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Primary Sector Council announced

Hon Damien O’Connor
Minister of Agriculture
and Rural Communities


26 April 2018
MEDIA STATEMENT

Primary Sector Council announced

A group of visionary agribusiness leaders is set to help our primary sector capture more value from its work, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Communities Damien O’Connor says.

Mr O’Connor today announced the membership of the Primary Sector Council, which will provide independent strategic advice to the Government on issues confronting the primary industries – with an immediate focus on developing a sector-wide vision.

“This group of 15 innovative leaders from across the sector will provide fresh thinking at a time when New Zealand’s primary sector is facing unprecedented levels of change.

“Does that vision coalesce around ideas of sustainability, grower to plate storytelling, pasture-fed protein, smarter use of water and appealing to consumers who are prepared to pay more for products that align with their personal values?

“I do not have all the answers myself, which is why I am excited about the work the council will do.

“The council will be chaired by Lain Jager, former Chief Executive of Zespri Group.

“Lain brings solid experience in leadership, value-adding innovation and stakeholder engagement, which are all critical elements of the work I expect the council to deliver.
“The council will have its first meeting in late May. Once it has developed a sector-wide vision it will work with each sector to develop individual strategic plans.

“These plans will include elements such as sustainable development, future value creation, technological opportunities and how a focused and thriving primary sector can reinvigorate rural communities.

“We’ve heard a lot recently about alternative proteins and the potential impact on our meat and dairy sectors. We also know some change will be required on environmental sustainability and a shift away from a commodity and volume focus. This move will give the primary sector its social licence to reap the opportunities of changing consumer trends.

“Kiwi growers and farmers have an immense collective knowledge and energy; they know sitting still is not an option and are constantly looking at ways to improve their operations. The Primary Sector Council will help harness that expertise.

“The Young Horticulturist of the Year and the Young Farmer of the Year will also be invited to attend sessions as a development opportunity,” says Damien O’Connor.


Primary Sector Council membership

Lain Jager (Chair) Lain is ex-Chief Executive of Zespri. He previously held roles in human resources, grower relations and corporate strategy.

Nadine Tunley Nadine is the Chief Executive of Watson & Son and Managing Director of Energie Produce. Until recently, she was the Chair of Pipfruit NZ.

Puawai Wereta Puawai is General Manager, Sustainability and Innovation, at Tuaropaki Trust, where she is involved in a range of primary sector projects. The trust administers Tuaropaki land north of Taupo.

Julia Jones Julia is a farm enterprise specialist at KPMG, with a background in banking for the agriculture sector and financial markets.

Tony Egan Tony is Managing Director of Greenlea Premier Meats Ltd and Chairman of the Agricultural and Marketing Research and Development Trust.

John Brakenridge John is Chairman of the New Zealand Merino Company Ltd and is the founder of the Te Hono Bootcamp Initiative. He is currently on the board of Landcorp Farming Ltd.

Stephanie Howard Stephanie is Projects Director at the Sustainability Council NZ. Her current research is on new genetic modification techniques and the governance of nanotechnologies.

Shama Lee Shama is the founder and Chief Executive of Sunfed Meats. She has experience in software development, business logistics and commercial strategy.

Mark Paine Mark is the Strategy and Investment Leader for People and Business at DairyNZ. Prior to this, he was the Dairy Australia Principal Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne.

Julian Raine Julian is the President and Chairman of Directors on the Horticulture NZ Board.

Neil Richardson Neil is a chair and director on various boards, including the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology and Seales Winslow Ltd. He has consulting experience across a number of sectors, including agribusiness, transportation and distribution.

Miriana Stephens Miriana is a Director of Wakatu Incorporation. She also runs Aotahi (which develops and manages educational programmes) and is a trustee on Te Āwhina marae.

John Rodwell John is the Executive Director of Lindis Crossing Station, Kintore Farm Ltd, a Director of Landcare Research NZ Ltd and has a background in finance.

Steve Saunders Steve is the owner, founder and Managing Director of Plus Group companies and is the co-founder of Newnham Park Horticulture Innovation Centre.

Steve Smith Steve is Chancellor of Lincoln University. He is also the founder and owner of Smith & Co and has extensive experience in the wine industry.

Also invited to council meetings are the Young Horticulturist and Young Farmer of the Year. These are currently:

Shanna Hickling Shanna is the 2017 Young Horticulturist of the Year and is the R&D Manager at Linnaeus Laboratory in Gisborne.

Nigel Woodhead Nigel is the 2017 FMG Young Farmer of the Year. He has a sheep and beef farm in Otago.


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