Tena Koutou katoa, Ko Howell Davies taku ingoa. I whanau mi o ki Wēra. Kei te noho ana au ki Muriwai inaianei.
Greetings to you all, my name is Howell Davies. My family where I grew up is in Wales. I now reside in Muriwai.
I welcome this opportunity to introduce myself as the incoming president of the New Zealand Arboricultural Association. In the first couple of sentences, I have introduced myself using what is called my ‘mihi’ in the indigenous language of New Zealand – Maori. As you can see, I come from Wales originally, a small town west of Cardiff. When I was growing up, Welsh was just starting to see a major resurgence, being taught in schools and used on bilingual signage. The last time I was home in 2017 it was great to see the language and culture flourishing.
I came to NZ in 1994 with my now Kiwi wife, and the plan for us at that stage was to stay the summer and then look to travel more. However, things changed quickly when we decided to buy some land and I helped to build the house from the foundations up. We got married in December 1995 and I have made NZ my permanent home. I became a citizen in 2017.
I have been working here in the tree care industry for the last 27 years, and it will be 30 years later this year since I first started working in arboriculture, in the USA. My career started with dragging brush and digging holes for planting trees. I have worked as a practical arborist and have experience with a range of machinery including excavators and cranes. I achieved my Diploma in Arboriculture with Distinction in 2005.
I have worked for Auckland Council for 20 years, holding a number of arboricultural roles in the planning department, contract management for parks operations and now a strategic role as the Principal Specialist Urban Ngahere (Forest). I was involved in the development of the Auckland Council Urban Ngahere Strategy 2019 and I am currently working on the long-term implementation of the 18 high-level objectives of that strategy.
I have been involved with the NZ Arb Association for about 15 years as a volunteer and have presented at three of the annual conferences alongside a range of international speakers, including Jeremy Barrell, Russell Horsey and Ted Green from the UK. I have held a position on the association’s executive for five years now, and as the incoming president in November 2021 I have a two-year term. It is a real honour for me to be able to play a leadership role in the development of the NZ association and I look forward to working with John Parker and others in AA UK.
I look forward to furthering the relationship that NZ Arb and the AA have developed over the last few years, and any of you in the UK are very welcome to check out the NZ Association. If you are thinking of coming to the southern hemisphere, qualified arborists are very highly sought after in NZ and there is a fantastic range of opportunities within our industry.
I have seen the industry in NZ develop over the time I have been involved and it has always been for the better. NZ has had a number of world champion climbers in the ISA International Tree Climbing Championships, in both the men’s and women’s competitions, which to me highlights the fact that although we are a small country at the bottom of the South Pacific, we are an awesome country and have some really technically skilled arborists who are world-beaters.
NZ has magical scenery in my view, a climate that ranges from temperate to sub-tropical and trees from all parts of the world, along with some pretty good wine, great craft beer and awesome fresh food. So please get in contact with NZ Arb if you want to know more about New Zealand and the careers on offer in our tree care industry. We look forward to seeing you in Aotearoa.
For more information, visit www.nzarb.org.nz or email email@example.com.
This article was taken from Issue 196 Spring 2022 of the ARB Magazine, which is available to view free to members by simply logging in to the website and viewing your profile area.