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Kia ora readers,

Beannachdan bho Irelad (Greetings from Ireland). In fact, greetings from the 2019 Irish Ploughing Championships in Carlow. I’m here as part of the Callaghan Innovation led delegation of more than 20 New Zealand agritech entities. We are not alone as the events attracts over 250,000 visitors in just three days!

The highlight of my week is the international launch of the New Zealand Agritech story. I will be joined by New Zealand Ambassador to Ireland, Brad Burgess, and the team from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) to launch our story. Based on the theme, ‘Powered by Place’, the story talks about New Zealand’s values and Kaitiakitanga, our guardianship and respect for the land.

Yesterday, NZTE posted the New Zealand Agritech story campaign assets on our website, This includes video, images and case studies. I have been working closely with the NZTE creative team for the past nine months, helping to provide industry insights into its production and I’m delighted that Agritech New Zealand is taking ownership of the story. Going forward we will continue to work in partnership with NZTE, as we develop more collateral for the sector. Use of these assets by New Zealand agritech entities is available license-free. It’s our aim to provide assets that our agritech businesses can use to promote their own products or services. Check out the links on our website to view and access these assets.

At last week’s meeting of the Agritech New Zealand Executive Council, we agreed a draft Heads of Agreement with the Precision Agriculture Association of New Zealand (PAANZ) which will see both organisations partner into a single entity. The PAANZ Board had approved the draft the previous week. I look forward to working with the Chair and Board of PAANZ as we progress the process. It will see the emergence of a strong unified organisation that is not only focused on the scaling of the agritech sector but also on the adoption of that technology by farmers and growers in New Zealand. It’s a powerful combination.

Since the last newsletter, have spent much of the past four weeks working with the Government’s agritech strategy task force as we have sought industry input into the Government’s Industry Transformation Plan for the sector. Over 300 delegates attended our workshops in Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, Palmerston North and Lincoln. Our next steps are to aggregate the input received from these workshops and assist the taskforce present a list of action and initiative recommendations to government. Despite a tight deadline, we are aiming to deliver these recommendations to Ministers by the end of next month.

Before flying to Ireland, I spent Thursday and Friday last week at the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum (ANZLF) event in Auckland. This is the annual gathering of government ministers and business leaders from both countries. I had been approached by ANZLF in May with a request to develop an agritech focused proposal for the Forum. I spoke to a number of ecosystem colleagues across the Tasman and on Thursday we launched the Australian New Zealand Agritech Council. It’s designed to promote the trans-Tasman region as an agritech hub to the global venture capital community. You can learn more here:

As we approach the final quarter of 2019, there is no sign of any slow down in activity. Work has already begun on the evokeAG conference in Melbourne in February and the MobileTECH conference in April. We continue to work with our Government partners to raise the profile of the sector both at home and offshore.

As they say in Ireland, Tabharfaidh an obair chrua na torthaí isteach (The hard work will deliver the results).

Ngā mihi,

Peter Wren-Hilton
Executive Director
Agritech New Zealand


The future of sustainable farming is being showcased in a trial on Kowhai Farm. Learn more about the Internet of Things at the 2019 IoT Half-Day Conference on 3 October in Auckland.

Explore business opportunities in Singapore with networking events on 19 September in Tauranga and 20 September in Auckland. Join Ag Innovations Bootcamp on 1 October in Hamilton.

Medicine, science and tech! New Zealand’s first medicinal cannabis summit, MedCan 2020 has been announced by BioTechNZRegister your interest for the 19 March, 2020 event.

Investors in New Zealand’s early stage capital markets are being invited to comment on policy settings for the new Venture Capital Fund. The Angel Association’s annual founders survey closes 20 September.

Ahead of the APEC SME Summit 2019, 14 November in Santiago de Chile, applications are now open for Inventing the Future 2019 startup challenge. Entries close 29 September.

Other closing dates; 27 September for Deloitte’s Corporate Entrepreneur Awards, 29 September for Inventing the Future 2019, 4 October for Callaghan’s RFP for incubators and 25 October for our study tour of China

Attend the Future of 3DP in MedTech on 1 October in Christchurch. Advancing Women in Technical Industries and Roles is 25 November in Auckland. Learn more about the current state of women in tech, returnships and leadership opportunities.

TechLeaders recently met with Minister Jones to discuss how to accelerate digital advancement in provincial New Zealand. Explore their insights and read the briefing paper here. Watch Techweek TV on demand; automation in agritechaerospace and agritech and more.

Standards New Zealand is looking for digital entrepreneurs with ideas for how to use standards content in new ways to make it more useful for those who put them into practice. Learn more.

Discover how AI can help New Zealand in the newly published report Towards Our Intelligent Future. Plus read Interactive Aotearoa – driving growth and wellbeing through interactive media.