Judges 2019 – Sheep and Beef

About the Judges

The Ahuwhenua Trophy judges play a vital role in the success of the competition. All are very experienced people who are able to accurately assess each farm and provide valuable feedback to those in governance roles and those who are involved in the day to day management of the farms.

The competition has two judging panels. The first round judges have the task of selecting three finalists – in effect the short list. At this point the finalist judges then have the task of selecting the eventual winner. They attend the field days at each of the farms and the running of these days is a part of the competition criteria. The Ahuwhenua Trophy Management Committee greatly appreciates the support of those sponsors who have made top class agribusiness experts available to judge the event.


Finalist judges

Dana Blackburn – Chief Judge (Ngāti Rangi, Atihaunui a Pāpārangi, Ngati Tūwharetoa)
Dana was part of a team that won the trophy in 2007. He became Chief Judge in 2011 succeeding to Sir John Ackland in 2011. Twenty years involvement with Maori Incorporations and Trusts has given Dana an insight into the workings of these organisations. His involvement has included roles in Operations, Management and as a Board Member.

For several years Dana has farmed a Sheep and Beef unit at Karioi, Ohakune. He has experienced the lows of the 1980’s as well as being part of the new exciting developments occurring within the Industry and it is the knowledge gained from these experiences that Dana brings to the Judging Panel.

Sam Johnson
Sam Johnson joined BNZ as an Agribusiness Manager in 1996. As one of BNZ’s Senior Partners, Sam leads the Northland team of agribusiness and commercial banking partners. With his wife Debbie, he manages 40 heifers on their 15ha at Kamo, North Whangarei, and has an interest in farming and businesses associated with the primary sector. He enjoys working with Māori businesses across Te Taitokerau and has been part of a number of recent successful ventures that haven’t always fitted within the typical banking boxes. Outside of work he’s involved with a number of local sports clubs and also chairs a charitable trust that promotes agricultural research and student scholarships. As a judge since 2010, he’s very appreciative of the opportunity that Ahu Whenua has provided to meet a wide range of amazing people and see some incredible whenua.

Dr Gavin Sheath
Dr Gavin Sheath is an agricultural systems consultant with extensive international and domestic experience as a scientist and businessman. Dr Sheath has spent over 40 years with AgResearch in various senior management roles. Most recently he has provided strategic planning services to Māori agribusinesses, Deer Industry NZ, and DairyNZ. He has participated in technical reviews for the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Waikato River Authority and has worked in both the private and public sectors, in Japan, Mongolia and South America.

Chris Garland
Chris completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Science with first class honours at Massey University and graduated as a Massey Scholar. Chris chose a career in advisory work which seemed to be the best way of combining a farming-related occupation with a tertiary qualification. Chris is an Agribusiness Consultant with BakerAg, based in Masterton. Chris is a founding partner of the company. He specialises farm management consultancy in sheep, beef and deer systems and has a particular interest in the governance of large-scale farming operations and sits on the boards of a number of businesses running over 100,000 SU.

Chris is also the editor and publisher of the AgLetter, a weekly farm management newsletter with nation-wide following. Chris is a Fellow of the NZIPIM and was awarded the Landcorp Agricultural Communicator of the Year in 2015, along with the NZ Grasslands Consultant of the Year.

Chris is married to Cheryl who is a primary school teacher. They have three children. Chris’s interests include road cycling, boating, fishing, motor-cross and flying (PPL). When the work is done, you’ll find Chris at Castlepoint beach.


First Round Judges

Jenny McGimpsey - Lead Judge
Jenny McGimpsey is Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s Economic Service Manager for the Southern South Island, which involves data collection and analysis and forecasting for the Sheep and Beef Farm Survey.  In a former role she managed the implementation of an extension programme to sheep and beef farmers in Southland.  Graduating with B Hort Sc (Hons) from Canterbury University (Lincoln College), Jenny has a science background and worked on the agronomy of new and novel crops for 10 years.  Together with her husband and other business partners, she has an interest in a sheep and beef property on 550 ha of developed hill country in West Otago. She has extensive practical farming experience, latterly in a governance role.

Wiremu Hohaia Cottrell
Wiremu Cottrell, is 25 years old and was born and bred in the sunny Hawke's Bay.  He is the son of Shearing Contractors. Following High School, he was lucky enough to be accepted into Smedley Station and Cadet Training Farm which he graduated from in 2012. From here he chose to continue with his studies at Massey University, Palmerston North where he completed a Bachelor of Agriculture Commerce - majoring in Farm Management. In February 2016, he began his career with the BNZ through the Agribusiness Graduate Programme and has since worked in a Credit Writing roll within the BNZ Mid/South Canterbury team being financially involved with some large Agribusinesses. From February 2017 to present he has been a BNZ Agribusiness Partner within the Whanganui team working with/managing a portfolio of farming businesses throughout the wider Rangitikei region. His interests outside of work include a passion for the outdoors whether it be hunting or diving as well as sport, in particular rugby, tennis and squash but more importantly time spent with friends and family as this is extremely important to him.

