NZPPI Conference

15–16 May, Tait Technology Centre, Christchurch

We hope many of you can come to the modern Tait Technology Centre to hear and learn from innovative speakers in the sector. Day one has a predominant focus on the science and technology that will move business into the future, and day two on building successful business models and workforce. The conference is about science but also business planning and adaptation. We intend to hold a retailer breakout session as well. This will be a chance to share your views and ideas with the retail sector industry group and to hear from a speaker (yet to be decided on).

The conference venue is separate from the accommodation this year, so we recommend you look to your accommodation requirements early on. If arriving from out of town, plan for a 9AM start on the 15th and a 4:30PM finish on the 16th.


  • Damien O’Connor, Minister for Primary Industries

    Damien O’Connor, Minister for Primary Industries

    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.

  • Ian Proudfoot

    Ian Proudfoot

    Ian joined KPMG Auckland in 1996 and was appointed a Senior Manager in 2000 and admitted to partnership in 2004. He was appointed as Global Head of Agribusiness for KPMG in 2013. He is a Chartered Accountant and Registered Auditor.

    Ian is the author of the KPMG Agribusiness Agenda, a series of thought leadership reports which have been produced annually since 2010. He is responsible for the development of KPMG New Zealand’s agribusiness sector focus group. He is considered to be one of the leading strategic thinkers on Agribusiness in New Zealand. Ian is also currently leading a project with a major NZ bank and industry partners, to develop an urban agricultural experience centre and show farm in Auckland with a goal of forming 25,000 urban kids a year about the contribution of the primary sector to NZ and the career opportunities it presents.

  • Matt Glenn

    Matt Glenn

    Matt is CE of Robotics Plus. He is an experienced executive in the technology industry. Matt moved from the UK to New Zealand in. He became the Head of Genomics at Genesis which included, what was at the time, the largest DNA sequencing facility in the Southern Hemisphere. Matt then had roles at Fonterra and Ballance, gaining expertise in strategy development; portfolio, programme, project and capability management, commercialisation of science and technology, M&A and PR and communications.

    Before joining RPL, Matt was the CEO at Hill Laboratories, New Zealand’s largest analytical testing laboratory with over 400 scientists in Hamilton, Auckland, Wellington, Blenheim and Christchurch. Matt has spent significant time developing technology related business overseas particularly in Japan, US, UK and China.

  • Leann Watson

    Leeann Watson

    Leeann is the Chief Executive of the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce (The Chamber), the largest and most progressive membership business support agency in the South Island with approximately 2,900 members. Leeann is a strong voice for Canterbury business, and works with the Board of The Chamber to develop and deliver its strategic direction.

    Leeann led the restructuring of The Chamber to respond to the changing business environment post-earthquakes, and regularly reviews core services to ensure they continue to meet members’ needs. More recently she led the rebuild project for the new Chamber offices in Kilmore Street and is working on the future direction of The Chamber as part of a five-year project.

    Leeann is a Government appointee to the Small Business Council and Trade for All Advisory Board, is a Director of the Westpac Champion Business Awards which recognise business excellence, Chair of the Board of Trustees at Christchurch Boys High School and a Board member of the Canterbury Cricket Association. Leeann interfaces with the business community at all levels and across all sectors and has many years’ experience in working in partnership with both Local and Central Government.

  • Lynda Coppersmith

    Lynda Coppersmith

    Lynda is the Chief Executive Officer of NZ Young Farmers and has been in the role since October 1st, 2018. Prior to this, she has held a variety of roles across the rural sector with Fonterra, DairyNZ and LIC (previously Livestock Improvement). Most recently she worked for accounting software company MYOB in their Enterprise area where she held leadership roles in Sales and Account Management. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Auckland and an MBA from the University of Canterbury and has recently been appointed as Independent Director for the Canterbury Rugby Football Union.

    NZ Young Farmers

    NZ Young Farmers (NZYF) is a non-profit organisation. It operates a network of almost 80 NZYF clubs across the country, each with their own identity and community spirit. They are backed by a national organisation, which is governed by an eight-member board.

    The organisation runs the iconic FMG Young Farmer of the Year contest, owns a 74 hectare dairy farm in Auckland and has a well-respected national school engagement team that works in schools to get students and teachers excited about opportunities in the primary industries.

  • Mike Chapman

    Mike Chapman

    Mike Chapman is the Chief Executive of Horticulture New Zealand, having taken up the role in January 2016. Mike is committed to the organisation’s mission: creating an enduring environment where growers prosper. This includes protecting land and water rights, advocating for growers on critical regulation, policy and law changes, skilled and reliable labour and representing the industry at all levels of government in Wellington.

    Previously Mike was the Chief Executive of NZ Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated, Chief Executive of Kiwifruit New Zealand, and worked in law, including for the NZ Defence Force. He was an inaugural Director Kiwifruit Vine Health Incorporated, and is currently the Deputy Chair of Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology. Mike was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor in 1982 and holds a current practicing certificate.

