Judges 2020 – Horticulture

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/orchard/garden and provide valuable feedback to those in governance roles and those who are involved in the day to day management of the farms/orchard/garden.

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 become involved and they have the task of selecting the eventual winner. They attend the field days at each of the farms/orchard/garden 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

Julian Raine – Chief Judge

Julian has been involved in the agricultural and horticultural industries for over 35 years. He is currently a Director and shareholder of Raine Farms, Wai-West Horticulture Ltd, Cold Storage Nelson Ltd, NZ Dairy Desserts Co Ltd, Wairua Hops and Boysenberries NZ Ltd. He is a past director of a wide range of boards including Cawthron Institute, Landcare Research, Sirtrack, Ngatahi Horticulture, Hinetai Hops Ltd, NZ Hops Ltd and Nelson Milk Ltd.
Julian was awarded a Nuffield scholarship in 1997 where he spent most of that year studying and travelling. On his return he was instrumental in developing new growing systems for apples in NZ. In 2001 the Tasman District Council announced Julian was the winner of the primary producers sector in their annual environmental awards. Between 2007 and 2009 Julian chaired the Apple Futures project. This projected enabled the NZ apple industry to develop world leading techniques to change how apples are grown in NZ. It is now the standard for New Zealand production and is internationally recognised.
Julian led Nuffield NZ as Chair from 2012 to 2016. Julian was the President of Horticulture NZ representing New Zealand's' 5000 fruit and vegetable growers. Julian has been involved with a number of community groups and is currently the co-chair of the Nelson Climate Forum. This group is looking at how the region can do their bit in reducing the carbon footprint and greenhouse gases.

Ian Scott

Ko Bimberi tōku maunga.
Ko Murrumbidgee tōku awa.
Ko Burley Griffin tōku roto.
Ko QANTAS rāua ko Te Tiriti ōku waka.
Ko tauiwi tōku iwi.
Ko Scott rāua ko Wallace ōku hapū.
Ko Te Whenua o Moemoā ahau ki Canberra ki te takiwa o te iwi o Ngunnawal.
Ko Te Whenua o Moemoeā tōku turangawaewae. Engari, e noho ana au ki Te Pataka o Rakaihautū ki Koukourarata.
He kaimahi au ki Te Rangahau Āhumara Kai ki te rōpu Te Raranga Āhumara.
Ko Ian Scott tōku ingoa.

Ian has been a practicing scientist for more than 30 years. He has been working in horticultural science since joining Crop & Food Research in 2004 and continued to do so following the inception of Plant & Food Research in 2008. Ian has led a range of research programmes as well as science teams responsible for delivering on a range of research topics about pests and diseases of annual crops. During this time Ian was a science advisor to both the predecessors of Fresh Vegetables NZ and Potatoes NZ. Since 2012, Ian has been heavily involved in engagement with Māori in a role where he liaises between whānau and P&FR scientists with a view to meeting the research needs of mana whenua to realise their aspirations. He moved to the P&FR Māori engagement team on a fulltime basis in 2015.

David Proudfoot
David re- joined the BNZ as an Agribusiness Manager in 2009 managing a group of agribusiness clients covering the Tauranga /Te Puke area. His client portfolio is predominately Kiwifruit Orchardists and he has also been involved with a large number of Greenfield kiwifruit developments. Prior to 2009 David was employed in the waterfront industry. During his time on the waterfront David managed a number of contracts that involved the export shipping of Kiwifruit, Squash and Dairy products. David is married to Carmel who is a teacher aide working with special needs children. They have two adult children and live on their Arguta (Kiwiberry) orchard in Te Puna which they manage themselves.
Any spare time is used to participate in sporting activities such as fishing, biking and walking.

Rachel Jones

Rachel (Te Arawa, Ngāti Kahungunu) is the Waikato-Waiariki Regional Manager for Te Puni Kōkiri. She has over 25 years governance and tactical experience working with whānau land and farming business trusts, providing strategic direction and advice on how to develop their aspirations. Rachel is primarily interested in building the economic capacity and capability of the Māori primary sector as it is a major source of production supplying both the domestic and international markets and is a key source of Māori economic performance in Aotearoa. The legacy of Māori horticulture is a kaupapa she is fond of and would like to see it preserved for future generations.


