running since 2007.

It typically comprises a two-day conference, practical workshops and trade exhibitions. It runs in both New Zealand and Australia and has firmly established itself on the international forestry calendar. As well as Australian and New Zealand companies, forestry companies and technology providers from the USA, Canada, Europe, SE Asia, South Africa and South America are regularly involved with the technology updates.

New Format for 2020

As a consequence of COVID-19, restrictions on international travel, border controls and social distancing requirements, industry events across the globe since March of this year have had to be either cancelled or postponed. Technology events run by the Forest Industry Engineering Association in Australia, New Zealand and Canada have, as a consequence, been run either as webinars or virtual events since March 2020.

At this stage, the plan is to run the ForestTECH 2020 series in early-mid November as originally planned. However, the format, because of the uncertainty still surrounding travel between countries and across state borders, for this year has changed.

Two Days
18-19 November 2020 in Rotorua, NEW ZEALAND + Virtual Online.
One Physical Event | New Zealand

For the first time in thirteen years, the annual ForestTECH series is not being held in both countries, New Zealand and Australia. Instead, the physical event (on-site presentations, exhibitions and workshop) will be run in just one location, Rotorua, New Zealand. This enables planning for delegates and exhibitors some degree of certainty.

As at early July, restrictions on travel within Victoria and between Australian states were still in place. This unfortunately has prevented the Australian leg of the technology series from being run in Melbourne as originally planned. International travel and entry into both countries in early July also wasn’t being permitted. At the time, there was no certainty or expectation of when these restrictions might be relaxed.

A Global Event

The live and virtual hybrid format for ForestTECH 2020 enables a much wider cross section of International presenters to be involved in this year’s event. They will be joining New Zealand and Australian presenters in ForestTECH 2020, either with a live remote presentation or, alternatively, through a pre-recorded presentation – with live links into a later Q&A session.

We’re confident that in the current uncertain environment, that this exciting option is going to cater for our loyal and growing ForestTECH community and the many enquiries that we’re already fielding from those outside Australasia to be involved in ForestTECH 2020.

Virtual Online Interactive Event

To maximise the interaction and the annual exchange of information for resource managers, researchers and inventory foresters in both countries (and further afield), live links from the New Zealand event will be set up for those unable to travel (because of travel restrictions, border controls, company directives or budgets).

The virtual conference format planned for those based outside New Zealand will ensure;

  • Australian and international delegates can still actively be involved this year. Timing for the ForestTECH 2020 programme is being set up to enable live links to the Rotorua event and all presentations throughout the two days. On-line questions from virtual conference delegates will be able to be made to all presenters - live.
  • Significant savings can be made on travel and accommodation costs. As well as being involved during the live event, recorded sessions for the presentations will also be made available post event to all live and virtual event delegates.
Australian Only Content
An additional Australian component for virtual conference delegates. A selection of Australian presenters originally planned to present in the original conference programme have been included in a special 90-minute on-line workshop on the completion of day two.
Additional on-site Workshops
As well as those attending the ForestTECH 2020 conference and exhibitions in Rotorua, a series of three extra workshops or meetings immediately before and after the conference are also being held. Details can be found here.

The Focus for 2020

Remote sensing, data capture and inventory management

ForestTECH 2020 will again be providing insights into new data collection technologies that have been developed and are being used operationally out in the forest along with advances that have been made on processing and better interpreting the big data streams now routinely being collected out in the field.

Updates on disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence, the IOT, machine and deep learning, robotics, automation, daily satellite imagery, UAV’s and the use of virtual and augmented reality and how they’re being integrated into day to day operations of forestry companies will also be covered. This though will be streamlined into one of the two days being planned for the two-day programme.

Forest establishment, mechanised planting and silviculture

In addition, one day of the ForestTECH 2020 programme is being set aside to showcase a raft of new technologies that have or are being developed to improve efficiencies around forest establishment and silviculture.

