Realising Leadership Potential in New Zealand’s Food and Fibre Sector.

From a concept that originated nearly two and a half years ago, a new leadership report draws on extensive research and from hundreds of perspectives of people working in food and fibre.

A Path to Realising Leadership Potential in Aotearoa NZ’s Food and Fibre Sector’ is the result of a collaboration between Food and Fibre Centre of Vocational Excellence (CoVE) and the New Zealand Rural Leadership Trust (Rural Leaders).

The report, enriched by the concepts of Te Ao Māori and of Pacific cultures, does not claim to provide a definitive answer to leadership, but instead offers a principles-centred model for leading in the Sector, encouraging leaders to find their personal leadership approach and to embark on their own path.

Recognising that leadership development is not a linear path and acknowledging the diversity and complexity of the sector, the research proposes a dynamic, living ecosystem. An ecosystem that can be interacted with, leveraged, adapted, shared, and yet retain a common essence that can be spread across the way we work, interact with others, and envision the future. 

“A sustained flow of capable and self-aware leaders is critical to the Food and Fibre sector remaining vital and vibrant into the future. The Sector needs leaders that are continuously developing themselves and the teams they work with”, said Lisa Rogers, CEO, Rural Leaders.

This latest report follows previous research which looked at the state of leadership development in NZ, and also proposed a principles-centred leadership model for the Sector.

The report synthesises the thinking from the first two reports and provides a framework for the Sector to develop a flow of prepared leaders to step into ever more impactful roles.

“This work is an important step in the pathway to providing a tangible framework for leadership development for the whole of the Food and Fibre sector, which will not only be for the betterment of our sector’s people but for the betterment of the country,” said Kate Scott, Chair, NZ Rural Leadership Trust.

Dr Lilla du Toit, Portfolio Manager, Food and Fibre CoVE commented, “This research project holds immense importance for the Food and Fibre sector, significantly shaping the development of leadership roles across all the industries it serves. It will also play a crucial role in fortifying two other key leadership initiatives, namely the Horticulture NZ Leadership Programme redesign by Rural Leaders, and the Food and Fibre CoVE and Muka Tangata backed Food and Fibre Māori Leadership Development Framework.”

Rural Leaders wish to sincerely acknowledge the authors for their tireless work on this report, and acknowledge too, project collaboration partners, Food and Fibre CoVE, and the generous support of Strategic Partners DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, FMG, AGMARDT, Mackenzie Charitable Foundation, and Programme Partners LIC, Farmlands Co-operative, Zespri, MPI, FAR, Horticulture NZ, and Rabobank.

You can download the latest report here.

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