There's a future for every talent in our innovative food & fibre sectors.



Ben Allomes, Hopelands Dairies Ltd

Ben Allomes is the managing Director of Hopelands Dairies/Allomes Farming in Woodville. Ben has been a farmer-elected Director of DairyNZ from 2011 to 2019. He represented the Dairy Industry on several groups, including working with TEC an MPI on Human Capability reviews, Primary ITO IPG – Dairy, OSPRI Stakeholder Council, and as Chair of the National Mastitis Council. Over the last ten years, Ben has also been involved in the Agricultural Health and Safety Council, DairyNZ Retention and Recruitment Group, M + W Skills and Education Mentoring Group, Rural Leadership Development Steering Committee, NZ Ag Safety Forum, and as an AgITO tutor. In 2018, he and partner Nicky won the MPI Best Employer Awards.

Session 1: What really matters in the workplace?

John MacCormick, Ministry of Education

What makes a job a good job?

John MacCormick is the chief policy analyst, kaitātari matua at the Ministry of Education, Te Tāhuhu o Te Mātauranga. An economist with 25 years’ experience in social policy, labour economics and public finance, John works across the Ministry of Education’s tertiary education policy teams and with the international division. His current work focuses on education and labour market policy responses to Covid-19, and longer-term strategy for New Zealand’s tertiary education system. He recently co-authored the NZ Productivity Commission’s inquiry report on technological change and the future of work.

Emeritus Professor Philip S. Morrison, Victoria University of Wellington 

Job insecurity on job satisfaction

Dr Philip S. Morrison is an Emeritus Professor at Victoria University of Wellington. His research interests span labour and housing markets, demography and most recently, wellbeing. Following his appointment to Victoria University of Wellington in 1982, Philip turned his attention to the study of labour markets and initiated the biennial Labour, Employment and Work in New Zealand (LEW) conference series. Philip was appointed the Henry Lang Fellow by the Institute of Policy Studies in 2002 during which he began exploring the geographic implications of social policy which lead to his current research into the geography of wellbeing. Philip currently chairs a multidisciplinary research team at Victoria University of Wellington running the YOU: Student Wellbeing Survey, a longitudinal, multi-cohort study of first-year undergraduate students.


Professor Gail Pacheco, Auckland University of Technology

Workplace Safety and the Future of Work in NZ

Gail is a Professor of Economics and Director of the NZ Work Research Institute at AUT. She is an experienced researcher with a focus on labour and health research themes, leading large-scale funded projects, involving both academic and external collaborations, including government. In 2018, Professor Pacheco was awarded the NZIER Economics Award for outstanding contributions to the advancement of economics and its applications to New Zealand, which are of relevance to the economic welfare of NZ. Since 2019, Gail is also a Commissioner with the NZ Productivity Commission.


Session 1: Young Professional Panel

Hiraina Tangiora, Ministry for Primary Industries

Hiraina Tangiora is a Policy Analyst, Kaitātari Kaupapahere, in the Skills Policy team at the Ministry for Primary Industries, Manatū Ahu Matua. After completing a Bachelor of Commerce double majoring in Supply Chain Management and International Business at Lincoln University, Hiraina started with Zespri as a Graduate in the Supply Chain team. After 18-months on the graduate programme Hiraina then spent time in both the Technical and External Relations teams, before beginning her current role. Outside of work, Hiraina is also studying a Master of Business Studies (Management) in Mutually Prosperous Trade at Massey University, and a Trustee on the Youth Search and Rescue (YSAR) Board.

George Hyauiason, Massey University Student

George Hyauiason is in his final year of Bachelor of Horticultural Science at Massey University, where he is also President of the Massey Horticultural Society. An aspiring chiropractor, George had his career possibilities in the food & fibre sectors opened up by a passionate horticulture teacher at Bethlehem College, and he's never looked back. George has used summer breaks between study to gain experience in the sector, most recently on the internship programme with Zespri International. 

Jack Ternouth, The New Zealand Merino Company

Jack Ternouth is the Canterbury region Area Manager at The New Zealand Merino Company. After immigrating to rural Taranaki from Zimbabwe, Jack developed a strong passion for the agricultural sector, which he took to Lincoln University to complete Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture). Through his studies and industry networking a new interest was sparked: companies looking to disrupt and shift agricultural focus from volume to value. Jack took on his first role as a graduate with Synlait milk in Canterbury before shifting to The New Zealand Merino Company, where he is responsible for helping wool growers secure value-add contracts with brands around the world.