An increasing number of presentations given at recent ForestTECH events have covered research and trials being undertaken on planting with drones, survival counts of tree seedlings using satellite imagery, drones and deep learning. There’s also a resurgence of interest being shown by forestry companies in mechanised or automated operations for planting and silviculture to address the growing issues of labour shortages for forest operations.


Who Attends?

Over 250 representatives from the New Zealand and Australian forestry industries, including: Forestry managers | Forest owners | Technical foresters | Forestry consultants | Forestry researchers | Forest resource managers | Inventory foresters | Technology & equipment suppliers | Harvest planners | Forest GIS & remote sensing specialists


We have been working closely with a wide range of New Zealand, Australian and international companies, service suppliers, researchers and government bodies to develop a strong and innovative programme. Please note that this programme will be both an in-person event in Rotorua, New Zealand, and an online event for those who cannot attend. A virtual-only Australian session will also be streamed, and made available on-demand, to all registered delegates (both online and in-person).

If you have any questions about the programme, please contact Brent Apthorp on or (+64) 3 470 1902.

ForestTECH 2020 Programme


Wednesday 18 November 2020

Innovations in Forest Establishment, Planting & Mechanised Silviculture
Timezone: NZDT

Welcome & Introduction


Session 1: Precision Planing Innovations With Mechanised & Automated Planting Technologies

Forest Establishment & Silviculture

What’s changed in the last 50 years and opportunities for increased mechanisation

Tony O’Hara, GM Forest Resources, HVP Plantations (live remote)


CNI planting trials with the mechanised M-Planter

A viable alternative to traditional manual planting. Lessons from early trials.

Henry Fear, Henry Fear Contracting & Ben Dixon, Tree Crop Operations Manager, Timberlands Ltd (live)


Field Evaluation of Mechanised Planting of Radiata Pine in NSW

Mike Sutton, Manager, Innovation & Research, Forestry Corporation NSW, Australia (live remote)


Mechanised Scarification, Mounding and Planting Systems from Sweden

Klas-Håkan Ljungberg, CEO, Bracke Forest AB, Sweden (pre-recorded plus live Q&A)


Precision Planting. A New GPS system providing traceability of the tree crop for forest managers

Henry Fear, Henry Fear Contracting (live)


Precision Mechanised Soil Cultivation, Fertilisation and Planting

Henri Syvanen, Sales Manager, Risutec, Finland (pre-recorded plus live Q&A)


Lunch & Networking

Session 2: Precision Planting - Applications & Early Trial Results with Drone-Based Seed Planting Technologies

Drone Planting and Reforestation Options

Results and lessons from recent in-forest trials

Matthew Agahai, Director of Research & Development, DroneSeed, USA (live remote)


Operational Drone Deliveries of Tree Seedlings

Trial results from the 2019-2020 planting seasons.  How does it stack up?

Dave Herries, GM, Interpine (live)


Planting with Drones - Using technology and science to realise large ecological restoration projects

Andrew Walker, Co-Founder and Mechanical Engineer, AirSeed Technologies, Australia (live remote)


TECH Showcase

Short presentations on new product innovations


Afternoon Tea & Networking

Session 3: Every Seedling Counts - Technology Advancements for Post Planting Survival Assessments


Advanced Deep Learning for Forestry Remote Sensing

Grant Pearse, Geomatics Scientist, Scion (live)


Every Seedling Counts - New high precision digital mapping tools for post planting seedling survival, weed mapping and vitality measurements

Albrecht von Ruffer, CEO, Skylab GmbH, Germany (pre-recorded plus live Q&A)


Ultra-high-Resolution Satellite Imagery for Tree Counting before Canopy Closure

Results from operational trials

Michael Breetzke, Director & Co-Founder, Swift Geospatial, South Africa (pre-recorded plus live Q&A)


Panel Discussion & Questions: Live link to international presenters (earlier pre-recorded presentations) on mechanical planting technologies

  • Michael Breetzke, Director & Co-Founder, Swift Geospatial, South Africa
  • Albrecht von Ruffer, CEO, Skylab GmbH, Germany
  • Klas-Håkan Ljungberg, CEO, Bracke Forest AB, Sweden
  • Henri Syvanen, Sales Manager, Risutec, Finland


