Rural Leaders New Zealand

The Rural Leader

February 2023

Welcome to the February issue of the Rural Leader. 

The devastation caused by Cyclone Gabrielle across the motu, especially in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti, remains front of mind for every New Zealander. 

On seeing the selfless acts of service freely offered amid the destruction, there’s reason to hope the recovery may move quickly. A heartfelt thanks to those on the ground helping and our thoughts to those Alumni personally affected. 

This issue of The Rural Leader begins with an announcement from Kate Scott, NZRLT Board Chair.  

In February’s Ideas that Grow Podcast, we hear from Dr Scott Champion. Scott has a wealth of sector knowledge, gained not just from tenures at the top of organisations such as Beef+LambNZ, but from possessing a genuine passion for helping our rural leaders grow. 

As Programme Director and a Facilitator on the Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme, Scott plays a vital role lifting rural leadership capability. In this podcast Scott talks about his own leadership journey, on the power of gaining other’s perspectives, and upcoming Programme Two. 

Kellogg Programme Two starts in June at Lincoln. If you’re planning to apply, we encourage you to get your application in soon. Applications close 16 April.  

With 12+ speakers finalised, the venue locked in and high registration activity, the Rural Leaders Agribusiness Summit is shaping up to be a great opportunity for the sector to get together in one place, for one day. If you are in Food and Fibre, you should be there

In Alumni in the Spotlight this month, we hear from Nuffield Scholar, Lucie Douma. Lucie is a 2022 Scholar whose research covers Interoperability. In a recent webinar, hosted by AgriTech New Zealand, Lucie took a broader look at her Nuffield experience and shared insights gleaned from travel across Europe and North America. This Global Agri-futures Insights Webinar has also been distilled into an article by Elaine Fisher for Dairy Exporter. 

Lucie, along with fellow 2022 Nuffield Scholars Parmindar Singh and Anthony Taueki, will deliver their research reports in the next month, before heading off on their GFP’s.  

We hope you enjoy this issue of the Rural Leader. 

The Team at Rural Leaders. 

New Zealand rural Leadership team 2022

Changes for the New Zealand Rural Leadership Trust.

Chris Parsons, CEO Rural Leaders, has resigned to take up a new role as CCO at MyFarm Investments. Kate Scott, NZRLT Chair gives comment. We also share a summary of Chris’s positive tenure, including the many successes he has generated. 

Find out more >>

Olivia Weatherburn joins NZRLT Board as Associate Trustee.

Olivia Weatherburn

The NZRLT Board are pleased to announce the appointment of Olivia Weatherburn as the new Associate Trustee. Olivia replaces outgoing Associate Trustee Albert ‘Alby’ Hanson.

Olivia joins Kate Scott, Chair, Michael Tayler, Rebecca Hyde and Craig Mckenzie, Trustees and Hamish Fraser, Independent Trustee.

While many readers will know Olivia, we share a little more on her background here. 

Ideas that grow podcast.

Scott Champion: Seeing beyond the boundary fence - strategic leadership development for Food and Fibre now.

Dr Scott Champion has a wealth of sector knowledge, gained not just from tenures at the top of organisations such as Beef+LambNZ, but from possessing a genuine passion for helping our rural leaders grow. 

As Facilitator and Programme Director of the Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme, Scott plays a vital role lifting rural leadership capability. 

Listen to the podcast below or follow this link to read the transcript.

One day, 12+ speakers, and a Town Hall full of Food and Fibre leaders.

On Monday, 27 March, The Christchurch Town Hall will see Food and Fibre leaders, agribusiness professionals, farmers and growers from all over New Zealand get together with international agriculture delegates and speakers.  

We share the latest schedule for Summit Day, which includes two new speakers. 

Read the full article here. 

Don’t miss out on this important event. Seats are selling fast so head to to secure your place.

A new report on the state of leadership development in New Zealand’s Food and Fibre sector.

