Judges 2018 – Dairy

Finalist Judges


2018 Judges L to R: Paul Bird (DairyNZ), Paul Radich (Fonterra), Abe Seymour (Kaumatua), Dave Handley (BNZ) and Dean Nikora (Independent Chief Judge)

Dean Nikora – Chief Judge

Having a person with the knowledge and skills of Dean Nikora adds great value to the judging panel. Dean (Ngāti Maniapoto me Ngāti Tama), has extensive experience in governance, representation and consultancy within the primary sector. He has worked with Fonterra Shareholders Council, AsureQuality and Ballance Agri-Nutrients on a wide range of issues.
Dean is an owner of a dairy farming operation in Central Hawke’s Bay and is an owner and executive director of a travel company in Singapore. His experience and passion remains heavily focused on land based industries and activities and has been working across Asia specifically focused on start-up businesses.

Dave Handley – BNZ

Dave is Head of North Island Corporate Agribusiness – BNZ.  He grew up on a sheep and beef farm in Hawke’s Bay and also spent time helping out on friend’s dairy farms.
He is a qualified chartered accountant and joined BNZ 13 years ago, spending the first 6 years in rural lending based in Pukekohe. His current role is heading up the North Island region, where he is responsible for assisting with the BNZ's largest corporate farming clients, most of whom are involved in dairying. He is very familiar with analysis of dairy farming businesses including operational and financial metrics and KPIs.
He was a finalist judge in the 2014 and 2016 Ahuwhenua Trophy Dairy Awards and is looking forward to being involved in the 2018 Ahuwhenua Trophy competition.

Paul Bird – DairyNZ

Paul Bird is a senior project manager for DairyNZ.  Over the last 25 years he has worked with dairy farmers in New Zealand and also Ireland and the UK.   Paul has been involved with Maori owned dairy farms through Ahuwhenua and also general Whole Farm Assessments since 2008.  He also works with farming families developing strategic plans through the Mark and Measure courses and facilitates training for farm consultants in Whole Farm Assessment. 


Paul Radich – Fonterra
Paul Radich grew up in Stratford where he still lives on a farmlet with his family. He has a BA in education and has worked, as an educator, in New Zealand, Japan and England. He spent three years with the Taranaki Regional Council as an environmental educator, before moving to Fonterra as an Area Manager and then Regional Services Manager for the Lower North Island. Since 2010 he has been a Senior Area Manager in Taranaki.
Paul has a passion for the New Zealand dairy industry and the co-operative model. He says that being a judge in the Ahuwhenua Trophy is a great privilege and he is very excited to be involved again. “The Ahuwhenua Trophy competition has a tremendous history and it is great to be a part of this showcase of the very best in Māori farming.”


2018 Judges L-R: Mitchell Crosswell, Stephen Canton, Emma Hennigan, Peter Ettema, Abe Seymour

First Round Judges

Emma Hennigan, Lead Judge – BNZ
Emma Hennigan has been an Agribusiness Partner with the BNZ for 7 years. Based out of Rotorua since early 2016, she manages a portfolio of clients including several Māori entities with a wide range of predominately agricultural interests throughout the Rotorua surrounds and wider Bay of Plenty and Central Plateau regions.
Originally from a King Country sheep and beef farm, Emma was educated in Hamilton and then attended Massey University gaining a Bachelor of Applied Science, majoring in Agriculture before traveling overseas. Emma’s time based in the UK included working for Barclays Bank for over 5 years in both the Retail and Agribusiness sectors.

Mitchell Crosswell – Fonterra
Ko Hikurangi te Maunga
Ko Waiapu te Awa
Ko Ngāti Porou te Iwi
Mitchell is of Ngāti Porou descent and grew up in the small rural town of Feilding in the Manawatū. He attended what was then Feilding Agricultural High School before heading to Massey University. Having grown up around the dairy industry Mitchell has always had a passion for it. Mitchell currently works for Fonterra as a Business Relationship and Development Manager delivering on its Māori strategy. Prior to this Mitchell was an Area Support Manager in Fonterra and prior to that role he come from a professional Rugby background spanning 10 years. Mitchell enjoys the diversity of his current role, working alongside our farmers, whānau, hapū and iwi. Mitchell is very grateful for the opportunity to judge in the Ahuwhenua trophy competition.

Peter Ettema – Ministry for Primary Industries
Peter Ettema has worked for the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and its predecessors since 2005. He has worked in the agricultural sector both in New Zealand and overseas and is currently the manager for the International Environment team within the International Policy Directorate at MPI. Peter has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science and a Masters of Environmental Management. Key areas of his work include climate change, resource and environmental management and extension capability across the primary sector.

Stephen Canton – DairyNZ
Stephen Canton has spent 15 years in Taranaki mostly working as a consulting officer for DairyNZ. Stephen also has a background in rural banking. In 2015 Stephen and his wife Meredith moved to the Waikato where he is now based in the Te Awamutu area working as a consulting officer. Stephen has had many years experience with judging the Dairy Industry Awards.

Abe Seymour – Competition Kaumātua
Abe Seymour affiliates to Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Kahungunu and Atihaunui a Pāpārangi and is currently a Strategic Relations Adviser providing advice to a number of organisations including the Primary ITO. He is a shareholder in a number of trusts in and around the Central North Island and from time to time provides advice in those areas. He has also sat on a number of boards and directorships for Māori and is a strong advocate in training programmes for young Māori who are likely to be tomorrow’s leaders. He is involved in tertiary programmes, programme design and delivery to a number of organisations including the Waiariki Polytechnic.



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