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Kia ora,

Welcome to the first Agritech New Zealand newsletter of 2019 and what an unbelievable start to the year it has been.  I’ll try to summarise where we are at and where we are heading, because it’s going to be a blockbuster 12 months!

The New Zealand Agritech Story

At the end of last year, we started working with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) to develop New Zealand’s unique agritech story. Work on this is now rapidly progressing and industry workshops have been scheduled  for 5 March in Hamilton, 6 March in Palmerston North and 7 March in Lincoln. If you are a member, you will be receiving an invitation to attend these sessions. It is your opportunity to influence and be part of the story, so please take the time to attend.

Introducing the ‘The Application of IoT in Agriculture’ Event Series

In April, Agritech New Zealand, in association with BiotechNZ and the New Zealand IoT Alliance, will host presentations on 9 April in Christchurch, 10 April in Wellington and 11 April in Auckland. These events are free for Agritech New Zealand members and will include an international keynote speaker, a panel of experts and a networking session.  More details in next month’s newsletter.


Yesterday, I joined more than half of the New Zealand delegates attending the evokeAG agritech conference in Melbourne next week.  Working with Callaghan Innovation and NZTE, we have established a four day immersion programme which includes farm visits and meetings with key players in the Australian agritech sector.  Learn more about the event here.

All of Government Agritech Taskforce Update

Last week, I met a number of senior Government agency representatives in Wellington. This follows on from several Ministerial meetings towards the end of last year and a decision by Ministers to develop an all of Government taskforce to support the growth of the agritech sector. Agritech New Zealand is acting as the interface between this taskforce and industry. I have further meetings over the coming weeks and will report back on developments.

Launching the Farm2050 Disruptive Nutrient Technology Initiative

Last month, I also met a number of Farm2050 partners in San Diego to discuss the upcoming Farm2050 global Disruptive Nutrient Technology Initiative. New Zealand is taking a lead role in this initiative as first country partner of Farm2050.  You can learn more in my blog update here.

We plan to schedule a series of workshops across the country in April and May. The aim is to provide local companies with an opportunity to engage directly with some of the world’s largest agribusinesses including Bayer, Syngenta, Corteva and Nutrien. The focus of the initiative is to identify nutrient technologies that improve plant absorption efficiency and create reductions in environmental impact such as run-off. A number of Farm2050’s venture partners are also engaging directly with this initiative. More details to come.

National Fieldays 2019

Talking of global partners, we are in the process of finalising an agreement with National Fieldays to host a major innovation event at Mystery Creek in June.  We will be hosting a series of sessions in the Bledisloe Building on day two of Fieldays, Thursday 13 June. This will include the formal launch of the New Zealand agritech story as well as providing a platform for our sector to showcase our tech to an international audience. A number of Farm2050’s global partners are expected to attend and several major announcements impacting the future of the sector are expected.

It’s been an exciting start to the year with a number of new initiatives either underway or in review. If you have not already signed up as a member of Agritech New Zealand, I would urge you to do so.

For further details of the benefits on offer and the opportunity to take part in some of the major initiatives planned, please visit

Ngā mihi

Peter Wren-Hilton
Executive Director
Agritech New Zealand

NZ HI-TECH AWARDS – Entries close 4 March!

AIForum – Join AI-Day on 28 March


Attend AgriFutures evokeAG, 19-20 February in Melbourne.   See the latest on-farm technologies and hear from experts about automation and robotics in future farming.  Discover the future of waste as an emerging supply chain and more.

Peter Wren-Hilton, Agritech New Zealand’s Executive Director is presenting on the future of the agritech sector in New Zealand at MobileTECH 2019, 3-4 April in Rotorua.   Early bird tickets are available until 22 February.

Create connections in the AI and FinTech ecosystems. Join us on 14 February in Wellington21 February in Auckland and 27 February in Christchurch. Tech Alliance members receive two tickets for the price of one for Wellington and Christchurch.  Register today only with the promo code: TA2FOR25

Attend Central District Fieldays, 14-16 March in Feilding.  Save the date for Fieldays, 12-15 June in Hamilton. Lightning Lab Tourism and the Edmund Hillary Fellowship are now accepting applications.

What does the future of New Zealand’s public sector look like?  Register to attend the Future Government Summit, 26-27 February, 2019 and help create a roadmap for the future.

Considering entering the 2019 Hi-Tech Awards?  Here’s six reasons why you should enter.  Entries close 4 March and finalists will be announced on 27 March.  Save the date for the Gala Dinner, 24 May in Auckland, during Techweek19.

In local news,  learn more about New Zealand’s world first IoT farming trial. Plus, more on the new global initiative into emerging nutrient technologies.

World changing ideas are born in New Zealand!  Meet the UpStartersand learn more about New Zealand’s tech and innovation story. Watch videos and download the showcase booklet.

Register for the TechMarketers 2019 Conference on 28 February in Auckland, or forward to your Marketing colleagues. Email now to get your NZ Tech community discount code.

Agritech New Zealand is a membership funded organisation.  If you are not already a member, please consider joining us.  Have you been forwarded this newsletter? Receive your own copy each month, simply subscribe here.  

Thinking of getting involved in Techweek19?  Event submissions are now open.