Our Council meets in Wellington and is directed by the New Zealand Institute of Forestry’s Articles of Association.

The Council’s responsibilities include:

  • representing New Zealand’s forestry professionals, their aspirations, views and opinions
  • setting policy direction with the goal of enhancing all forestry types, then planning and implementing actions to achieve this
  • membership extension (e.g. Registered Foresters scheme, Journal, newsletters, local and national meetings)
  • facilitating continuing professional development (CDP) for our members
  • administering the NZIF’s affairs and fiduciary duties
  • promoting the economic, social and environmental values and benefits of forestry
  • promoting the professional standards and ethics of our members.

NZIF Council

Lania Holt

Tena tatou katoa, Ko Ngongotaha te maunga. Ko Rotorua nui a kahu matamomoe te Moana. Ko Te Arawa te waka. Ko Ngāti Whakaue me Ngāti Pikiao me Ngāti Tūwharetoa me Ngāti Kahungungu me Ngai Tahu oku iwi. No Rotorua ahau. Ko Lania Holt toku ingoa. No reira tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.

My name is Lania Holt (nee Elers for those with whom I studied and worked with in my early days in forestry). I have decades of extensive experience in forest resource planning, modelling and valuations, forestry operations, and forestry research across NZ and overseas. I currently work as a Forestry Management Scientist at Scion and on a part-time basis (from 2020 to 2023) I was seconded to also work as the Research Manager for Lake Taupo Forest Management.

Prior to joining Scion, I had a sabbatical from forestry (2005-2010) to start and raise my young family. This led me to work with the NZ Police and to be the inaugural recipient of NZ Police’s Criminal Science Award for my work in operations research modelling hotspots and profiling. When my youngest started school I returned to the industry in forestry research.

Reflecting on the forest industry across all these years, I support efforts to ensure that forestry is a relevant, strong and safe industry to be in. On council I want to advocate and represent a progressive industry that can be strengthened by greater collaboration between land and forest owners, managers, processors, and our forestry people. I see potential in new economic, social and environmental values and benefits of forestry, such as through new regimes in agroforestry and food forests (silvi-agricultural systems) that advance on the silvi-pastural systems of the 1970s. Furthermore, forestry offers specific cultural benefits to Maori who are an emerging force in forestry, and I am keen to promote the growth and development of Maori forestry in NZ.

I am of Te Arawa descent and live in Rotorua. Outside of work and being mum to two teenagers, my husband and I own a technology company, and I have administered and coached school and representative age-group and senior sports (basketball and netball) teams. I have a sense of change that will lead to new opportunities and an exciting position for forestry within the bio-economy and landscapes of NZ.

James Treadwell

An empowering business leader in forestry with in-depth sector knowledge: James is a well-respected professional with over 30 years’ of forestry experience. He is a commercial operator with a passion for sustainability, trees, and the knowledge to enhance the bottom line.

James heads Forest Leaders: an innovative strategic platform for investing the forestry sector. He has created this new opportunity for investors in forestry and carbon. Using a simple, modern approach to demystify the asset class, and to deliver excellent returns.

Drawing on a diverse range of skills and industry experience built up over decades: James has worked at every level of forestry. From lumberjack to director; forestry dealmaker to policy advisor. He is technically well-equipped, sources the finest land for forestry, and works with the best people in the business. He is committed to achieve strong performance, growth and returns. An extremely capable forestry professional who drives operational excellence, optimum forest management techniques and innovation to achieve the best results for investors.

James has also played a pivotal role in the wider NZ forestry industry: working with key stakeholders in the private and public sectors. He is President of the NZ Institute of Forestry and has helped shape the future of sustainable forest management. James has a thorough knowledge of NZ forestry and its politics. Informed with this big picture view, James is unafraid to challenge the norm, confront staid political or commercial mindsets, in pursuit of the best end-goal.

Obsessed by all things forestry, James is happy to discuss carbon opportunities with investors; nut out sustainability issues with government policy makers; or most of all, to don high-vis and get out planting.  

James can be contacted on

Council responsibilities are: NZIF Rules, Media, NZIF Newsletter

Peter Hill
Vice President

Peter has a BFor.Sc (Hons) from Canterbury and an MBA from Otago. He is a Fellow of the Institute and has been a member for 16 years. Peter chaired the Auckland local section for 5 years before moving to Wellington and this is his second term on Council.