2022, The Food and Fibre Centre of Vocational Excellence (FFCoVE) requested the New Zealand Rural Leadership Trust conduct research into the current state of leader development in the Food and Fibre sector.

The first phase of this research is now complete.

We share the report, a report summary video and ask for your help by completing a short survey. The results of this survey will help inform phase two of the research.

Find out more here.

Nuffield Triennial International Conference.

Visit us here

Triennial dates: Friday, 24 March – Sunday, 2 April 2023

Agribusiness Summit date: Monday, 27 March 2023

For more information on the Agribusiness Summit click here and here.

Nuffield Scholars on the move.

With Scholar research reports coming in and travel itineraries finalised, the first half of 2023 is a busy period for Nuffield.

We share a breakdown of upcoming key moments on the Nuffield calendar. 

Five weeks until applications close for Kellogg Lincoln, Programme Two.

Take a listen to this month’s Idea That Grow Podcast to hear Dr Scott Champion, Programme Director, covers off what Scholars can expect to learn and gain from participation.  

As the podcast’s title suggests, the Programme offers strategic leadership development for Food and Fibre leaders in a fast-changing landscape.  

If you, or others you know in your network, are ready to develop the skills and tools to lead change, then shoulder-tap them to apply by 16 April 2023

Kellogg Programme Two, Lincoln: 13 June – 30 November 2023 

Applications for Programme Two, 2023 are open. You can register your interest or apply at This Programme will mark fifty Kellogg cohorts since 1979. 

Phase One (Lincoln): Tuesday 13 June – Wednesday 21 June 2023. 
Phase Two (Wellington): Monday 11 September – Friday 15 September 2023. 
Phase Three (Lincoln): Monday 27 November – Thursday 30 November 2023. 

Alumni in the spotlight.

Lucy Douma speaking at Nuffield Awards

Lucie Douma spoke recently at the AgriTechNZ webinar ‘Global AgriFutures Insights – How can NZ respond to overseas trends?’ In the webinar, Lucie drew on her recent travel abroad as part of her Nuffield Scholarship – particularly in North America where food security issues are causing shifts away from food production. 

Read the full article by Elaine Fisher for Dairy Exporter. 

News from our Partners.

Beef+LambNZ – ANZCO Foods’ chief executive joins B+LNZ board.

B+LNZ and NZMB Chair Andrew Morrison said he was pleased to welcome Peter Conley as a Processor-Exporter representative to both organisations. 

Read the article here.

DairyNZ – Focus on wellbeing and farm recovery for cyclone-affected.

Cyclone-affected farmers and their communities are encouraged to look out for their wellbeing as they enter week four of farm recovery. 


sponsored by

Know your Mindset. Lead what Matters.
15 and 22 March.

These aren’t easy times. With entire regions reeling from extreme weather and tightening economic conditions impacting across the primary sector – we need strong leaders now, more than ever. 
AWDT’s online wellbeing programme for leaders at any level in the primary sector and rural communities, is coming up on 15 and 22 March. 
This short, high-impact programme is designed for those leading people through hard times. It’s open to leaders across all levels and focusses on building a firm personal wellbeing base from which to lead others, along with practical tools to support people under stress.  
When: Wednesday 15 March, 7.00pm – 8.30pm AND Wednesday 22 March, 7.00pm – 9.00pm (two parts)
What: An interactive programme facilitated online by a leading Chartered Organisational Psychologist & Clinical Psychologist, alongside AWDT facilitators with deep rural knowledge. It has four key outcomes:

  1. Create a firm personal base from which to lead and support others. 
  2. Develop a shared understanding of how to talk with and support others.
  3. Understand traps for leaders – and gain tools to navigate working with people, stress, and emotions.
  4. Identify positive changes you can make in your leadership and build a realistic action plan. 

Cost: $45 + GST per person, thanks to support by the Ministry for Primary Industries.   
Bring your partner or colleagues and join other leaders online. Register at: 

Send us your feedback.

We’d like to know what you think of the Rural Leader and of you have any ideas on how we could improve it. 

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