2020 Nuffield Scholar profile – Shannon Harnett

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Shannon Harnett

2020 Scholar

Shannon Harnett


Shannon has experience in dairy, sheep and beef and horticulture, and held senior management and accounting roles before becoming director at Rural Accountants.

She has been involved in several horticultural start-up businesses dealing with PVR varieties. Shannon is a Chartered Accountant, Director and Co-owner of Rural Accountants, a progressive accounting firm in Whakatane. She is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors and holds directorships in several agricultural and horticultural businesses.

Growing up on a sheep and beef farm in Hawkes Bay, Shannon’s farming background guided her accounting career by starting straight out of school at a farm accountancy practice. She graduated from Massey University with a BBS, majoring in Accounting and Management, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Agri Commerce.

An advocate of the New Zealand Food and Fibre Sector, Shannon has gained wide industry knowledge and believes New Zealand has an exciting opportunity to grow high value, consumer-driven produce.

Shannon’s research covered the value Plant Variety Rights (PVRs) could contribute to the Sector.

The tension between science-led and consumer-led research and development is unavoidable. There is a need for both. Successful consumer-led innovation directly produces economic value. Science for the sake of obtaining knowledge leads indirectly to economic, social, and environmental benefits.

Download Shannon’s report here

Current employment

Rural Accountants


Other Affiliations

NZ Institute 0f Directors
Chartered Member since 2018

Emerging Directors Forum – Tauranga

Whakatane Members Forum
Committee Member






Rural Accountancy

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NZIPIM Leadership Development Forum


Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ)
Chartered Accountant CA
Certificate of Public Practice CPP


Post Graduate Diploma in Agri-Commerce


Massey University Bachelor of Business Studies
Double Major – Accounting and Management

Scholarships & Awards

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