Posted by Harvey Wood
The Development committee of the Rotary Club of Waimate organised an educational trip for members to Primeport Timaru.
The Rotary Club of Waimate's Development committee organised an afternoon educational trip for members on Wednesday 6 November.  Director Mark Brown ushered a group of twelve onto a bus and first took us to the workshop of Peter Bland.  Peter is a motorcycle enthusiast and has a passion for restoring vintage motorcyles, in particular Triumph bikes produced by BSA.   He is working on a number of restoration projects, including the  New Hudson in the picture.  Parts are purchased new and second-hand, traded at swap meets,  or made from scratch in Peter's workshop.  Peter and partner Linda moved to Waimate from Australia, and together are restoring the grand old farmhouse that is their home.  
Our group then travelled to the Port of Timaru, which is operated by Primeport Timaru. We were met by Malcolm MacDonald, Timaru branch manager of NFA Ltd.  This company organised the logistics of exporting thousands of tons of logs from the port.  The industry uses the Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS) cubic metres (m3) as a measure of log volume.  A typical logging truck might carry 28-32 JAS m3, and a typical freighter would transport about 35,000 JAS m3.  The port has enough storage for about 70,000 JAS m3  and Malcolm's company is responsible for juggling these enormous numbers.  In addition, his company must record and identify every single log that enters the port.  Primeport annually exports about 500,000 m3  of logs.   In comparison Port of Tauranga exports about 5,000,000 mof logs every year.
We were next joined by the Chief Executive of Primeport, Phil Melhopt.  Phil gave us exclusive access to the working areas of the harbour, pointing out the improvements that the company has made to the wharves, the fishing boats both big and small, and discussing the legacies of past misfortunes.  The log storage area will be upgraded in the future with a raised and permanent surface.   Phil was buoyant about the company's future prospects and the confidence that international companies have shown in the port.
With the tour complete,  the group enjoyed fellowship at the Timaru Town and Country Club, before returning to Waimate.
Below; Rotarians and friends at the motorcyle restoration workshop.  Peter and Linda are on the left.