Mechanisation Opportunities in Forest Establishment & Silviculture - Future directions and research priorities

Russell Dale, Forest Growers Research / Mike Baker, Technical Forester, Hancock Forest Management (live)


Drinks, Refreshments & Networking for NZ delegates


Thursday 19 November 2020

Innovations in Remote Sensing & Data Capture Technologies - Application in the Forest

Timezone: NZDT


Welcome & Introduction



Combining Remote Sensing & Analytics Technologies

Advances being made in satellite imagery and operational deployment in forestry operations

Tara O’Shea, Director of Forest Programs, Planet, USA (live remote)


Innovations in Forest Inventory

High quality data collection under canopy and VR results using the mobile LiDAR mapping solution, Hovermap

Dave Herries, GM, Interpine (live) 

Session 1: Advancements in Remote Sensing & Data Capture Technologies - Application in the Forest


A New Era of Reliable Forest Inventory

Comprehensive, consistent, reliable, and scalable forest inventory at high resolution

Dr. Ian Moss, Inventory Design Specialist, High Resolution Inventory Solutions (HRIS), Canada (live remote)


Making Data Meaningful in the Digital Forest

Australasian case studies demonstrating remote data collection and analysis using in-forest sensors

Jamie Lawrence, Business Development Manager, Indicium Dynamics, Australia (live remote)


TECH Showcase

Short presentations on new product innovations


Lunch & Networking


Tracking Forest Growth Rates in Real Time

A system of in-forest wireless sensors developed by an award-winning Brazilian forestry technology start-up

Esthevan Gasparoto, Chief Executive Officer, Treevia, Brazil (live remote)


Getting to the point: How accurate are photogrammetric and UAV LiDAR point clouds for measuring the height of young trees

Assessing the accuracy of UAV-derived point clouds, and a look at some of the variables that affect this

Robin Hartley, Manager UAV Operations and Geospatial Scientist, Scion (live)

Session 2: Transforming Geospatial Data into Knowledge - The Practical Application & Operational Use of Remote sensing Data


Forest Scale Phenotyping

Inferring Silviculture x Genetics x Environment Interactions through Big Data

Simon Papps, Resource Planner, Hancock Forest Management (live)


An AU$200m Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) project

The development of a regional SBAS to radically improve the accuracy of GPS

Eldar Rubinov, SBAS Technical Manager, FrontierSI, Australia (live remote)


Detecting Nutrient Deficiencies using Hyperspectral Imagery

Results from recent trials to determine N&P deficiencies in radiata pine

Michael Watt, Research Leader – Geomatics, Scion (live)


NZ Conference Concludes

Day Two: Australian Workshop
Mechanised Planting & The Practical Application & Operational Use of Remote Sensing Data

Recent Australian Research and Operational Trials (live remote for all delegates)

Timezone: NZDT


Welcome & Introduction



Evaluating the Effectiveness of Drone Imaging Solutions

Automated detection of radiata seedlings using drone (standard RGB, hyperspectral and multispectral) imagery.  Results from operational in-forest trials 

Dr Darren Turner, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Tasmania & Anthony Finn, Professor Autonomous Systems, University of South Australia, Australia (live remote)


How well can we Assess Softwood Plantations using Photogrammetric Techniques following an ALS-Independent Approach?

Irfan Iqbal, Remote Sensing Forester, Forest Products Commission, Australia (live remote)


Forest Eye - Satellite imagery analysis made easy

Caroline Schneider, Remote Sensing Developer/Analyst, Forestry Corporation of NSW, Australia (live remote)


From Plantations to Native Forests - Cutting-edge remote sensing methods for native forest management

Hans Blom, Manager Remote Sensing, Forest Products Commission, Australia (live remote)


On-line Workshop Concludes


As well as those attending the ForestTECH 2020 conference and exhibitions in Rotorua, a series of three extra workshops or meetings immediately before and after the conference are also being held.
1 | Eagle Technology workshop - Drones and ArcGIS

Where: Cards Room, Distinction Hotel Rotorua, 390 Fenton Street, Rotorua

When: 10.30 and 12.30pm, Tuesday 17 November 2020

Attendees: Limited to 35 attendees

Cost: This workshop is free

This meeting will provide an updated overview of the ArcGIS platform (10.8.1) and a focus on GIS insights and location intelligence powered by drone flight data with ArcGIS. There will also be an opportunity for Q&A with our Forestry team.

