Arborists Nicky Ward-Allen, of Eltham, and James Kilpatrick,
of Tauranga, will join Asia Pacific champion Scott Forrest in
representing New Zealand at the International Tree Climbing
Championship next year after winning the women's and men's
categories in Queenstown at the weekend.
About 30 winners from regional competitions, plus arborists
from around New Zealand and overseas attended the New Zealand
Arboricultural Association conference and National Tree
Climbing Championship in the resort.
New Zealand association vice-president Chris Walsh, of
Christchurch, said arborists were the envy of many office
workers and employers were crying out for them, but they were
in short supply.
New Zealanders are tree climbing world champions in both the
men's and women's division after Forrest and Ward-Allen won
their divisions in Toronto, in August.
The 2014 championship will be held in Milwaukee next August.
Mr Walsh said more arborists were needed and consequently the
industry was being heavily promoted to school leavers.
''Not everybody is academic'' and arboriculture is ''the
perfect job'' for thrill-seekers, he said.
''It's the envy of a lot of people who work in offices.''
A trained arborist could easily find work in both New Zealand
and overseas, he said.
The association's annual conference was held in the resort on
Thursday and Friday and the tree-climbing championship was
held in the Queenstown Gardens and Lakeview on Saturday.
Climbers competed in five events: a work climb, throwline,
speed climb, aerial rescue and footlock.
The men's and women's winners were determined by a points
International Society of Arboriculture president Terry
Flanagan, of Oregon, spoke at the conference. Queenstown was
not far to come for the society's president-elect, Mark
Roberts, of Dunedin.
Mr Roberts takes over the presidency in 2014, representing
the society's 20,000 members from 18 countries.