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The path followed into forestry employment

15 August 2022

Recently Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service caught up with Papu Sale and Shayden Williams – two young men who recently completed the Limited Service Volunteer (LSV) programme in Christchurch, New Zealand and are now working for Inta-Wood Forestry, based in the Bay of Plenty.

LSV is a voluntary 6-week training course for 17-24 year olds run by New Zealand Defence Force and MSD. It prepares youth for employment, training or further study by providing great life skills. Let’s hear about Papu and Shayden’s journey into forestry employment and what it’s been like so far.

1. Tell us a bit about your journey to get here

Papu: “I’m one of four brothers from West Auckland, Henderson Valley, but originally from Samoa. I’ve done a few different jobs over my life so far, but was wanting more direction and to find myself again after a few tough years”.

Shayden – “I’m from a small town in Northland called Kaeo where I grew up living mainly with my Nana as the youngest of five. I was headed down a path that wasn’t ideal and six months ago knew something had to change. I heard about the LSV course and saw it as an opportunity to get some direction and get on track”.

2. Tell us about the LSV course

Papu/Shayden: “Awesome. You make lots of great friends and get really inspired and motivated by the leaders that run it”. “The LSV course gave us confidence to challenge ourselves. Everyone there was on a different journey and from a different life.”

Papu: “The course allows you to leave any life trauma and negativity behind – you leave it at the course and move forward”.

What made you choose forestry?

Shayden: “I loved talking to Raumati (Inta-Wood Forestry). There was “no bull”. He was straight up and real and pure about the job. He described it as being hard and tough sometimes out in the elements, but rewarding”.

How did Inta-Wood Forestry help you transition into this job?

Papu/Shayden: “They helped us find a place to live and have even offered us rides on the weekend till we get sorted with a car. They have been awesome”.

“The crew manager Wiremu and Raumati made sure we felt welcomed into the crew, gave us a uniform etc. and have been a big part of helping us feel settled in”.

What does your day look like?

Papu: “We start at 5.30am on site then break at 11am for an hour before continuing into the afternoon. We have recently been pruning trees and are now into planting”.

Shayden: “When I first started it took a bit to get ‘bush fit’, although we had already got pretty fit at LSV. You can’t beat heading home for a hot shower to rest your tired muscles but it’s a good tired though – you know you’ve done a good day’s work and challenged yourself”.

What do you enjoy about working in forestry?

Papu: “I love that you can challenge yourself every day, and love working outdoors with our crew mates. The bush teaches you to back yourself and it heals and humbles you”.

Shayden: “I know that whether I have a good day or bad day for whatever reason, it’s still a good day and my attitude is to never quit”.

How does it make you feel knowing how far you’ve come

Papu/Shayden: “Yeah am proud of getting here and my whanau are pretty proud too I think”.

What advice would you give to others considering forestry?

Papu: “ Get out and there and challenge yourself”.

Shayden: “With the right attitude and people around you, supporting you on your journey, you can do anything!”.

We look forward to following Papu and Shayden as they continue on their forestry journey.

For more information about LSV, check out their website And follow them on:

Photo: L-R: Papu Sale and Shayden Williams

Source: Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service

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