First Round Judges

2020 Judges

Left to right: Dr Bruce Campbell, Horticulture NZ; Sarah Luff, BNZ; Tony Schischka, MPI; Cath Kingston, Plant & Food Research; and Abe Seymour, Competition Kaumatua.

Sarah Luff – Lead Judge

Sarah Luff is an Agribusiness Partner for BNZ, working across the Western Bay of Plenty.  Based in Tauranga for the past 12 years, Sarah has a predominately horticultural portfolio with the majority of her clients involved in the kiwifruit industry.  Sarah was brought up on a dairy farm in Reporoa and went on to complete a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Agribusiness and a Rural Valuation diploma at Massey University, before travelling overseas, then joining the BNZ.  She lives on a 20ha grazing block south of Tauranga which she runs with her husband and young family.

Dr Bruce Campbell

Bruce is a company director and consultant. He holds board positions as Director of Horticulture New Zealand (Inc.), Director of the New Zealand Winegrowers Research Centre Limited (trading as Bragato Research Institute) and is Chair of the Northland Horticulture Careers Progression Governance Group. Bruce is experienced in strategies for innovation and was previously Chief Operating Officer at Plant & Food Research. He has a particular interest in building partnerships with Māori and accelerating innovation, education and talent development. Bruce has a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in ecology from The University of Sheffield. He is a recipient of the 2017 Prime Minister's Science Prize, 2017 Horticulture New Zealand Industry Service Award and 2016 Royal Society of New Zealand Thomson Medal for outstanding leadership of agricultural and horticultural science.

Cath Kingston

Cath is currently the Operations Manager for the New Cultivar Innovation Portfolio at Plant & Food Research and has a focus on building and maintaining connections within the organisation and with commercial partners and collaborators. As Operations Manager, she works with both science and business teams to resource and advance ideas and projects. With formal training in horticulture (a horticultural science degree from Massey University), she has worked with many key horticultural industries in New Zealand throughout her career, which has predominantly been with Plant & Food Research and its predecessor organisations. She has seconded to Summerfruit New Zealand as their research manager, spent more than six years as client relationship manager for Zespri, and worked with the berryfruit, winegrape, pipfruit and ornamentals industries. Besides horticulture, she has worked in Government science funding agency Foundation for Research, Science & Technology (now MBIE). She is also a Council Member of the Hawke's Bay Medical Research Foundation and Chair of its Scientific Committee.

Tony Schischka

Tony Schischka is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Ministry for Primary Industries, based at the Ruakura Campus in Hamilton. He has a Bachelor of Management Studies majoring in economics and strategic management and is the immediate past-president of the New Zealand Agricultural & Resource Economics Society. Tony has a range of experience including leading kiwifruit farm monitoring and export forecasting, development of sector and water policy, emergency management at national and local levels, and more recently supported the secretariat of the Interim Climate Change Committee.

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 Maori Grower Judges


Erin Simpson – Lead Judge

Erin's career in the Horticulture Industry started in the halcyon days of Kiwifruit the first time around in the early 80's when he completed a cadetship under the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture, he made the move to Apples in the 90's, he has worked within many private and corporate Horticultural organisations across the Fruit production and Post-harvest sectors here in New Zealand and in England, Canada and Australia. He has a robust and insightful understanding of the skills needed by employees and employers to be effective members of the modern industry, he is passionate about ensuring that the skills and training delivered and developed today are fit for purpose in the unknown world of tomorrow. He has been active in the Education sector in programme development and teaching and in his current role engages and collaborates with Government and Industry training providers nationally with the Pipfruit sectors mandate to attract, grow and retain talent to ensure that the Apple and Pear industry in New Zealand remains the best in the world.

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. Aaron has been involved in the dairy industry from a young age relief milking for neighbor's while at high school through to owning (in partnership) a 600 cow Sharemilking operation. Aaron's passion is around New Zealand's primary sector and its future. His two main interests are finding the right balance between the Environment and the Economy plus supporting/encouraging young people into the exciting opportunities that are out there in this space.

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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