He has spent many years developing the log export markets in Korea, China and India. He spent 10 years as General Manager of Wenita Forest Products Ltd and 13 years as Managing Director of Pentarch Forest Products Ltd. He also was President of The NZ Forest Owners Association from 1993-1995.

He has an interest in developing webinars for CPD as the loss of this years conference has deprived members of at least 10 hours of CPD which has to be replaced by some method

Council responsibilities are: CPD, Forest Fire Management Committee

Adrian Loo

Adrian is a past graduate of the University of Canterbury having completed a Bachelor of Forestry Science with First Class Honours, a Certificate in Commerce and a Master of Forestry Science degree with distinction. He is a founding member of the Future Foresters and is actively involved in a leadership role within this initiative. 

Adrian currently works within the Canterbury Region in an ETS/Project Manager role for Forest Management Limited.

Adrian is NZIF member and has been co-opted onto the council as a Future Foresters representative.

Jacqui Aimers

Jacqui has nearly 30 years’ experience as a forestry scientist. In her teens, she was convinced not to do a forestry degree in NZ, due to prejudice against women in forestry at the time (gratefully, that has changed!) but she still felt drawn to the industry. In her university summers, she worked in Westland for the NZ Forest Service in its tumultuous dying days. Her BSc Honours degree focussed on native forest ecology. After graduating, she did ecological work, and was a research assistant at FRI (now Scion).

Jacqui then completed a PhD in Forest Science at Texas A&M University, while working part-time for the Texas Forest Service. After returning to NZ, she spent 10 years at FRI, in R&D in propagation and deployment of radiata-pine, Douglas-fir and specialty species. Jacqui then set up Aimers Consulting, focusing on forest research, sustainable land use, and technical communications. In 2018, she became a Tane’s Tree Trust trustee, and was recently involved in O Tatou Ngahere ( She continues some work with exotic species, though her passion is in native forestry.

Jacqui advocates for the wider values of forests and supports different types of forestry with different species - as part of wise, sustainable land use. 

Russell Dale

I have been a member of the Institute since I was a student at the School of Forestry and have served as local section secretary, member and previous chair of the Fellows Committee and I have served one term on the Institute’s Council. My forest industry career spans a wide variety of technical, commercial, operational and senior executive roles in our largest forest companies and more recently in managing the forest industry’s investments in research and development. I retired from my full time role in managing Forest Growers Research and the Forest Growers Levy Trust investments in research at the end of 2020 but have continued my involvement in the industry through assisting with several projects and a personal forest investment. I am very familiar with issues faced by large and small forest growers and also the broader management of indigenous and non commercial forests.

I have been a Fellow of the Institute for 8 years and have been a recipient of the Institute’s Forester of the Year and Kirk Horn awards. My interest in serving for a further term on the Council is to assist NZIF in being an organisation that all industry professionals value and support. The Institute has a vital role to play as a non partisan/independent professional voice and in promoting high ethical standards by forestry professionals. There will be changes on the Council so some continuity is important and, subject to both MPI and Members final approval later this year, the role of the Institute could well go through its most significant change since its formation in 1927. I believe my knowledge of the forestry sector and experience in change management, along with a common sense approach to management of issues will be of value to the Institute during this period of change.

Council responsibilities are: Fellows

Peter Houston

Peter has been a member of the New Zealand Institute of Forestry since 1986. He graduated from Canterbury University with a Bachelor of Forestry Science with First Class Honours in 1990, and completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Business majoring in Information Systems in 1997. Peter has spent over 30 years in a variety of forest operational and management roles in Northland, Auckland and the Central North Island, and has completed a range of New Zealand certificates in Vegetation Fire, Forest Health and Occupational Health and Safety.

First employed by the NZ Forest Service in 1985, Peter has worked for the Ministry of Forestry, NZ Forest Products Ltd, Carter Holt Harvey Ltd, and is now employed by Manulife Investment Management Forest Management (NZ) Limited (since 2006) as the Forestry Operations Manager based at Whangarei.

Peter was the NZIF Registrar during the early to mid-2000’s and has been a Registered Member of the New Zealand Institute of Forestry since 2010. Peter is seeking to provide the perspective of a Professional Forester in a Forest Investment business environment

Council responsibilities are: Local Sections.

