General Manager Update: Anne Hindson, April 2018

November and the last E Nuff seem a long time ago, but Lisa, myself and the Board have been very busy since then with programmes, events and projects.

It is a good time to acknowledge, as we head into the two yearly AGM, the workload and contribution of the Trustees.  The Nuffield Trustees (along with the two independent Trustee), have the responsibility of overseeing both leadership programmes (Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme and the Nuffield Scholarships) which have increased in size and complexity.

While I respect the decision by Juliet to stand down after 6 years as a Trustee and 2 years as Chair, the leadership and the support, time and effort she has given to the organisation and myself as GM has been enormous, particularly given the significant strategic changes and developments in the last two years.

The establishment of the NZ Rural Leadership Trust has required us to review our vision, strategic goals and external brand and the positioning of the programme. I am excited about the branding work that has been done, which will be shared at the Conference.

The Nuffield programme is still a flagship programme for the agribusiness sector and in discussions recently with the Forestry sector, it is clear the status extends wider than the traditional sectors we have operated in.  The exposure of our scholars is also expanding and they are increasingly active in industry events and media broader than their sector.

I have been impressed by the number of presentations already completed by the 2017 Scholars and the quality of their reports ‘hot off the press’ and now live on the website for reading (see the enclosed box for the latest reports).

The encouragement to look at issues facing NZ Agribusiness rather than more technical topics has resulted in greater interest from the wider sector. The 2017 group were invited in March to present their insights and report recommendations at  a) a workshop with MPI staff, and b) an Agmardt Board lunch with both providing some robust discussions and challenges.

Individually, they have already presented at a number of forums including  Irrigation NZ & Landcorp’s Pamu Conferences and have a number of scheduled presentations coming up.

Both the 2016 and 2017 scholars are looking forward to some challenging discussions with alumni following their presentations at conference!


Ryan O’Sullivan

Rebecca Hyde

Mathew Hocken

Jason Rolfe

David Kidd

Nadine Porter


Our 2018 scholars who we announced in the last newsletter, are well into their programme. The group attended a two day briefing in December, with government and industry representatives ensuring that their knowledge of New Zealand and its positioning and activities globally were well understood.

This year the scholars were also offered the opportunity to attend a leadership skills workshop in January, in conjunction with the Kellogg group, run by Coach Approach in January. This proved to be really beneficial for them in gaining greater insights into their personal leadership profile and developing higher level skills in question formulation.

The five scholars (Simon Cook, Andy Eliot, Turi Mcfarlane, Solis Norton and Kate Scott) commenced their first international component with the Contemporary Scholars Conference (CSC) in the Netherlands from 10 – 17 March along with 80 plus other international scholars. They share their reflections, insights and questions to explore further in their travels in this E Nuff.

The CSC is always a big week with the Dutch organsers, Djûke van der Maat and Henk Smith and their team, putting on an excellent programme of fieldtrips, speakers and panels presentations. Many of the recent Dutch scholars were involved in assisting with the conference and hosted field visits and provided food products for the self-contained apartments that the conference enjoyed.

One memorable experience of Dutch life, was a 20k round trip cycle into the countryside (see header photo) visiting the very successful farm and production enterprise of one of the 2015 Dutch scholars and his business partners.

However, the “Beast of the East” temperatures with -2 chill factor and snow which hit during the CSC, was in stark contrast to the outdoor activities enjoyed in Brazil, the previous year!

Alongside the CSC, the Nuffield International meetings of Board and Country Executives were scheduled. This is a particularly important time for strategy development, sharing of information, planning of events, and alignment of programmes. The NI Board (with Andrew Watters as the NZ representative) spent many hours on reviewing the strategy and financial business plan. Andrew will share the key points at the Nuffield NZ AGM.

Upcoming Events

As this Enuff arrives, a group of 10 Nuffielders from around the world, including NZer Kate Scott, will be completing their Brazil GFP – NZ Leg with a programme in the Hawkes Bay organised by Tom Skerman and Sam Lang (with support from other alumni). This is the final week of their 6week programme which started on 18 March with visits to the Netherlands, Ireland, USA, Mexico and Brazil & NZ before concluding on 26 April.

Registrations close in a few days for the 2018 Nuffield NZ Biennial Conference & it is only a few weeks until we get together in Tauranga. Dave Hurst and his team have put together a great programme, and put in a lot of hard work with support from management.  Dave and his team have successfully secured a family of local sponsors, who along with our strategic and programme partners we look forward to engaging with at the conference.

Work is building for the 2020 Nuffield Triennial Conference which will be held in March 2020.  We hope that alumni will use the opportunity to invite their Nuffield cohort for a reunion in NZ. We will release more details in the next E Nuff as promotion of the conference will be launched. Confirmation of hosting the 2020 Nuffield NZ Biennial Conference in conjunction with the Triennial will be made after discussion with alumni in Tauranga.

Finally, on a sad note, Nuffield NZ lost one of our oldest and respected scholars with the passing of John O’Connor.  Condolences were sent on behalf of the alumni and Board to Del, Damien and Bede and thankyou to Julian Raine who represented the alumni at the funeral.  Many will remember John & Dell attending part of the last conference in 2016 in Blenheim and he desperately wanted to be in Tauranga to see Bede present and Damien as Minister open the conference, but unfortunately it was not to be.

I look forward to seeing most of you in Tauranga on 10th May.

Anne Hindson

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