Chair Update: Juliet Maclean

Those of you who have read the KPMG Agri Business Agenda will have noted the multiple references to leadership and its importance to the growth and sustainability of an innovative and resilient food and agri business sector for New Zealand.

In his introduction, Minister Guy made particular mention of the investment made by MPI into the Kellogg and Nuffield programmes. This is a respected and valuable contribution, both financially and as tangible demonstration of support for our organisation.

The KPMG survey asks agri-business leaders to rank a range of priority items depending on their view on the importance and urgency of action required by the industry. Not surprisingly, maintaining a world class bio security system is ranked number one.

Recent threats to the biosecurity of our cattle population is a reminder of why this is so crucial to our livelihoods. Creating New Zealand provenance brands featured at number two. Innovation with customers is number five and developing future leaders is number nine. It would be difficult to find any better endorsement for the relevance of Nuffield New Zealand, with our tag line of “Global vision, leadership and innovation”.

The KPMG Agenda is a future focused, interesting read. If you would like to peruse the contents further, you can find it via this link

Regardless of this confirmation of the importance of our organisation, we mustn’t become complacent and I am determined that Nuffield remains appropriate and effective in an ever- changing global environment. Each generation of scholars has, and will face, new challenges and opportunities, even if they fall within consistent themes.

Technology, social media, the internet of things, transport, robotics, education – we are part of a rapidly evolving and exciting world and Nuffield must keep pace with this if we are to stay truly relevant.  The qualities and skills required to build relationships, navigate negotiations, demonstrate leadership, display grit and resilience will, I believe, remain invaluable for us as individuals and contributors to business and rural communities.

Focusing on how Nuffield can contribute to each scholars’ learning experience is an exciting challenge and one which both your Trustees and management consider regularly. If you have any ideas, please share them with me.

I’ve had enthusiastic and complimentary reports from those of you who attended the Triennial in the UK. With your feedback in mind, we are now underway with planning for the 2020 conference which we will host here in the South Island. Stay tuned for updates over the next few months.

Applications for this year’s scholarships close in mid-August, with selections and interviews taking place in September and October. Meeting our scholar applicants and considering their potential to contribute to Nuffield and New Zealand, is a highlight of the year for me. I look forward to announcing the successful applicants in our next update.

As the days lengthen and those mid winter Xmas celebrations become a fun but distant memory, the matters of calving, lambing, crop establishment and the elections focus our attention. These will bring different responsibilities and involvement for each of you. Whatever part you play, be sure to ‘get amongst it’, make a real difference and have fun too.

Kind regards

Our programmes work in partnership with some of New Zealand’s leading agribusiness organisations – click here for more.​