Shay Moon
Ko Aotea te waka, ko Ruapehu te maunga, ko Whanganui te awa, ko Atihaunui a Pāpārangi te iwi. Ko Pungarehu me Parikino nga Marae. Ko Shay Moon toku ingoa. Tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.

Shay’s rural upbringing and career has continuously surrounded him with many family and corporate agricultural operations throughout his life which has developed an on-going perspective for him on New Zealand’s agriculture sector.

Shay currently resides in Manawatu where he is a Corporate Agribusiness Partner with the Bank of New Zealand and manages a large and diverse Agribusiness portfolio of Dairy, Sheep and Beef, Poultry and Arable farming. Shay has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Otago and Post Graduate AgriCommerce qualification from Massey University.

Ko au te awa, ko te awa ko au.

Peter Ettema
Peter Ettema has worked for the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and its predecessors since 2005. He was brought up on a dairy farm in the Manawatu and has worked in the agricultural sector throughout his career, 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.

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 heavily involved and a strong advocate in training programmes for young Māori who are likely to be tomorrow’s leaders. He is also involved in tertiary programmes, programme design and delivery to a number of organisations including the Waiariki Polytechnic.

Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Judges

Aaron Hunt
Aaron Hunt is employed by Te Tumu Paeroa as their Rural Advisor where he oversees four dairy farms and a sheep and beef station. Aarons lives by the motto “If you’re not living on the edge then you are taking up too much room”.
He played a role in guiding Te Rua o Te Moko Limited to winning the Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming Award 2014. He is also a director of the Farm Data Accreditation Limited and a judge for the Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award. Aaron has been involved in the dairy industry from a young age relief milking for neighbours while at high school through to owning (in partnership) a 600 cow Sharemilking operation.
Aaron’s passion is agriculture and its future. His two main interests are finding the right balance between the Environment and the Economy plus supporting/encouraging young people into Agriculture.

Peter Little
Peter graduated from Lincoln College in 1966 with Dip Ag, and Dip VFM, and has been involved in the development and administration of Māori land ever since, becoming the Fields Director of the Department of Māori Affairs in 1977 responsible for the Department’s Land Development and Rural Lending Programmes until restructuring in 1989. Since1990 Peter has spent various times as Private Secretary to different Ministers of Māori Affairs, and as Manager of Te Puni Kōkiri’s Land Management Unit, until retirement in June 2016.
Peter Little was made a Member of the NZ Order of Merit, for services to Māori land development and administration.
Peter has been involved in judging of the Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Competition for the past 4 years, and currently holds the position of Lead Judge for the 2017 Sheep and Beef Competition.

Mark McManaway
Mark has been involved with Farming for the past 35 years starting as farm worker then progressing from low order sharemilker to herd ownership or 50/50 in the mid 2000’s. Mark has been working for Allflex NZ for the last 7 years, where he has been able to spend time with the most progressive farmers in both NZ and Australia in both Dairy and Sheep and Beef industry getting a valuable insight into how they run their businesses. Mark is passionate about working alongside good people helping achieve their goals and dreams. Mark believes that based on his history and many great years in practice he is able to do this well.

Doug Macredie
Doug Macredie is of Te Arawa and Tainui descent and is a graduate of both Lincoln and Massey Universities, Bachelor in Parks & Recreation Management and a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing. Doug works for Beef + Lamb NZ and manages all Human Capability Development Programmes for the sheep and beef sector. These include farmer managerial programmes, leadership development, scholarships and career, as well as the curriculum programmes in schools. Prior to this Doug was the Training Solutions Manager for PrimaryITO’s Te Kauta unit. He also has extensive experience and expertise in forestry training and Māori customary fishing.

Matiu Julian
Matiu (Te Atihaunui-a-Pāpārangi, Ngāti Porou ki Harataunga) was brought up in Taranaki amongst his Nga Ruahine and Ngati Ruanui whanau.  He has had an extensive career in education with many roles in teaching, management and senior leadership.  Matiu has also spent eight years in the Māori NGO Health sector before moving to Wellington to begin a career in the public sector.  Matiu has held National roles for the Alcohol Advisory Council, the Ministry of Education and joined the Primary ITO as the National Māori Manager in May 2018.  Matiu has always focussed on brining the best out of people to realise their unique gifts to develop and value.
Mauri Tu Mauri Ora.




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