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Agritech New Zealand

November Newsletter – Calling New Zealand agritech, it’s time to deliver!

Kia ora readers,

I’m writing this newsletter during perhaps one of the most significant weeks in Agritech New Zealand’s history.

Next week, the New Zealand cabinet will be reviewing the recommendations of the All of Government Agritech Taskforce as part of its Industry Transformation Plan (ITP). As recently reported in our monthly newsletters, we have been working closely with the Taskforce as its principal industry interface.

Later today, I’ll be emailing more than 400 delegates who attended the nationwide consultation workshops with a summary of the outcomes. It’s this summary which has influenced the Taskforce recommendations to cabinet. Thank you to everyone who contributed during these workshops, your inputs were invaluable. So what’s next? Implementation.

The Taskforce will follow this initial phase of discovery and recommendation with a list of the actions they believe can deliver the best outcomes for the sector. I will publish an ITP Special newsletter which will outline these actions, together with a call to action for Agritech New Zealand members. It remains a key ambition of the ITP programme that where possible, it is industry led. Agritech New Zealand will be doing everything we can, to ensure that the sector plays its full role in supporting the implementation.

I expect to witness some of this spirit at today’s Blinc Innovation Hub event, Climate Smart Food Production at the New Zealand Agricultural Show. I’m spending a couple of days in Canterbury meeting members and discussing some of the exciting opportunities we are setting up in 2020. Later in the month, I’ll be meeting more members in the Hawkes Bay as well as attending the Callaghan Innovation led Robotics and Automation workshop in Napier on 27 November.

Looking ahead to 2020, a significant date in my diary is the evokeAG conference, 18-19 February. More than 100 New Zealand agritech folk are expected to attend the conference in Melbourne. As a member of the evokeAG steering committee, I have seen how evokeAG has increasing amounts of trans-Tasman content. A number of New Zealand speakers will be presenting on the plenary stage and at breakout sessions and it’s great to see New Zealand Government agencies come together to promote New Zealand’s presence, led by Callaghan Innovation. Please register your interest and qualify for discounted tickets and a free pre-Mission workshop. 

Another key upcoming agritech event is MobileTECH 2020, 7-8 April in Rotorua. We have partnered with the conference and super early bird rates are now available. 

Although we are still a few weeks away from the annual year end break, it’s not too early to reflect on just some of what has been achieved over the past 12 months. Some of the key highlights for me include;

  • The launch of the New Zealand Agritech Story
  • Preparing a detailed research report on New Zealand Agritech’s Competitive Advantage, to be published in February 2020
  • The emergence of the All of Government’ agritech taskforce and Agritech New Zealand’s key role as its sector interface
  • The hosting of the Agritech Unleashed conference at National Fieldays
  • Support for major outbound agritech delegations to Australia, the United States and Europe
  • First Country Partner status with Farm2050
  • The imminent launch of the three year Farm2050 Nutrient Initiative in New Zealand
  • The signing of the strategic partnership agreement with Western Growers
  • Multiple roadshow events across New Zealand throughout the year
  • Continuously raising the profile of the sector with Government, industry partners and investors.

To everyone who has helped build and support this programme of work, a massive thanks. Next year promises to be awesome, as both industry and Government collaborate to build a significant platform for sector growth. If you would like to be involved in our 2020 programme and are not already a member of Agritech New Zealand, you can check out how to join here.

We look forward to working with you.

Ngā mihi,

Peter Wren-Hilton
Executive Director
Agritech New Zealand



In local news, local tech exports have grown by 10 percent to $12.1 billion.  Read the annual TIN 100 report highlights here

Meet Flying Kiwis and young achievers at the NZ Hi-Tech Awards alumni event on 27 November in Auckland. Also, 3 December in Wellington and 4 December in Christchurch.

Attend the IoT Waikato Tech Meetup on 18 November in Hamilton.

Empower our next generation of environmental innovators. Applications #cprize2019 close 8 December.

Learn how we can secure local business against the next generation of cyber attack.  In case you missed it, read the Digital Skills Hui post-event briefing paper.

Register to attend evening sessions on the Xero Small Business Roadshow touring now until 5 December. No registration required for daytime drop-in sessions. Find your location here.

Discover how AI is transforming agriculture and healthcare. These reports are part of the AI Forum’s research series; Towards Our Intelligent Future.

Meet our TechWomen, learn how they kick started their careers and what they do on the job. Watch the new #TechWomenNZ online series here.

Access your 10 percent member discount for Advancing Digital IT and Law and Advancing Women in Technical Industries and Roles, 25 November in Auckland.

Attend evokeAg, 18-19 February, 2020 in Melbourne. The World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit returns to San Francisco March 17-18, 2020.

View ourAgritech Story #PoweredByPlace

Agritech New Zealand Agritech New Zealand is an association of organisations and individuals that have come together to lead a programme of work, taking a key role in growing our country’s capability to maximise the opportunities enabled by agritech and address any challenges.