About Us

Action Forest Management Ltd is a multi-skilled forestry business based near Motueka providing professional forestry silviculture and conservation contracting services. Formed in 2005, it is owned and managed by husband-and-wife team Robin and Liz Thompson. Rob McLean is our knowledgeable Operations Manager. Collectively, AFM has considerable skills and experience in the forestry industry. We also employ Steph Thompson for financial administration and payroll services.

AFM can plan, implement and manage any aspect of a forest operation, from providing quality assured contract services only through to full management of a forest as an investment in wood. PF Olsen are happy to provide support services such as mapping, stand records, environmental risk management, forest insurance and electronic transaction system (carbon credit forestry).

AFM believes good land preparation is the key to effective and efficient completion of future operations.
- Robin Thompson


Sustainability Commitment

AFM is committed to minimising the impact of its operations on the environment. This commitment extends from minimising home office power use through to training staff in environmental awareness. AFM vehicles are all fitted with Eroad vehicle tracking mechanisms and provide live feedback to drivers on safe and efficient driving techniques. All crew managers hold Growsafe accreditation for application of chemicals where this is a necessary part of our forestry or conservation operation. All crew managers and members hold NZQA 17772 for knowledge of environmental requirements, with new crew members aiming to achieve this qualification in the first 4 months of employment.

Health & Safety

AFM achieved tertiary accreditation at it’s first ACC audit in 2006 and has maintained this high standard ever since. ACC tertiary accreditation was only awarded to those organisations that actively demonstrated a commitment to continuous improvement to Health and Safety. AFM retained its accreditation through to 2018 when this accreditation ceased. The great safety culture continues through to today ensuring annual audits by large forest owner/manager clients are successfully completed.

Business Awards

AFM was selected as a finalist in the 2007 Nelson/Tasman Chamber of Commerce Business Awards for both the Medium Business and the Primary Industries Awards. In 2012 AFM won the overall Customer Service Award and was again a finalist for the Medium Business Award Category.

Forestry Awards

Tony Dell (Crew Manager) was selected as the winner of the Forest/Silviculture Sector in the 2019 FICA Top of the South Forest Awards. Dean Hewitt (Crew Manager) was runner up.

Utes and people at skid sites

Action Forest Management Team


Prior to setting up AFM in 2005, Robin worked for 5 years as a Forestry and Rural Fire Specialist providing a wide range of forest management services. He has worked in the forest industry since 1974, originally employed by H. Baigent and Sons Ltd as a forest ranger trainee and then Carter Holt Harvey Forests, holding various management positions for Carter Holt Harvey Forest Nelson/Canterbury Southern Region. His expertise covers Silviculture, Establishment and Protection Operations, and has managed Harvesting and Roading operations. Robin also has considerable expertise in Rural Fire Management and operated in the NZ National Rural Fire Authority then FENZ National Incident Management Teams and was a practicing Wildfire Investigator from 2001 to 2020.


Liz has been part of AFM’s Rural Fire Fighting contingent for many years and has now joined the company as Health and Safety Manager. Prior to this she was a successful physiotherapist running her own business.


With over 35 years’ experience in the industry, Rob is responsible for delivering high standards of work on time and on budget to AFM's clients. His depth of experience and calm confident approach is respected by the crews he manages and ensures the smooth running of AFM work programs. Rob is also a CompeteNZ Assessor, sharing the skill training and assessments with Crew Manager Tony Dell.


Dean joined AFM in 2008 and is Growsafe qualified and is highly skilled in ground herbicide applications pre and post plant release treatments. Dean is an extremely organised Crew Manager and successfully runs crews of up to 10 people undertaking planting and wilding pine ground control operations.

Dean is a highly skilled and experienced Fire Fighting Crew Leader and has been deployed overseas to Victoria and Tasmania to fight large fires.

Dean is as accurate with his camera as he is with his spray gun and has captured many great AFM people and operations photographs.


Riki also joined AFM in 2008 stepping up to lead his crew in 2012. He is Growsafe qualified. Riki's attention to detail is passed on to his crew ensuring the job is done right first time. 

Riki also has considerable Wilding Pine Ground Control practical experience and has stepped in to run the 10-person Wilding Crew when required and annually leads a tree planting crew.

Riki is a highly skilled and experienced Fire Fighting Crew Leader.

Tony Dell

Tony has been with AFM since 2014 is an experienced Crew Manager specialising in running our Thinning to Waste Crew and a planting Crew each winter.

Tony is a CompeteNZ trainer and assessor and assists with the implementing the upskilling and certification of AFM crew members.

Tony is a highly skilled and experienced Fire Fighting Crew Leader and is also qualified as an Initial Response Incident Controller.

Tony was selected as the winner of the Forest/Silviculture Sector in the 2019 FICA Top of the South Forest Awards.


Callum joined AFM in May 2021 and had worked on Wilding Pines Ground Control, completed two Planting seasons, and undertaken Tree Pruning operations.

Callum soon showed his leadership potential and is now the pruning Crew Manager.

Callum was selected for a two day Ministry or Primary industries Leadership Course in mid- 2022 which helped enhance his natural leadership qualities.


Steph joined AFM in 2018 and manages this demanding role very well.