Eights years, three chairs and almost two triennials.

Nuffield and NZRLT Trustees Craige Mackenzie and Michael Tayler have stepped down after eight years of service. NZRLT Chair, Kate Scott provided the numbers on their tenure (above). We asked both about the highlights and challenges during their eight years.

What was the biggest challenge you encountered in your 8 years on the board?

Being part of Nuffield International board but being able to turn it around to being in a positive growth organisation and in a sound financial position.

Pulling together another Nuffield Triennial conference after our first one was cancelled at the eleventh hour. I was just one of a hardworking committee who rolled their sleeves up and just made it happen.

As a board and leadership organisation, one of our biggest challenges is to make sure we continue to stay relevant. To ensure the different programmes we offer are always “fit for purpose”.  

What was a highlight for you during your time on the board?

The way everybody involved in the Triennial conference worked as a team towards a common goal. Everyone working long hours without complaint.

Meeting and getting to know the programme applicants was always a highlight. I was always impressed by the high calibre of the people involved in our Food and Fibre Sector. It gives me confidence that the future of NZ’s biggest export earner is in good hands.

Another highlight was getting to know and work alongside all the other trustees and NZRLT staff. Being a small part in a great team.

The transition of a startup NZRLT to where we are today. The growth has been significant and to be part of this journey has been a real pleasure.

People, the role, and why you got involved?

We have an awesome team which drives the organisation and each time we have new people come in they just add a new perspective and help with the growth.

I got involved because I wanted to give back to Nuffield and the NZRLT. I had the benefit of a Nuffield Scholarship which opened a lot of doors for me both nationally and internationally.

I got involved as Trustee because I personally got so much out of my Nuffield Scholarship and felt it would be a small way to give something back.

What’s next for you?

I have started a role with the UN so will see where that takes me but it is always nice to support agriculture and other production systems. I am interested in continuing to look for mitigation options to reduce our Climate Change footprint within farming systems and help shape sensible direction in policy.

I would like to continue to be involved in different governance roles alongside our farming business. I have just started a new role as board chair of United Wheat Growers (NZ). UWG run a levy-based Crop Insurance scheme as well as an audited Quality Assurance Programme. 

We wish you well and thanks.

The Team at Rural Leaders.

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