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Since its inception in 2018, AgriTechNZ has grown significantly and now combines the resources of members, supporters, funders and researchers. We are a 160+ member-strong organisation with the people, passion, resources and direction to deliver value to producers, growers, researchers, Government and our agritech businesses large and small.

We’re now able to progress and participate in work that will benefit global agriculture, New Zealand, our sector and our businesses. The New Zealand Government’s Agritech Industry Transformation Plan enables us as businesses and government organisations to collaborate in new ways. AgriTechNZ is now the only group that represents a collective and independent view of the agritech sector in New Zealand. We have a lot to be proud of: our work empowers primary production, and together we can take this even further. Let’s make the most of the many opportunities ahead of us. 

Welcome to our experienced new Executive Council

AgriTechNZ’s Executive Council (EC) has now replaced the formative Establishment Council. The new EC includes Andrew Hoggard, National President of Federated Farmers, Dan Bloomer of LandWISE, Daniel O’Brien of AWS, Simon Yarrow of Callaghan Innovation, Sophie Rebbeck of Lincoln Agritech, Peter Nation, CEO of New Zealand National Fieldays, Brendan O’Connell (independent), and deputy chair Dion Cawood of Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC).

Introducing our new Interim CEO

Brendan O’Connell has been appointed as the interim CEO while the Executive Council formally recruits a permanent CEO. He will build on the successes achieved during Peter Wren-Hilton’s tenure as Executive Director and will continue working with Peter in the further delivery of member benefits. In this role Brendan will work with members and government representatives to further develop the ITP opportunities and progress existing projects.

Brendan has a technology leadership background and has developed a strong affinity with the agritech sector, its people and its purpose. 

On behalf of the EC and all members, I extend our thanks and appreciation to Peter and Jacqui Wren-Hilton for their significant contribution to the establishment of AgriTechNZ. We are delighted that they can continue to add their experience and insight in an advisory role with a particular focus on key global alliances. 

Your opportunity to be involved 

Over the past 12 months, AgriTechNZ has been working with the ‘all of New Zealand Government’ taskforce to assist with the delivery of the Agritech Industry Transformation Plan (ITP). The published Agritech ITP document proposes two initial High Impact projects and six workstreams, designed to support the development of New Zealand’s agritech sector’s ecosystem. (The document is available here). 

To provide ongoing industry leadership and support to the government’s ITP taskforce, AgriTechNZ is establishing Industry Reference Groups to consider the proposed High Impact Projects and workstreams, to recommend actions and, in selected cases, be the vehicle for implementation of initiatives.

Some of these groups are already partly or fully formed, based on existing work and engagement. AgriTechNZ is now helping to further develop the scope, purpose and structures for these groups to enable even greater industry engagement.

The domains for these Industry Reference Groups include:

  • Robotics, Automation & Sensing Academy 
  • Farm2050 Nutrients Initiative 
  • Global Alliances & Positioning
  • IP Commercialisation 
  • Capital & Investment 
  • Data Interoperability & Regulation 
  • Skills & Workforce 

We will be seeking expressions of interest from members to contribute to these projects and workstreams as the terms of reference are completed for each, individually. We expect the first of these to be completed in the next few weeks.

These opportunities will be highlighted in further communications, webinars and meetings. In the meantime, we welcome your comments and input, and look forward to the shared beneficial outcomes of these collaborations.

Ngā mihi

Kenneth Irons
Agritech New Zealand

PS: MBIE is currently consulting on a Consumer Data Right for greater choice and control over data. Join AgriTechNZ and Digital Identity NZ for a member discussion later this month. More information coming soon, but please contact us to express your interest.

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