Paige Harris, Dairy Farm

Paige Harris is a Dairy Farm Assistant in Southland. Growing up in urban Invercargill, Paige discovered a liking for science and animals, which shaped her decision to further her education at Lincoln University, studying Bachelor of Agricultural Science with First Class Honours. Her honours research was done in collaboration with DairyNZ and the Southern Dairy Hub, investigating the growth characteristics of R1 heifers after wintering on fodder beet or kale. The practical work requirements of her study gave Paige her first taste of the dairy sector, and since graduating, she has worked as a dairy farm assistant, gaining a wealth of practical skills to accompany her book knowledge.

Katie Moffat, Bank of New Zealand

Katie Moffatt is an Agribusiness Partner at the Bank of New Zealand. Growing up in Invercargill, Katie had a passion for science which lead to her completing a Bachelor of Agricultural Science with First Class Honours in Soil Science at Lincoln University. Through her studies she found that as well as a passion for science she also had a passion for people and helping them succeed with their businesses. Katie took on her first role as a graduate with the Bank of New Zealand in Hamilton before moving to Palmerston North where she is responsible for a portfolio of agricultural clients and helping them reach their financial and business goals.

Session 2: Understanding each other

Nick Prince, Lincoln University

Lincoln University's survey of recent graduates

Nick Prince is a lecturer in Agricultural Systems Management at Lincoln University where he acts as an advisor for the Diploma in Agriculture and Farm Management programmes. He took up this role in April 2019, bringing a background in farming, lecturing and environmental consultancy from the UK. His academic interests include policy, new entrants, extension and farmer-consumer relationships. He currently has a paper under review looking at the impacts of regulation on industry entry opportunities. Working with colleagues at Lincoln he leads a research project focusing on the views and concerns of recent graduates to the agriculture industry in New Zealand.

Hamish Murray, Nuffield Scholar, Bluff Station

Bridging the communication gap between older and younger farmers

Hamish Murray is the manager/director of Bluff Station - a large high country property in Marlborough running Merino sheep, beef cattle and 800 beehives. The business, run in conjunction with family, employs several shepherds, general staff and beekeepers. Hamish studied at Lincoln University before reading economics at Cambridge University (UK). He has recently been involved in the PQF Governance group, supporting farmers recovering from the Kaikoura earthquake, and completed a Nuffield scholarship in 2019 looking at Future Farm Workplaces.

Session 3: Doing things differently

Jane Muir, DairyNZ

Rural Employee Support Hub 

Jane Muir leads projects at DairyNZ focussed on people – workplace and workforce. On the workplace front the focus is on improving dairy farm workplaces so they can better attract and retain the workforce dairy needs through initiatives such as Good Boss and the Workplace Action Plan. On the workforce front the focus is on trying to ensure dairy farms can access enough capable people to fulfil their needs. Both good challenges right now.

Tāne Cook, Tāne Mahuta

Tāne Mahuta Learn While You Earn Kaupapa Māori

Tāne Cook is the inaugural Pou Matua or Chief Executive Officer of Tāne Mahuta NZ Limited based in Te Teko in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. Tane has over 20 years’ experience working in primary and tertiary education, business administration, finance, and Māori social services sector. His professional focuses are, raising Māori educational excellence including raising whānau, hapū and Iwi participation in the Primary Industry sector, developing and implementing “transformational thinking”.

Olivia Ross, Beef+Lamb New Zealand

B+LNZ Generation Next Programme

Olivia Ross is the Beef + Lamb NZ extension manager for the Southern South Island. A born and bred sheep and beef farmer from Southland, Olivia has a passion for developing the next generation of farmers, which shaped her project focus on the 2017 Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme, “understanding the red meat sector at high school level”. Olivia has since used her findings to create many interactive projects including the B+LNZ Generation Next programme.

Myrah Walters & Raewyn Baldwin, WorkSafe New Zealand

Pickled! - Gamification for health & safety

Raewyn Baldwin is a Principal Advisor, Education at WorkSafe New Zealand. Raewyn has been a teacher for most of her working life and has worked in the New Zealand Transport Agency and WorkSafe as part of vibrant education teams. Excited by working alongside health and safety professionals, she is passionate about finding ways to make health and safety knowledge accessible to everyone. Myrah Walters is an Advisor, Digital Channels at WorkSafe New Zealand. Working as part of the Marketing and Communications team, Myrah is passionate about applying user experience design principles across innovative digital projects.

Session 4: Where to next?

MPI Workforce Data & Forecasting Working Group

Dr Richard Lynch, Ministry for Primary Industries

Skills Action Plan Employment Project


Food & Fibre Centre of Vocational Excellence (CoVE)