At Summit we aim to enable a passionate team by respecting diversity and embracing innovation. People are at the forefront of everything we do.
We currently employ over 200 people which includes internal operational staff as well as skilled, valued contractors in silviculture, roading, harvesting and cartage.
Due to our continuing strong growth, we are always looking for motivated, friendly, skilled people to join our team across the regions we work in: Northland, Coromandel, Auckland and Gisborne. Please see our Careers page for current vacancies or to register your interest.
What is the most important thing in the world? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata. It is the people, it is the people, it is the people.
— Maori proverb.
Senior Management Team
We place prime importance on transparency, integrity and sound management with utmost respect for all stakeholders.
Kenji Okawa has extensive forestry and wood processing industry experience. Having joined the Sumitomo Corporation Wood Resources business department April 2006, he has expertise in international log trading through the Tokyo trading desk; wood harvesting and processing experience through secondment to OAO Terneyles in Russia; and — prior to being appointed managing director – he was responsible for business development and corporate planning at Summit Forests in New Zealand.
As Managing Director, Kenji is responsible for leadership, strategic direction, shareholder and key stakeholder relationships, and general management of Summit’s overall business.
Kenji has a Bachelor of Law and Political Science from the Keio University in Tokyo, and is fluent in English, Russian and Japanese.
Chief Financial Officer
Joel Clements joined Summit Forests in 2018 from his previous role as Financial Controller of a dual-listed insurance company. Joel is responsible for financial leadership, risk management, strategic direction, and general management of Summit’s business interests.
Joel’s previous roles include Financial Controller, Assistant Vice President at a Bermuda-based global reinsurance group; Finance Manager, and Vice President at Marsh Bermuda. He started his career in the business advisory, tax, and insolvency teams at Gosling Chapman.
Joel has been a director of a number of companies in the Bermuda captive insurance and special purpose insurer arena.
He is a Chartered Accountant with CAANZ; has a Bachelor of Management Studies with first-class honours from the University of Waikato; and is an Associate in Risk Management with the American Insurance Institute.
Yoshifumi (Fumi) Tajima
Yoshifumi (Fumi) Tajima joined Summit Forests in 2023. He has been with the wider Sumitomo Corporation group since 2008, initially working in international commodity trading in Tokyo, before being dispatched to the Beijing office where he engaged in log and wooden product sales and marketing in China. Fumi returned to Tokyo in 2016 to join the Wood Resources business department, focusing on international log trading and overseeing Sumitomo’s international forestry subsidiaries, including Summit Forests.
As Corporate Planning Manager, Fumi is involved in all aspects of Summit’s business management, ensuring Summit Forests’ strategic plans are aligned with Sumitomo Corporation’s.
Fumi has a Bachelor of Law and Political Science from the Keio University in Tokyo, and is fluent in English, Chinese and Japanese.
Head of Forests
As Summit’s Head of Forestry, Richard leads the development of forestry strategies, operations, and long-term business planning. Richard joined Summit Forests in 2018 from his previous role as Southern North Island Regional Manager at PF Olsen.
Richard is an experienced forestry leader – from a farming background – with sound operational, staff, sales and relationship management expertise and deep practical experience ranging from ground-level harvesting and engineering, through to strategic planning and reporting to the board of directors.
Richard has worked for a number of blue chip forestry companies across both New Zealand and Australia. He has a Bachelor of Forestry Science from the University of Canterbury, and has completed a range of additional training courses across both the forestry and leadership fields.
Head of Business Development & Investments
Rob McGregor joined Summit in July 2020 as Head of Export and was appointed Head of Business Development and Investments in April 2023. Rob is a proven forestry professional with deep experience in logistics and procurement in forestry export markets in the Asia Pacific Rim and practical experience across the full forestry spectrum including forest valuations and estate modelling, acquisition due diligence, harvest management, forestry engineering, international shipping, and sales negotiations.
Rob is responsible for overseeing the export function at Summit Forests, along with acquisition strategy and diligence, and development of new and non-core business lines.
Rob has previously held roles with Rayonier, China Forestry Group, and Indufor Asia Pacific. He has a Bachelor of Forestry Science (Hons) and a Master of Engineering Management at the University of Canterbury.
National Health, Safety, & Environment Manager
Chayne Zinsli joined Summit in June 2021 as the Health and Safety Manager and was appointed National Health, Safety and Environmental Manager in June 2022. Chayne has extensive environmental and safety experience spanning over 30 years, holding senior roles with Carter Holt Harvey, Metrowater, Auckland Council, Auckland Transport, T&G Global, and Ventia.
Chayne is responsible for leading the development and implementation of best practise, fit-for-purpose health, safety and environmental systems and processes for Summit Forests, and leading a culture of risk awareness and ownership across the business.
Chayne has a Bachelor of Forestry Science (Hons) at the University of Canterbury, a Graduate Diploma in Professional Practice (Occupational H&S) from the Otago Polytechnic, and a Certificate in Occupational Safety and Health Management from Massey University.
Carolynn Rewi joined Summit in 2019 as HR Manager, responsible for providing the leadership team with strategic HR guidance, and leading people-focused initiatives that drive Summit’s performance.
Previously Carolynn held senior HR lead roles in the healthcare sector and with a Fortune 500 technology company. She has over 20 years of HR experience, covering a variety of general and specialist areas of HR including welfare, immigration and advisory.
With extensive employee relations experience, Carolynn brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in creating workplace cultures for people to thrive and be at their best.
Carolynn has a Bachelor of Commerce in Business Management from the University of Otago.