The Guild is delighted to see Hugh Stringleman recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to agricultural journalism. Hugh’s breadth of knowledge and depth of understanding about New Zealand agriculture sector is extraordinary.
Hugh Stringleman has been an agricultural journalist for over 40 years, deftly and accurately covering New Zealand’s agriculture – one of the country’s most important economic sectors – in a range of farming publications and books.
He has topped and tailed his career with recognition for excellence in his craft. In 2018, Hugh won the NZ Guild of Agricultural Journalists & Communicators’ top award for excellence in agricultural writing – the Rongo – having also won the same award around 30 years previously. In 2018, he and a fellow journalist Neal Wallace worked jointly on a four-week series of articles giving an in-depth examination of Fonterra’s performance since 2012 and the capital restructure.
In addition, Hugh co-authored the history of PGG Wrightson, Rural Challenge (2006) with historian, author and commentator, the late Graeme Hunt.
In 2005 stock-and-station agency Wrightson Ltd merged with South Island rival Pyne Gould Guinness Ltd to form the country's largest rural services company, PGG Wrightson Ltd. The deal ended Wrightson's 144-year history as a standalone business and closed a chapter on a heritage dating back to the Otago gold rush. Hugh Stringleman and Graeme Hunt retold Wrightson's tumultuous history in the context of an ever-changing stock-and-station industry that once boasted household names such as Levin, Dalgety, NMA and Newton King.
Over three years, Hugh also compiled Agricultural Heritage: Auckland Agricultural and Pastoral Association Inc, 1843-2010. That book relates the evolution of the 'A&P' in an easily readable, richly illustrated history that also tells of the Auckland A&P Association’s first hundred years at the ASB Showgrounds, Epsom. It provided the first comprehensive account of the importance of agriculture to the development of the Auckland region and its contribution to the nation.
Launching the book, the Rt Hon Lockwood Smith, then-Speaker of the House and himself a keen competitor in the Easter Show, praised the thorough account of the personalities and events that have distinguished the A&P through its 167 years.
Bruce Orr, then-president of the Auckland A&P, lauded Hugh as New Zealand’s pre-eminent agricultural journalist, and expressed his appreciation for his contribution.
Hugh is a member of the Professional Historians Association of New Zealand.
He has been President of the NZ Guild of Agricultural Journalists & Communicators, President of the Organising Committee for the NZ Guild’s successful hosting of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists’ World Congress here in 2015 and has represented New Zealand at a number of IFAJ congresses around the world.
Hugh Stringleman’s contribution to New Zealand agriculture nationally should not be understated. He has written on complex topics from New Zealand’s farming methods/technology, people, export industries and agribusiness in some of New Zealand’s top farming publications and produced a number of relevant books too. As one of the sector’s top farming editors, he has also contributed to New Zealand agriculture by producing material that has educated two, or maybe even three, generations of farmers and agri-business people.
Through Hugh’s Presidency of the NZGAJC in 2008-2009 and being part of the National Executive for around 10 years in total, he has also contributed to raising awareness of New Zealand agriculture and also to inspiring and developing the next generation of New Zealand agriculture’s journalists and communicators to carry on his good work.
He has represented New Zealand agriculture internationally through being President of the NZ Organising Committee of the 2015 IFAJ World Congress and his attendance at a number of other World Congresses around the world as a representative of the NZ Guild of Agricultural Journalists & Communicators (NZGAJC).
Hugh’s breadth of knowledge and depth of understanding about New Zealand agriculture sector is extraordinary. With his great integrity and search for the facts, he has been, and still is, highly respected for his accurate, balanced reporting over the past four or five decades. He is the “go to” specialist for his in-depth and accurate reporting on a wide range of fields within the sector – particularly dairy, but also agribusiness, livestock and horticulture – and he has held that position consistently over the years.