  • Philip Hulme

    Philip Hulme

    Professor Philip Hulme holds the inaugural Chair in Plant Biosecurity at Lincoln University, a unique position jointly supported by the university and MPI, which aims to bridge the gap between academic research and policy implementation in this strategically important field.

    His research also includes wider assessments of biological invasions and increasingly the importance of human perspectives such as the role of trade and wealth creation on invasion rates. His presentation has a focus on how biosecurity risks are occurring in the on line purchasing of plants and trade this way.

    Prof Hulme is currently the leader of the Biosecurity Theme in the Bio-Protection Research Centre.

  • Jon Manhire

    Jon Manhire

    Jon Manhire is an agribusiness consultant with a focus on research into, the development and implementation of sustainable management systems in the primary sector. He was the programme leader for the New Zealand Sustainability Dashboard research programme which worked extensively in the Horticulture sector to enhance sustainability assessment and reporting systems to meet regulatory, market and grower needs—as well as achieve positive sustainability outcomes. Jon is also the Managing Director of the AgriBusiness Group and the Chair of the Lincoln University BHU Trust.

    He will speak on trends in demand for sustainability reporting and some of the issues and opportunities that plant producers face in addressing these trends.

  • Andrew Allan

    Andrew Allan

    Andrew is a Professor at University of Auckland and Principal Scientist at Plant and Food Research. Andrew studied biochemistry and cell biology at the University of Canterbury, and received his PhD in Biochemistry at Cambridge University. Post-Doc’s followed in Edinburgh and Israel studying plant stress responses.

    In 1997 he began work at HortResearch (which became Plant and Food Research) studying fruit responses to stress, and joined the University of Auckland as a lecturer in 2003.

    He has received New Zealand’s top prize for plant biology in both 2002 and 2015. He is also the winner of the Chinese Academy of Science President’s International Fellowship for Distinguished Scientists (2015), and is a visiting Professor at Wuhan Botanical Garden and Fuzhou Agricultural University.

    He is now Programme Leader of a project which aims to speed up breeding of perennial plants by using rapid flowering and gene editing. He is a full Professor with the University of Auckland.

  • Sarah Watson

    Sarah Watson

    PeopleMAD Limited supports agribusinesses with the aim of developing great leaders and promoting positive change. They focus on people management and development of leaders, managers and teams in agribusiness.

    Sarah Watson from PeopleMAD was the project manager responsible for developing the FarmTune programme for DairyNZ. She has delivered or supported the delivery of FarmTune (LEAN thinking for farming) to more than 90 farmers and their teams. She comes with a proven background in all areas of people management, development and leadership. Sarah is an experienced trainer and coach with a farm friendly approach. Most of her work is with farm leaders, managers and teams to create a work environment that supports productivity and performance through people.


  • Liam Maloner

    Gala Dinner & Young Achievers Competition

    These will be held at the Sudima Hotel on Wednesday 15 May. Our star speaker for the evening is two-time Paralympic gold medallist Liam Malone who is back from London for two months. Now retired from competitive sport he is following his passion for technology and innovation and is working with an artificial intelligence firm Soul Machines.

    A Full Conference registration will include the dinner and evening speaker.


Sudima Christchurch Airport

  • 550 Memorial Avenue, Christchurch Airport
  • 6 minutes drive away to the Tait Technology Centre

Accommodation Delegate Rates

Valid for the 14th & 15th May 2019.

  • Superior Rooms — $229.00 incl. GST
  • Superior Plus Rooms — $249.00 incl. GST
  • Executive Rooms — $279.00 incl. GST


A discounted fully cooked Buffet Breakfast in the hotel restaurant has been extended at the rate of $25.00 per person (usually $29) for all delegates.

Airport Shuttle Service (On demand)

Please call the hotel on 03 358 3139 when arriving at the airport to arrange your complimentary airport pick up. Should you prefer to walk, the distance is a leisurely 5 minute walk away.

Shuttle Service to/from Conference Venue

A complimentary transfer service to and from Sudima Hotel to the Tait Technology Centre is available. Limited to 1 return trip per person only. The venue is a 6 Minute drive away to the Tait Technology Centre. Please arrange your required departure and pick up time with the Hotel Concierge desk. David and his team will be happy to assist. Requested times may vary due to supply and demand of this service.

Accommodation Reservations

To make your accommodation reservations please e-mail or call 0800-SUDIMA (0800-783-462). Please quote NZPPI or New Zealand Plant Producers Incorporated Conference.

Commodore Hotel

Reference under the name "NZPPI – Group reference 614708"—which the delegates will need to quote upon placing of their booking. We can offer a special rate of $227.63 (per room, per night) in the premium standard room.

Accommodation Reservations

To make your accommodation reservations please e-mail or call 03 358 8129. Please quote NZPPI or New Zealand Plant Producers Incorporated Conference.