Enquiries can be made to:

2 | Half-day Remote Sensing Cluster Group meeting

Where: Rimu Room, Scion, 49 Sala Street, Rotorua

When: 1.30 and 5.00pm, Tuesday 17 November 2020

Attendees: No limit

Cost: This workshop is free

This meeting will run the day before the ForestTECH 2020 conference. The meeting will combine recent research focussing on tree detection and forest health with a presentation around developing a sector-wide strategy to bring the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) to small and large forest growers.

The second part of the meeting will present a series of talks that launch a new working group focussed on tech transfer of UAV related research to industry. This “Tools for Foresters” Working Group, will comprise a cluster of foresters and researchers who will be able to beta-test research tools and methods, accelerating the research and tech transfer process.

The agenda for the meeting can be found using the link below. Places can be booked on-line (as part of the ForestTECH 2020 registration process) for those registering for the conference.

Click here to view the Meeting Agenda

Enquiries can be made to:

3 | Half-day Hovermap demo and workshop

Where: Interpine Offices, 99 Sala Street, Rotorua

When: 9.00am-12.00 noon, Friday 20 November 2020

Attendees: Limited to 20 attendees

Cost: This workshop is free

This half day workshop will cover the Hovermap LiDAR simultaneous location and mapping (SLAM) technology. It’s being run by Interpine and Emesent following the conference and exhibitions on the morning of Friday 20 November. Further information including a full agenda will follow.

Enquiries can be made to:

Event Sponsors

Event Sponsors

Emesent (Hovermap)
Bracke Forest
MPI - Te Uru Rakau Forestry New Zealand
Wood Industry Development and Education Trust
Alcom Communications
Forestry Corporation
Eagle Technology
Trimble Forestry
Atlas Integral

FIEA Partners

Atlas Integral
Key Knife / Braford Industries
NZ Logger
Eagle Technology
Trimble Forestry
Lewis Controls

Media Partners

Friday Offcuts
NZ Logger

Sponsorship & Exhibition Opportunities

ForestTECH offers a tremendous opportunity for companies involved in developing innovative tools, technologies and resources for forestry planning and management to maximise their exposure to New Zealand and Australia’s forestry companies. Exhibition spaces are always at a premium. FIEA has a well-deserved reputation of providing both sponsors and exhibitors with a unique platform for promoting their products and services to the industry in BOTH New Zealand and Australia.

ForestTECH 2020 is already being planned. We always receive strong interest in the sponsorship and exhibiting opportunities available. Early partners will benefit from exposure in the newly updated website,, which is now providing monthly communication to well over 6,000 resource managers and inventory foresters in this region.

Sponsorship and branding opportunities are also available for other Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) events and in the region’s most widely read weekly e-newsletters, Friday Offcuts and WoodWeek.

For a full range of sponsorship, exhibition and branding options, please contact our Sponsorship Manager, Gordon Thomson on (+64) 7 921 1384 or

You are welcome to view our updated Terms and Conditions.


Registration Rates

Standard Conference Rate – 2 Days
(From 10 Oct 2020)

NZ$795 + GST

Conference Rate - 1 Day Only
(Can select Day One or Day Two)
NZ$495 + GST

Virtual/Remote Rate - 2 Days *

NZ$550 + GST

Virtual/Remote Rate - 1 Day Only *
(Can select Day One or Day Two)

NZ$350 + GST
*Please note that these rates only apply to companies from outside the North Island, New Zealand.

Be in to WIN!

Register for ForestTECH 2020 and win a night in a 2 bedroom Penthouse Suite!

