There has been lots going on since I last updated you in August. This is my summary of the key activities and the highlights of the year.
Earlier this month we announced our 2018 Scholars. This edition follows up on our brief, pre-media announcement to you with photos and bios of the scholars. I hope that many of you will get to meet the scholars during their scholarship year.
The 2018 Awards Ceremony was hosted in Parliament by the new Minister of Agriculture, Damian O’Connor in his first few days in office. Having the Minister able to present the awards had special significance given both his father and brother are Nuffield alumni.
A second highlight of the Awards evening was hearing the progress of the current scholars. Each shared their preliminary insights on their research topic. With greater emphasis on scholars studying topics that will add value and offer solutions to some of the challenges facing the primary sector, there was strong interest from those attending. The value of this has been reinforced with MPI Director General, Martyn Dunne requesting a presentation from the scholars to MPI staff in the new year.
Having shared information and experiences with the 2017 scholars, the 2018 scholars will have a two-day New Zealand and Industry sector briefing in Wellington on 7/8th December. This is to ensure they understand the global positioning, strategy and key markets of our primary sectors, as well-informed ambassadors of NZ and Nuffield.
The New Zealand Rural Leadership Trust has now been operating for 6 months, managing the Nuffield Scholarships and the Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme. The transition to a standalone entity has taken time, but the organisation is now well set up to meet opportunities and challenges for the future. The legal and accountancy advice required has been significant and I wish to acknowledge the generous support of Mark Tavendale of Tavendale & Partners (legal) and Andrew Hawkes & team at KPMG Christchurch office (accounting) and encourage alumni to support them for any future needs.
The office at Lincoln University has been retained with myself and Lisa Rogers, our Programme Coordinator based there. The Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme is still delivered using Lincoln University venues and facilities.
Our Strategic Partners are now contributing to leadership pathways by supporting both programmes and are actively involved in the development of leaders for the sector.
During the year, FMG and Agmardt have recommitted to a three-year partnership with the Trust, while Dairy NZ and Beef+Lamb NZ have continued their support.
For our organisation, the value of these industry partners comes in many ways with the National Advisory Group (representatives of the four organisations) providing regular industry insights, developments and views on future leadership needs to help us better shape the programmes. In addition, they have provided meeting space, special project support & Nuffield selection specialist HR support.
Our Programme Partners have grown in number, and their support is equally valuable providing marketing and speaker support to the programme.
Associate Director appointment
The Board recently invited alumni from the last 5 years to expression interest in the Associate Director role being vacated by Dan Shand in November. After considering the five applications, Mat Hocken was selected and will take on the position in January 2018 for 18 months. This is part of our commitment to provide ongoing leadership development opportunities to scholars, with governance a key goal for some.
Dave Hurst and his team have finalised the exciting programme for the 2018 Nuffield NZ Biennial Conference in May 2018 in Tauranga and surrounds. They are confidently anticipating a great turnout! You will be receiving information and regular updates over the next few months.
The programme will begin at 2pm on Thursday 10th May to accommodate presentations from the eleven scholars, including the six 2017 scholars with their reports “hot off the press”! The programme features some interesting field visits reflecting the agri-food and business strengths of the Bay of Plenty region.
The 2020 Nuffield Triennial Conference organising committee has been convened under the chairmanship of Michael Tayler with Murray King, Jane Mitchell, Steve Wilkins, Desiree Whittaker (Reid), John Wright, Rebecca Hyde, Anne Hindson and Lisa Rogers on the planning committee. Other alumni will be brought in to assist with specific activities as required.
This event will be a major undertaking so thanks to the team that have taken on the challenge.
We plan to hold the 2020 Nuffield NZ Biennial Conference in conjunction with the Triennial but with a separate programme.
Thank you for your support during the year. We particularly value the role you play in identifying and encouraging applications from potential and successful new Nuffielders. You are our most powerful and respected advocates.
I look forward to seeing you all in May, in Tauranga for the conference.