Harvesting

Right from the start, the business has involved felling trees.  In the early days, Trevor Benson felled the trees himself for milling into battens with his portable batten mill.  He had a tiny Bristol 25 bulldozer to pull the logs.  Once a post peeler was installed in 1983, the company needed substantially more logs.  So Trevor employed two men who worked full-time harvesting logs.

From this very humble beginning, the company now has three harvesting crews working in the Waimarino to Wanganui area which operate under the name Hautapu Logging.  Hautapu Logging is managed by Chris Benson and is essentially a separate business to the mill - the crews are contracted to other companies and only occasionally provide logs for the mill.

Two crews work part of the year for Ernslaw One Ltd, one doing road-lining in the Waimarino forest and the other production thinning in Karioi.  When not working for Ernslaw One Ltd, these two crews and the company's third crew, work for FOMS a forestry management company.