Guild60 Speakers

Speakers for the Guild's 60th anniversary briefing event will look forward at what the next 60 years is likely to involve.

Anna Jones - Guest of Honour

Anna Jones-webFormer BBC and BBC Radio 4 British agricultural journalist Anna Jones, won a Nuffield Farming Scholarship in 2016 aimed at bridging her two worlds, farming and journalism. Her report published last year, was entitled “Help or Hinder – how the mainstream media portrays farming to the public.” Anna is the fifth generation of a family of farmers on the Welsh/Shropshire border. Her farm has 300 breeding ewes and a small suckler herd on about 200 acres, which is part-owned and part-tenanted. She did a journalism degree at the University of Central Lancashire in 2002, producing a documentary about Foot and Mouth for her final assignment. Later she became a newspaper reporter in North Wales and the East Midlands before joining the BBC as a researcher on Countryfile in 2006. She is now a director on the programme, mainly working on investigative items. In 2013, she left journalism for a while to join Radio 4, as a producer on Farming. Her travel to New Zealand is sponsored by AgMARDT for which the Guild is extremely grateful. Click Click here to read her report.

Hon Damien O’Connor - Minister of Agriculture

Damien OConnor, Minister of AgricultureMinister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor also holds the portfolios for Biosecurity, Food Safety, Rural Communities and is also Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth.

He believes every New Zealander, regardless of their background or family situation, deserves the opportunity to realise their full potential and participate in their community and society. Damien stands for the values of equality and opportunity and for the responsibility we owe to each other to maintain these values. 

Damien’s background in farming and adventure tourism drives his view that we need well-paid, sustainable jobs and industry growth to improve our future. He is a passionate advocate for rural communities and for a thriving agricultural sector. Damien was first elected to Parliament in 1993 and has served as a Minister in both the fifth and sixth Labour Governments, and Spokesperson in Opposition for a variety of roles, including Agriculture, Biosecurity, Food Safety, Tourism, Immigration and Health.

Damien is an active sportsman and represented Buller at athletics. He has won West Coast Young Farmer of the Year and enjoys sports including skiing, white water rafting, jet boating, motorsports and playing rugby for the New Zealand Parliamentary Team.

Katie Milne – National President, Federated Farmers of New Zealand

Katie Milne-web_1In June 2017, Katie became the first woman to be elected as the Federation’s national president. The West Coast dairy farmer is a former Dairy Woman of the Year and a Rural Woman of Influence. A passionate farming advocate, Milne sits on numerous industry committees and boards including NAWAC, OSPRI and the Westland Milk Board.

As Federation President, Katie is always looking to bridge the so-called rural-urban divide and apply a rural lens across government legislation and regulation.

Mike Petersen, NZ Special Agricultural Trade Envoy

Mike Petersen 2018Hawke’s Bay sheep and beef farmer Mike Petersen has been involved in leadership positions across the agri-food sector for nearly 20 years. In his current role of New Zealand special agricultural trade envoy, which he has held since 2013, he travels offshore to countries where New Zealand is looking to improve market access and market reputation, acting as an advocate for the diary, sheep, beef, horticulture and wine industries. Currently, he is an independent director of Kelso Genetics Ltd, Totally Vets Ltd, ANZCO Foods and Te Puna Farm. Previously he was chairman of Beef + Lamb NZ from 2003 to 2014 and has held a variety of other governance roles in the red meat sector. Mike is the holder of the 2018 Ravensdown Agricultural Communicator of the Year.

Steven Carden, Chief Executive, Pāmu

Steven CardenBefore joining Pāmu in August 2013 as chief executive, Steven was general manager of PGG Wrightson Seeds Australia from 2010. He began at that company as group manager business development, serving also on the NZTE Beachheads Advisory Board. From 2003 to 2008, he worked at McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, in New York and Auckland advising companies throughout North America, Europe and Australia. Before that he was general manager of New Zealand’s first internet retailing company, FlyingPig. His proudest accomplishment is the founding of the First Foundation in 1998, a program that helps talented but financially disadvantaged secondary school students successfully complete university through workplace scholarships. He is the author of New Zealand Unleashed, published by Random House in 2007. He holds an LLB and BA from Auckland University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Dr Suzi Kerr, Senior Fellow, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research

Suzie Kerr, Motu-webSuzi Kerr is currently a senior fellow at Motu, a principal investigator in Te Pūnaha Matatini, a centre of research excellence focused on networks and complex systems, and an adjunct professor at Victoria University. She is a member of and special adviser to the New Zealand Interim Climate Change Commission. She graduated from Harvard University in 1995 with a PhD in Economics. From 1998 to 2009 she was the founding Director of Motu. In 2010 she won the NZIER Economics Award. She has also worked at the University of Maryland at College Park, Resources for the Future (USA), the Joint Center for the Science and Policy of Global Change at MIT, and more recently was a Visiting Professor at Stanford University for the 2009/10 year and at the University of the Andes in Bogotá, Colombia in the first half of 2014. She is a member of the Air New Zealand Sustainability Panel and, in 2018, is President of the Australasian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.

Her current research work focuses on climate change. She empirically and theoretically investigates domestic and international climate change policy with special emphasis on emissions pricing and land use in both the tropics and New Zealand. She has led and co-led several large international projects including the writing of the World Bank and ICAP handbook on emissions trading ‘Emissions Trading in Practice’. 

Dr Catherine Duthie, Ministry for Primary Industries

Dr_Catherine_Duthie_MPI_1Dr Catherine Duthie has worked for MPI in biosecurity for the past eight years after graduating with a PhD in Ecology from Victoria University of Wellington. During her time at MPI she has been the Incident Controller for biosecurity responses including Velvetleaf and Myrtle Rust, and is significantly engaged in preparedness projects such as the impending threat of the brown marmorated stink bug. Her current role as Incident Controller for theMycoplasma bovis response has been both immensely challenging and rewarding.

Jeff Grant, Red Meat Sector Brexit Representative

Jeff Grant 2018Jeff Grant has had a number of different roles over the years including being elected as a Member of Parliament in 1987 where he served two terms including the role of Senior Whip in the National Government from 1990 until 1993 when he retired.

Since 1994, Jeff has been predominantly involved as a Director or Trustee of organisations and companies including Landcorp, Wrightson, and Beef + Lamb New Zealand. He has also been Chairman of ten organisations including Meat and Wool NZ (2003-2007), the New Zealand Meat Board (2000-2007), the Meat Research and Development Council, AGMARDT, Invest South and Wool Partners Co-op.

Most recently he has been Chairman of AgResearch, Mount Linton Station, OSPRI, Milford Sound Tourism, Southland Shared Services and a Director of SBS Bank, Finance Now Ltd, NZ Young Farmers, and Predator Free 2050 Ltd.

He was chosen in April to represent the red meat sector as its Brexit representative in London. His role for the next two years is to build and maintain relationships and dispel misconceptions about New Zealand's meat exports. Jeff has been active in the role since July and is working closely with Beef + Lamb New Zealand Regional Manager, Ben O’Brien, who is based in Brussels. This role has been jointly funded by B+LNZ and the Meat Industry Association and is supported by AGMARDT.