Robert Miller

"Rob graduated with a Bachelor of Forestry Science in 1976 opening the door on a career spanning 46 years and work in 18 different countries across five continents. He recently retired from the Ministry for Primary Industries where he worked for the last 19 years.

Prior to this, he plied his trade in the private sector. Starting off as a contractor, he eventually took his skills offshore working as a forestry consultant and project manager with Groome Poyry. For the good part of a decade Rob lived and worked in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Returning to New Zealand in the mid 1990’s, he continued in the private sector before crossing to the ‘dark side’ and joining the public service in 2003. Contrary to his initial trepidations, he says, working for the Government proved to be stimulating and incredibly fulfilling.

Rob initial years with the then Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry were in the Indigenous Forestry Unit and then Sustainable Programmes where he was part of a team which rolled out forestry in the Emissions Trading Scheme. In 2012 Rob took a role with the Primary Growth Partnership, promoting innovation across the primary sectors, until he reconnected with his forestry roots in 2018 and joined Crown Forestry.

Rob stood for Council because he is keen to contribute during this critical time for the NZIF as the government registration scheme for forestry advisors comes into force.

As a previous member and chair of the NZIF Registration Board and Council member with extensive forestry experience in both the commercial sector and in government, he is well positioned to help guide the NZIF through this important phase.

More than ever the forestry sector is in the limelight and the Institute needs to position itself to provide leadership for the sector as New Zealand navigates climate change, the sector’s social licence to operate, changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme, environmental impacts and the role of forestry as a sustainable land use."

Jack Palmer

Jack graduated from University of Canterbury with a Bachelor of Engineering – Forestry (Honours) in 2016 and has since been based in Wellington working at Forme Consulting Group. He works up and down the country for corporate or private, large and small forest owners. Jack’s work covers many different aspects of the forestry industry such as environmental systems and audits, job costing, valuations, carbon/ETS, productivity studies and research.

Jack is on the Executive Committee for the Future Foresters and is actively involved in initiatives to increase the good word around the forestry industry and increase the presence of young foresters in the industry. Jack aims to be the link between the Future Foresters and the NZIF as the Future Foresters representative on the NZIF council.

Christopher Richards

Recently retired, Kit has been involved in the industry for 45 years starting out on his professional career on the West Coast. There as General Manager Planning for Timberlands West Coast Ltd, he was involved in the introduction of aerial selection systems for the region’s native forests as well as part of the team bringing on to production the West Coast’s exotic plantations. Through to this period, Kit was involved in the negotiation of the West Coast Forests Accord and the transitioning of the West Coast forest estates through the reforms of the 80’s from Government Department to SOE.

After a period consulting under his own arrangements, Kit took up the position of Environment Manager for PF Olsen Ltd in 2004 in Rotorua, with responsibilities for PF Olsen’s environmental and certification performance nationwide.

Concurrent with his tenure at PF Olsen, Kit had long term involvement in the progression of Forest Certification (FSC and PEFC) in New Zealand and been an active member of the NZ Forest Owner’s Association Environment Committee including in recent times, assisting in submissions to Government on matters of the National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forestry, water reform and indigenous biodiversity legislation. He had, while on the West Coast been on the FOA communications subcommittee and during the period of Future Forest Research, Kit was Theme Leader for the Environment Theme under that organisation.

Kit is a Registered Forest Consultant specialising in environmental matters related to forestry.

Kit originally trained as a Ranger under the NZ Forest Service before qualifying with a B.For.Sci from the University of Canterbury.

Council responsibilities are: NZIF Code of Ethics and Submissions

In standing for Council, I would hope to be able to continue to assist in establishing and maintaining the NZIF as a credible and strong voice for independent Forestry advice to politicians, regulators and the public in general. Despite the considerable achievements and benefits of the plantation forestry industry over the decades, the industry remains vulnerable to a range of shifting public pressures, perceptions and changing realities linked to matters of climate change, biodiversity and water and landuse change. The imposition of the forthcoming Registration requirements also underpin the need for a very active and engaged role for the NZIF to be recognized as a key player and arbiter in what constitutes good forestry practice in all its forms.