Registration Details

General Details:

  • The Conference Rate refers to your attendance in person at the Rotorua conference and exhibitions
  • Because of the slight difference in focus this year, one or two-day registrations can be booked. Registrations between days (i.e. day one being picked up by one employee and day two, the second) cannot be shared by individuals within the same company.
  • Virtual/Remote registrations can be booked. These apply to companies from outside the North Island, New Zealand (i.e. driving distance to Rotorua). This will enable those currently constrained by travel or budget restrictions within the South Island of New Zealand the option of attending the conference remotely. This also ensures on-line attendance by Australian and other international companies.
  • All prices exclude GST (15%). For registrations from outside New Zealand, GST does not apply.
  • A credit card processing fee of 2.9% will be charged for all transactions.
  • Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) Member Discounts of 10-25% apply to the listed Standard Conference Rate. FIEA Membership Details and Benefits can be seen on Membership status and discounts available can be checked by calling our FIEA offices.
  • The Early Bird Rate applies only to the standard two-day conference rate. To be eligible for the Early-Bird Rate, registrations and payment must be received ON or BEFORE Friday 9 October 2020. All 'Early Bird' discounts require payment at time of registration and before the cut-off date in order to receive any discount.
  • Your Conference Registration payment, if attending the event in Rotorua, covers morning and afternoon teas, lunches, refreshments, a conference handbook and access to presentations (electronic download for those presentations where presenter approval has been given).
  • For Virtual/Remote registrations, your registration payment covers live access to all conference presentations (including the short Australian workshop at the end of day two), access to presentation PPT’s (electronic download of PDF’s for those presentations where presenter approval has been given) and links to all recorded presentations where speaker approval has been given.

COVID-19 related information:

  • The event organiser will work diligently to ensure that all instructions provided by the New Zealand Government and Health Authorities, relating to travel and the running of events because of COVID-19 are strictly adhered to. You can be sure that we will have all measures in place to safeguard your health and safety.
  • It is the responsibility of the sponsor, exhibitor or delegate, if intending to travel to attend the Rotorua conference, to check on all updated health and Government guidelines for any specific entry requirements.
  • If for any reason the Rotorua venue was unable to be used because of COVID-19 restrictions that were imposed by the New Zealand Government, those registered to attend the physical event would be transferred to a new virtual on-line event that would be set up by the organisers.
  • Please refer to our full Terms and Conditions relating to any event related issues around COVID-19.

Accommodation prize draw terms & conditions

  • Prize is for 1 (one) nights’ accommodation at the Distinction Hotel Rotorua for 2 adults and 2 children including breakfast, staying in the 2 Bedroom Penthouse Suite, valued at $545 including GST.
  • Prize is only available to delegates registered for and in physical attendance at the ForestTECH 2020 Conference.
  • Prize draw will be carried out by random draw. Winner of the prize must be in attendance at the time of the draw. If not, the prize may be redrawn.
  • The prize will be awarded to the winner in the form of a voucher. The winner takes all responsibility to contact the Distinction Hotel Rotorua in order to claim the benefits of the prize.

Cancellation policy:

For cancellations on or before Friday 9 October a 10% administration fee applies. Cancellations received after 9 October are non-refundable but are transferrable. Please allow 30 days for refunds to be processed. If you wish to transfer your registration to another individual from within your company, please provide us with at least 24 hours advance notice.

To read our full Terms and Conditions, Click Here.



Distinction Rotorua Hotel, NEW ZEALAND

390 Fenton Street, Rotorua, New Zealand

With its beautiful garden setting and located just minutes from the city centre, Distinction Rotorua Hotel is the perfect place to relax and unwind after a big day at the conference.

After the event, this hotel is also a great base to enjoy the wealth of attractions and activities Rotorua has to offer. Free car parking is available at the venue, however, spaces are limited and hotel guests take priority.

Special accommodation rates:

  • $135 - Superior Room (single, double or twin)
  • $155 - Deluxe Room (single, double or twin)
  • $185 - Junior Suite (single or double)
  • $195 - Executive Suite (single or double)

All rates include GST and are per room per night.

Book AccommodationDistinction Rotorua Hotel